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E.B.

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What is a Book? It is a special kind of body made to be inhabited by a curious kind of frozen but fusible soul, a body fit to mediate its own peculiar life… It is our tradition that the...
1 2576

This is what the study of Great Books does for us: First it makes us into what we were meant to be, then it maintains us in the life so achieved... First, I want to say how honored I...
0 1080

Odysseus has the art we need. I think he came by it through a rare combination of acutely honed cleverness and deep-souled imagination; we can acquire it by education. This art, the art of discovering significance, is the art of interpretation...
0 2598

“First attend to the adjustment of your own soul, particularly the regulative liberal learning of your intellect, then project your internal economy on the world as social and political justice. The other way around is headless.”  – Eva...
1 1871

Ask anyone what speech “is for” and the answer will be, “Speech is for communication.” To be sure. But not primarily! Speech is first for self-address... My first title for this little musing was “Silent...
0 1861

Distinguished scholar Eva Brann, of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, shares her thoughts, discusses how St. John’s is truly unique among American colleges, why students should read Homer first, how Aristotle speaks to us today, and why Yogi Berra is one of her favorite philosophers. The first...
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When our dean asked me to lecture this September it was because I’ve just completed a book on time, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk about it. There seemed to be three possible kinds of...
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Respect is (1) an alternative to tolerance and (2) the better one. It is an alternative because it concerns the same issue: how to live with fellow humans who appear to be identically constituted in their...
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http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/partiallyexaminedlife/PEL_ep_079_6-22-13.mp3 In the above podcast, Eva Brann discusses her book The Logos of Heraclitus (2011). What is the world like, and how can we understand it? Heraclitus thinks that the answer to both questions is...
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Author's Note: I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at once utterly at home in America and quite without spatio-temporal boundaries, Marilynne Robinson, who produces in reality the images I...
0 2011

I imagine that on Parents’ Weekend there might be some parents attending this once weekly occasion when the college assembles to hear a lecture. By its very name, a lecture is read—but read out loud, delivered in the writer’s voice. Thus, the...
0 2476

Vast topics are notoriously easy to avoid, and those who undertake to wrestle with them in public owe their audience some concrete reason for their choice. Let me begin with mine. First, this summer I had...
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If people and dogs have common ground of a higher order than animal needs, it must be in the territory of the spirit. Spirit is, just as Aristotle says, where friendship is at home. Now among us humans, this capability of the spirit is both an accomplishment and a...
2 2547

I love midnight movies, the Golden Oldies; they are the silver-lining of insomnia. Recently I caught part of an old black-and-white movie—Pressure Point—of the days when African-Americans were still called Negroes. Sidney Poitier plays a black prison psychiatrist....