An End to the Bleak Mid-Winter of Reductionist Worldviews

By |2020-12-17T09:19:32-06:00December 16th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Myth, Philosophy, Worldview|

People have wrestled with dualistic tension at least as far back as ancient Greece, with two competing streams epitomized in the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus. But as the Magi and shepherds both came to adore the newborn Christ Child, all dualistic bedrocks crumbled before the manger of the incarnational God. “Who make imagination’s [...]

Rousseau’s and Kant’s Competing Interpretations of the Enlightenment

By |2020-12-15T09:27:57-06:00December 13th, 2020|Categories: Great Books, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Philosophy, Political Philosophy|

Immanuel Kant and Jean-Jacques Rousseau stand at contrary poles in their assessments of the Enlightenment. As modern citizens grapple with the choice between cosmopolitan integration into the global community and a civic affection for their particular society, they will be forced to confront the arguments advanced by these thinkers almost three centuries ago. Introduction [...]

Ideas Still Have Consequences: Richard Weaver on Nominalism & Relativism

By |2020-12-04T13:00:57-06:00December 6th, 2020|Categories: Philosophy, Relativism, Richard M. Weaver, Southern Agrarians|

Richard Weaver’s book “Ideas Have Consequences” presents the harmful effects of nominalism on Western civilization since it gained prominence in the Late Middle Ages. Many of our modern woes stem from the acceptance of nominalism and the rejection of philosophical realism back in the fourteenth century. By the time of his untimely death in [...]

The Democratic Impulse of the Scholars in Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil”

By |2020-11-25T11:25:50-06:00November 30th, 2020|Categories: Friedrich Nietzsche, Great Books, Philosophy, Science|

Among the critics of the Enlightenment faith in science, Friedrich Nietzsche stands out as among the most profound. In “Beyond Good and Evil,” Nietzsche argues that the enthronement of science has created a new class of elites known as the scholars, who seek to impose the assiduous, calculating, and “objective” spirit of science on [...]

Puddleglum, Jeremy Bentham, & the Grand Inquisitor

By |2020-11-28T06:58:11-06:00November 28th, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Dwight Longenecker, Freedom, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Happiness, Philosophy, Politics, Senior Contributors|

The aim and ambition of Jeremy Bentham was that everyone would be happy. But how is it possible for everyone to be happy? The Grand Inquisitor gives the answer: by yielding their freedom and submitting to their overlords. This is the dysfunctional and distorted psychology behind the entitlement culture and the welfare state. When [...]

Pantheism and Politics

By |2020-11-05T14:26:58-06:00November 9th, 2020|Categories: Government, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Philosophy, Politics, Religion|

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s insertion of pantheism into politics makes the state into the church and creates a coercive political religion in the service of messianic purposes—as seen during the French Revolution. Overcoming this pantheistic desire for ultimate harmony is an important step in the quest for political rationality. In 1749, a solitary man walked out [...]

Foucault & “Las Meninas”: On Postmodernism & Painting

By |2020-11-02T15:24:21-06:00November 6th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Philosophy|

Diego Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” has taken its rightful place as one of the most fascinating artworks to analyze in the whole of Western painting. Scholars describe “Las Meninas” as an embodiment of art itself within a painting: It is the philosophy of art depicted on canvas. Not everyone might be familiar with the original [...]

Death and Transfiguration

By |2020-10-05T12:00:21-05:00November 1st, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Death, Hope, Michael De Sapio, Philosophy, Senior Contributors|

Dealing with the topic of death, Dietrich von Hildebrand’s consoling book “Jaws of Death: Gate of Heaven” shines both in its “dark” and “light” halves, illuminating the eternal duality of human life and helping to reconcile its painful contradictions. Life is not a journey of diminishing returns, ending in darkness and the grave, but [...]

Making America Great Again: Orestes Brownson on National Greatness

By |2020-10-26T16:08:45-05:00October 26th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Catholicism, Government, Natural Law, Politics, Religion|

It’s time for Orestes Brownson to re-enter our contemporary political discourse, and on the campaign trail to remind us, first, that all just authority is from God, who instituted natural law, and also, that moral authority is not relative. I. The Brownson Revival In 1993 Peter J. Stanlis revisited Orestes Brownson’s political thought by [...]

Christian Platonism in Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy”

By |2020-10-24T15:24:21-05:00October 24th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Great Books, Philosophy, Plato, Wisdom|

As a robust Christian Platonist, Boethius saw a profound resonance between the truths of Platonic philosophy and Christian faith. The articulation of Platonic thought furnished an occasion for Boethius to tacitly meditate upon and be nourished by his own Christian faith, without having to draw explicit parallels in “The Consolation of Philosophy.” The Consolation [...]

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 [...]

On Nightmares, Crowds, and Getting It Wrong

By |2020-10-06T16:49:03-05:00October 6th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Music, Nature, Philosophy, St. Thomas Aquinas|

If the universe were a swarm, there would be no universe. That swarm, that self-caused changing unit, that Godless movable infinite thing would destroy the necessary condition of its own existence and persistence: the individuals that constitute it. Why, then, does modern man insist on not seeing this? Why does he choose rage over reality? [...]

From Highest Heaven Handed Down

By |2020-09-28T16:33:34-05:00September 28th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Natural Law, Philosophy, St. Thomas Aquinas|

Russell Hittinger’s “The First Grace” deals mightily with the crisis of our time—namely, the failure of those who make, enjoy, and judge the constitutionality of laws to appreciate the dire consequences of denying the place of natural-law considerations in the ordering of public life. The First Grace: Rediscovering the Natural Law in a Post-Christian [...]

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