The Case for the Liberal Arts: Stronger Than Ever?

By |2021-05-05T16:49:37-05:00May 5th, 2021|Categories: Classics, Education, Featured, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Plato, St. John's College, Timeless Essays, Wilfred McClay|

The chief public benefit of liberal education is the formation of a particular kind of person, a particular kind of citizen, who robustly embodies the virtues of both inquiry and membership, and therefore is equipped for the truth-seeking deliberation and responsible action that a republican form of government requires. If we are to make any [...]

An Ode to Great Books and a Beautiful Library

By |2021-04-24T17:30:14-05:00April 24th, 2021|Categories: Books, Essential, Featured, Libraries, Timeless Essays, W. Winston Elliott III, Will Durant, Wisdom|

“If I were rich I would have many books, and I would pamper myself with bindings bright to the eye and soft to the touch, in paper generously opaque, and type such as men designed when printing was very young. I would dress my gods in leather and gold, and burn candles of worship before [...]

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 [...]

Renewing and Rejecting: Comparing Architecture and Music

By |2020-11-23T17:14:43-06:00November 23rd, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Faith, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Tradition, Western Civilization|

At a certain stage and for no apparent reason, self-criticism among those of us in the West gave way to repudiation. Instead of subjecting our inheritance to a critical evaluation, seeking what is good in it and trying to understand and endorse the ties that binds us to it, a great many of those appointed [...]

The Heart of Music

By |2020-11-18T14:29:40-06:00November 18th, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Young people need to come into the presence of music. Without live orchestras and available concerts the real heart of music will cease to beat, and young people will be deprived of one of the most enriching experiences that I know. I grew up in post-war Britain, at a time when people were beginning to [...]

In Defense of the Old Republic: The Problem of the Imperial Presidency

By |2020-11-20T09:41:32-06:00November 15th, 2020|Categories: Constitutional Convention, Featured, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, Government, Presidency, Timeless Essays|Tags: |

The dangers associated with the imperial presidency are compounded by an awareness that, while new and more expansive theories of executive authority are seriously advanced, the office is not attracting individuals of high moral and intellectual character. The Philadelphia Constitution may be dead, but the basic problems which troubled the Framers—e.g., preserving the rule of [...]

Tonality Now: Finding a Groove

By |2020-11-05T10:47:22-06:00November 12th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Some people listen to music; others merely hear it. The assumption on which our musical culture has been built is that people will listen to musical sounds, and listen to them for their own sake, treating them as intrinsically significant. All music lovers listen in that sense, regardless of their taste. The ear is a [...]

The Plague of Multiculturalism: Russell Kirk’s “America’s British Culture”

By |2021-04-30T08:32:44-05:00October 18th, 2020|Categories: Culture, England, Featured, Roger Scruton, Russell Kirk, Timeless Essays|Tags: |

There is so much pertinent history and so much wisdom in Russell Kirk’s “America’s British Culture” that his book would serve as a useful summary of America and its culture for the busy student—even for one who is hard pressed by the demands of a multicultural curriculum. America’s British Culture, by Russell Kirk (New Brunswick, [...]

The Virtue of Irrelevance

By |2020-10-06T11:53:12-05:00October 7th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

If we know what music is, we have a duty to help young people to understand it, regardless of its “relevance.” We should do this as it has always been done, through encouraging our students to make music together. How many writers, educators, and opinion formers, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings that [...]

The “Eumenides”: Patriotism & Moderated Modernity

By |2020-10-06T22:17:07-05:00October 4th, 2020|Categories: Books, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Great Books, Literature, St. John's College, Timeless Essays|

The “Eumenides” is not a tragedy of the unresolvable impasse, of the unavoidable fatality. It is a “pragma,” an affair practically handled, whose outcome is not all-round cleansing by devastation, but a future of good daily living. Aeschylus invests this drama of sweet reason, of moderation triumphant, with exhilarating solemnity and participatory splendor. Aeschylus’ Eumenides is [...]

Who Was Pierre Boulez?

By |2020-09-23T23:54:36-05:00September 9th, 2020|Categories: Europe, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

We must surely understand composer-conductor Pierre Boulez as the instigator of a false conception of music—not only of the place of music in high culture, and in the civilisation that is our greatest spiritual possession, but of the nature of music itself. DE MORTUIS NIL NISI BONUM: Of the dead, nothing unless good. But you [...]

Redeeming Film Music From the Avant-Garde

By |2020-08-25T16:07:20-05:00August 25th, 2020|Categories: Featured, Film, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Perhaps we should be grateful to John Williams and Howard Shore for showing us that we can still use the tonal language to create music that resonates in the hearts of ordinary people. Perhaps we should be suspicious of those musical censors who leap to dismiss whatever is spontaneously likeable as cliché, and whatever touches [...]

Roger Scruton on “How to Think Seriously About the Planet”

By |2020-07-30T17:53:32-05:00July 30th, 2020|Categories: Conservation, Conservatism, Featured, Roger Scruton|

In “How to Think Seriously about the Planet,” Roger Scruton seeks in part to re-establish, or to remind us of, the close relationship between conservatism and concern for the environment. He also argues that the only really sound and successful environmentalism is a conservative environmentalism. How to Think Seriously about the Planet: The Case for [...]

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