The Goods of Friendship

By |2020-07-01T11:35:17-05:00July 1st, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Friendship, Great Books, Virtue|

In “Nicomachean Ethics,” Aristotle offers students a refreshing alternative to the instrumentality of modern life: the pursuit of goodness. Goodness inspires honor, and mutual honor is the stuff of friendships of virtue. These are the friendships which yield the greatest happiness. Recently, I had the great pleasure afforded by technology in our chaotic, pandemic [...]

Rediscovering the Necessity and Wonder of Space Travel

By |2020-05-27T16:57:28-05:00May 25th, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Coronavirus, Culture, Philosophy, Space|

Across our nation, people have been asked to self-quarantine, and guiding these efforts are the parameters defining which businesses are “essential.” Many of these guidelines are as expected, but included among them are “space and aerospace” industries—an odd inclusion by many standards. But I find that the space and aerospace industries are essential to [...]

Aristotle’s Revenge

By |2020-02-18T15:32:23-06:00February 18th, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Books, Imagination, Philosophy, Truth|

Insights into the nature of Aristotle’s philosophy confirm Edward Feser’s detailed argument that Aristotle, under the gentle care of later scholastically-minded thinkers, turns out to be right about more things than most of us dare hope. Aristotle’s Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science, by Edward Feser (Editiones Scholasticae, 515 pages, 2019) [...]

Russell Kirk’s Unfinished Justice

By |2019-09-22T21:27:09-05:00September 22nd, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, History, Plato, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

Russell Kirk thought that because justice is rooted in nature and because in its perfection transcends all time and space, one can innately observe virtue in the actions of wise men. Such observation of those we admire might be the best teacher in our current day, serving as a reminder of what has always [...]

The Ecstasy of Love

By |2019-08-26T21:23:06-05:00August 26th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Plato, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

Stewart Umphrey’s “Complexity and Analysis” presents a sober analysis of ways of going beyond oneself, especially in love; its conclusion presents the union of integrity with transcendence in the “sober madness of philosophy.” His careful descriptions and distinctions trace out incompleteness as a human condition. Those of our alumni who had really good Republic [...]

How Can the Constitution Survive?

By |2019-08-26T00:42:13-05:00August 25th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Aristotle, Constitution, History, Timeless Essays|

It is essential that each new generation understand the meaning of the United States Constitution. Without an adequate understanding of the Constitution’s moral and cultural prerequisites, Democrats and Republicans will lack the moral and imaginative qualities necessary to cooperate; hence free government, which is dependent on inner ethical control, will be imperiled. Today’s offering [...]

Telling Lies

By |2019-06-21T12:34:08-05:00June 17th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, E.B., Eva Brann, Friedrich Nietzsche, Homer, Iliad, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Odyssey, Plato, St. John's College|

We should learn to cultivate the unwillingness to tolerate the unwitting, untold lie in the soul, and the wit and wisdom to transmute the unavoidable lying of any utterance into the telling lies that reveal truth… The first lecture of the school year is, by an old tradition, dedicated to the freshmen among us. Whether [...]

Why “The Great Music” Is as Important as “The Great Books”

By |2019-02-11T08:53:32-06:00February 10th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Classical Education, Culture, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Music|

Ignorance of the great works of music is as bad, for someone who seeks to be educated in Western culture, as ignorance of Dante and Shakespeare in literature, and Plato and Aristotle in philosophy... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Peter Kwasniewski, as he considers the importance [...]

Why America Needs Thomas Aquinas Now

By |2019-11-14T13:11:58-06:00February 9th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Catholicism, Christianity, St. Thomas Aquinas, Theology|

Who can save us amid our current intellectual messiness? I would offer Aquinas. His philosophy doesn’t get as much attention as other philosophers, but it was he who synthesized the ancient Greek into a unified Western philosophical system that will stand the test of time... The 2016 data breach of the personal Gmail account of [...]

What, Then, Is Time?

By |2019-02-25T14:29:59-06:00January 7th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. Augustine, St. John's College, Time|

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 profit that I figured might come to you and to me if I gave what one might [...]