What Is Wisdom?

By |2021-04-07T10:04:19-05:00April 3rd, 2021|Categories: Essential, Family, Featured, Will Durant, Wisdom|

    To the philosopher, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. — Emerson      What is wisdom? I feel like a droplet of spray which proudly poised for a moment on the crest of a wave, undertakes to analyze the sea. Ideally, wisdom is total [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2021-01-21T12:00:41-06:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Essential, Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, St. John's College, The Imaginative Conservative|

My first and last care is not politics but education. Education seems to me inherently conservative, being the transmission, and thus the saving, of a tradition’s treasures of fiction and thought. But education is also inherently imaginative. Author’s Note: I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at once [...]

Reflections on American Order

By |2021-01-07T16:43:42-06:00January 7th, 2021|Categories: Essential, Order, Ordered Liberty, RAK, Roots of American Order, Russell Kirk, Timeless Essays|

Order is the first need of all. One finds happiness in restoring and improving the order of the soul and the order of the republic—not in acts of devastation that make a desert of spirit and of society. Imagine a man travelling through the night, without a guide, thinking continually of the direction he wishes [...]

Conservative Credo

By |2021-02-26T09:15:16-06:00December 29th, 2020|Categories: Barbara J. Elliott, Conservatism, Essential, Senior Contributors, Support The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays|

The conservative believes that the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are interrelated, and that all things are measured against these three transcendentals. Conservatism seeks the Truth that has emerged over time, drawing from the deep wellsprings of human experience, and builds anew on foundations that have withstood the tests of time. It fosters order [...]

A Decade of Hope-Filled Conservatism

By |2020-12-23T00:12:05-06:00July 9th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Cicero, Conservatism, Essential, Hope, Russell Kirk, Timeless Essays, W. Winston Elliott III|

I pray that The Imaginative Conservative offers a conservatism of thought and imagination in the hope of preserving the best of the Western tradition and restoring the virtue of our Republic. After a decade of faithful effort we continue to persevere and pray. […]

Liberal Education and the Free Mind

By |2020-05-13T15:36:19-05:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, Essential, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Liberal education has as its end the free mind, and the free mind must be its own teacher. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Scott Buchanan as he asks a series of questions to discover the fruit, in individual character and thought, of a liberal arts education. —W. Winston Elliott [...]

Our Hero: Socrates in the Underworld

By |2020-05-13T15:58:07-05:00March 24th, 2020|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Books, Essential, Peter A. Lawler, Senior Contributors, Socrates, Timeless Essays, Truth|

Socrates in the Underworld: On Plato’s Gorgias, by Nalin Ranasinghe (192 pages, St. Augustine Press, 2009) Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Peter Augustine Lawler as he reflects on how Socrates models both rightly-ordered eros and logos, in contrast to the Stoics and Sophists. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher [...]

A Jeffersonian Model of Citizenship

By |2020-05-13T15:40:15-05:00December 18th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Citizen, Citizenship, Civil Society, Essential, Labor/Work, Liberal Learning, Thomas Jefferson|

The assumptions linked to the more deliberative, publicly responsible model of citizenship, though utopian and far-fetched at least within the perspective of modern, western society, can be thought of in a way that makes them seem more practical. Thomas Jefferson, for example, believed both that good government was possible only when those who governed were [...]

Was Thomas Jefferson a Philosopher?

By |2020-05-13T15:41:57-05:00October 22nd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Essential, Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, St. John's College, Thomas Jefferson|

Thomas Jefferson is a kind of incarnate compendium of the Enlightenment. His remarkable openness to its spirit is the philosophical counterpart to his political sensitivity in making himself “a passive auditor of the opinions of others,” so as to catch the “harmonizing sentiments of the day” and to incorporate them into a document that would [...]

The Past-Present

By |2020-05-13T18:32:47-05:00July 22nd, 2019|Categories: E.B., Essential, Eva Brann, Great Books, History, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, St. John's College, Time, Tradition|

The past is, indeed, a place in which to take refuge when it is necessary to pull back, to contemplate life, and to mull things over. The present is the phase for brisk deliberation, decision, and action; for being in that sleepwalking state in which we do, more or less surefootedly, the one thing needful [...]

The Declaration of Independence: Translucent Poetry

By |2020-06-10T11:03:44-05:00July 3rd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Essential, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, James Madison, Samuel Adams, St. John's College, Thomas Jefferson|

The Declaration of Independence, intended as an expression of the common opinion, is truly a text of "right opinion," a benign practical text which also has a peculiarly sound relation to the realm of thought. Section I:  The Legacy of the Declaration When American schoolchildren first discover that they have a place in the world they [...]

Learning to Argue: Ancient Greece to Today

By |2020-05-13T17:41:30-05:00June 26th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Education, Essential, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Socrates, St. John's College|

Perhaps more than ever, we have a need for education of a particular kind: an education that trains one in the habits of exchanging ideas. Not a forum for the debate of settled opinions, where victory is the end, but an education that is the forge and working house of thought itself. In order to [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2021-04-07T10:03:16-05:00May 21st, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Essential, Eva Brann, Featured, Imagination, St. John's College, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays|

What’s “imaginative?” What’s “conservative?” And how does the adjective modify the noun and the noun support its adjective? My first and last care is not politics but education. Education seems to me inherently conservative, being the transmission, and thus the saving, of a tradition’s treasures of fiction and thought. But education is also inherently imaginative. [...]

Ten Conservative Principles

By |2020-06-19T14:47:28-05:00May 20th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Essential, Featured, RAK, Russell Kirk|

Being neither a religion nor an ideology, the body of opinion termed conservatism possesses no Holy Writ and no Das Kapital to provide dogmata. So far as it is possible to determine what conservatives believe, the first principles of the conservative persuasion are derived from what leading conservative writers and public men have professed during [...]

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