The Dispassionate Study of the Passions

By |2019-06-14T17:02:37-05:00June 10th, 2019|Categories: Apology, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

Ancient pathos, passion, was an affect emanating from an object; the object elicited the responsive affect, from the outside in. Modern emotion comes from inside out; it emphasizes expression; subject prevails over object. It is the Romantic worm eating its way out of the Enlightened apple... Plato’s dialogue Gorgias ends with a long speech culminating [...]

The Enchanted Cosmos With Thomas Aquinas

By |2019-06-08T22:59:30-05:00June 8th, 2019|Categories: Education, Paul Krause, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, St. Thomas Aquinas|

Thomas Aquinas’ cosmology and doctrine of the soul are vitalistic. Everything has a particular soul to it, and these souls have particular life-forces destined for particular ends. As a whole, the cosmos is meant to reflect and embody the graces of God: his beauty, love, and goodness. Such is to what all things are [...]

Professors Must Teach the Truth

By |2019-05-19T15:08:59-05:00May 17th, 2019|Categories: Education, Great Books, Josef Pieper, Liberal Learning, Plato, Socrates, Truth|

Only fools would send their children to school to listen to some teacher’s opinions, unless, of course, those opinions also happen to be true. Discussing St. Thomas Aquinas’s love of teaching, Josef Pieper writes: Teaching does not consist in a man’s making public talks on the results of his meditations, even if he does [...]

Plato’s “Timaeus”: A Unique Universe of Discourse

By |2019-05-06T12:41:15-05:00May 6th, 2019|Categories: Books, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Plato, St. John's College|

Plato’s Timaeus is less a dialogue than a short tale of antiquity by Critias followed by an account of the cosmos by Timaeus, in which, the question is asked: Why is the greatest philosophical work on the cosmos framed by politics? Before reviewing Peter Kalkavage’s Focus Press translation of the Timaeus, I must, in [...]

Leviathan, Inc.: Robert Nisbet & the Modern Nation-State

By |2019-05-05T22:21:55-05:00May 5th, 2019|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Robert Nisbet feared that modern totalitarians had succeeded in undermining the very foundations of goodness, truth, and morality. They had not only redefined liberty as power, but they had transformed the modern political state into a secular church, exchanging real religion for civic religion, creating a “New Leviathan.” Like most Americans during the Great [...]

Victimology 101: Rousseau, Victimhood, and Safe-Spaces

By |2019-04-06T00:36:24-05:00April 5th, 2019|Categories: Culture War, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Liberalism, Modernity, Politics, Progressivism|

Many liberals maintain that they themselves are victims. Where does this belief come from? And why would anyone want to be a victim? To understand the origins of victimhood, we must understand the work and thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the godfather and patron saint of liberalism… Candace Owens, an African American woman, is a [...]

The Madness of Jacques Derrida

By |2019-04-05T16:22:57-05:00April 1st, 2019|Categories: Books, Language, Philosophy|

In Of Grammatology, Jacques Derrida’s prose functions as a deadly siren call; he appeals to the contradictions of language, summoning the reader to see in his thought a new system of thought never before brought before man. Just as with the Homeric sirens, however, following Derrida’s thought leads to destruction. Of Grammatology, by Jacques Derrida [...]

I Call You Friends

By |2019-03-21T15:08:02-05:00March 21st, 2019|Categories: Friendship, Glenn Arbery, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

What exactly is friendship? It’s a crucial question, one of the most important any of us will ever face—personally, politically, or theologically. But when do we ever, as adults, get a chance to think such a question through, especially in a context that allows friendship to blossom? In the ancient world, friendship was a high [...]

Nietzsche and the Short Nineteenth Century

By |2019-03-15T20:51:53-05:00March 18th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, History, Modernity, Philosophy, Senior Contributors|

As Christopher Dawson argued, the nineteenth century proved a short century. When the century began, Thomas Jefferson delivered his gorgeous blueprint for a liberal republican world in the form of the first inaugural address. “But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the [...]

Behold the Demon: Nietzsche as Destroyer

By |2019-03-15T21:01:56-05:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, History, Modernity, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Friedrich Nietzche’s Ecce Homo lays waste to centuries of an ethic of inhibition and restraint. Intellectually brutalized, bloodied, and tortured, the nineteenth-century philosopher presented himself in his final and last words to a world he wanted to overthrow. Behold the man. To be more accurate, behold the demon. In his mockingly titled autobiography and final published [...]

John Locke on “The Reasonableness of Christianity”

By |2019-03-15T20:59:46-05:00March 14th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, John Locke, Morality, Philosophy, Reason, Religion, Theology|

A primary theme that runs throughout The Reasonableness of Christianity is John Locke’s belief that men who attempt to understand natural law and morality through their faculty of reason alone often fail at their task. But why is it that reason alone, also according to Locke, can explain Revelation? The question this essay poses might seem somewhat [...]

The Beauty Contest

By |2019-02-25T09:23:38-05:00February 22nd, 2019|Categories: Beauty, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Socrates, St. John's College, Virtue, Wisdom|

The beauty contest illustrates the difficulty with the term for and maybe the very idea of gentlemanliness—are good and beautiful two criteria or one? If they are two, how are they related? Could the beautiful be whatever compellingly attracts? Furthermore, what is truly and justly compelling? Editor’s Note: This essay is part of a series dedicated [...]

The Tyranny of History

By |2019-02-21T23:44:50-05:00February 21st, 2019|Categories: Civilization, History, Ideology, Paul Krause, Philosophy, Progressivism, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Those who weaponize history and language to fit their ideological vision know no boundaries in any matters. Enthralled by the phantoms of their psyche, they become the blind tyrants who destroy this real world for the fantasy of their world to come… It has become customary for moderns to hear the phrase “the right [...]