Speech and Silence

By |2019-07-10T23:20:56-05:00February 14th, 2019|Categories: George Stanciu, Philosophy, Reason, Science, Senior Contributors|

Through language, humans bring out the full potentiality hidden in matter, advance the building of bird nests and beaver dams to architecture and engineering, the gathering of nuts to farming, squawks and barks to music, and limited animal perception to the intellectual jewels of modern Western culture… In the history of science, the only [...]

Storytelling and Modernity

By |2019-07-16T20:43:16-05:00January 2nd, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, Civilization, Community, Culture, George Stanciu, History, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Modernity, Myth, Senior Contributors, Social Order|

The storytelling of a tribe gives each member a common remote past, communal heroes to emulate, shared social rules, and an answer to “Who am I?”  Editor’s Note: This essay is part of a series dedicated to Senior Contributor Dr. Eva Brann of St. John’s College, Annapolis, in this, the year of her 90th [...]

The Best Possible World and Concrete Living

By |2020-03-02T17:18:03-06:00December 11th, 2018|Categories: Adam Smith, Capitalism, Free Markets, George Stanciu, Politics|

I found Matthew Summers’ critique of my essay “Capitalism and the Gospel of Love” illuminating in the sense that two serious thinkers can look at the same phenomenon from completely different viewpoints. He seeks to show that capitalism is the best economic system; given capitalism, I seek to understand how to live best; he focuses [...]

“The End of the Cold War”

By |2019-07-10T23:21:27-05:00November 20th, 2018|Categories: Cold War, Culture, Fiction, George Stanciu, Science|

“Why can’t we eat normal food?” Frank moved the fried tempeh, steamed broccoli, and brown rice around on his plate with his dinner fork, much like the eight-year-old boy he was forty years ago. His wife’s jaw stiffened, and she said, “This is normal food.” “Yeah, if we lived in Jakarta or Calcutta.” Alice refused [...]

Death and Blind Hopes

By |2019-10-16T13:59:45-05:00October 23rd, 2018|Categories: Death, George Stanciu, Hope, Mathematics, Theology|

Because of intense fear, we refuse to acknowledge that nothing in this world is permanent, that everything perishes, that soon we will be no more. Lodged within every human heart is the blind hope that death comes to others, not to us... Prometheus was the one Olympian god to rebel against Zeus’ plan to wipe [...]

A Death in New Mexico: The Old Healer

By |2019-07-10T23:21:35-05:00September 28th, 2018|Categories: Death, George Stanciu, Religion, Science, Tradition, Tragedy|

When I moved to Santa Fe, the City Different was a small, sleepy Western town with real stores around the Plaza, not upscale tourist traps that appeared after marketers invented the Santa Fe style. One day, I wandered into a small shop on Galisteo Street, not far from the Plaza. A forty-watt bulb dimly lighted [...]

The Best Moments of Human Life

By |2019-07-10T23:21:36-05:00September 23rd, 2018|Categories: Culture, Family, George Stanciu, Philosophy, Time, Timeless Essays|

We find joy when we lose the self in activity, in those good things that are outside ourselves: making art, doing science, playing sports, educating the young, or caring for the old and disabled. Joy is nature’s way of telling us that we are fulfilling our nature… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series [...]

Capitalism and the Gospel of Love

By |2019-07-10T23:21:40-05:00August 14th, 2018|Categories: Adam Smith, American Republic, Capitalism, Economics, Free Markets, George Stanciu, Love, Modernity|

In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith was absolutely right: The widespread division of labor would cause the interior life to die; an unsurprising result, for under capitalism, the human person became a commodity, a resource, a thing used to further profits… My parents, Romanian gypsies, born in a Transylvanian village and raised in [...]

The Right Idea: How West & East Seek the True, Good, & Beautiful

By |2019-07-10T23:21:43-05:00July 6th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Beauty, Ethics, George Stanciu, Intelligence, St. Thomas Aquinas, Truth|

Except for mystics, the goal of Western philosophers and theologians has been to find the right ideas, whereas Eastern thinkers seek the direct grasping of the first principles and the inner essences of natural things. I wish to suggest that the Western and Eastern paths to the true, the good, and the beautiful can be [...]

Prisoners to Our Screens: The Modern Ideology of Images

By |2019-07-10T23:21:48-05:00June 10th, 2018|Categories: George Stanciu, Philosophy, Science, St. John's College, Technology, Truth|

Tradition, philosophy, and religion long ago succumbed to science as the sole arbiter of truth, but now science too has been dethroned. What rules today is a different form of ideology—ideas and images replace concrete experience. Can we escape the Screen with its hollow images and counterfeit emotions and experience the human way of life?… [...]

The Death of God and the New Stories

By |2019-07-10T23:21:51-05:00May 20th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Death, Existence of God, George Stanciu, Great Books, Religion, Science, St. John's College|

The narratives of science and Christianity are obviously not novels, nor works of fiction, for both claim to tell the true story of humankind—where we came from, what we are, and where we are going. To determine if either of these narratives is true, we must assess the plot… In 1882, Nietzsche’s madman ran [...]

The Second Fall: Man’s Divorce of Faith From Science

By |2019-10-24T11:31:56-05:00April 16th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Faith, George Stanciu, History, Philosophy, Reason, Science, St. John's College, Truth|

Over the course of several hundred years, Americans, as well as Europeans, freed themselves from the past, transformed nature into a commodity, centralized political power, and instituted bureaucracies, all with the aim of making themselves happy in this world… Unlike Eve eating fruit from the forbidden tree, the beginning of the Second Fall can [...]

Does Love Always Lead to Suffering?

By |2019-07-10T23:22:04-05:00March 21st, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Christianity, Ethics, George Stanciu, Homer, Love, Plato, Religion, St. Augustine|

Much of suffering is an impenetrable mystery. But to a limited degree, we are able to understand suffering if we can come to understand what love is… Pope John Paul II, in Salvifici Doloris, writes, “Sacred Scripture is a great book about suffering.”[1] He then quotes the Old Testament to illustrate the spectrum of human suffering: [...]

The Emotions: A Primer

By |2019-07-10T23:22:11-05:00February 19th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Featured, George Stanciu, Great Books, Love, St. Augustine, St. John's College, St. Thomas Aquinas|

Although the potential range of emotional experience is essentially the same in all human beings, each culture exhibits its own patterns, inculcating certain feelings while discouraging others, promoting either expression or restraint, and defining variously the place of the emotions in everyday life… Americans believe that every person’s interior life is unique; consequently, an [...]