Paul Elmer More (December 12, 1864 – March 9, 1937) was an academic, a journalist, an author and a Christian apologist. He, along with Irving Babbitt, stood as a leader of the “New Humanist” movement. He had a great skepticism of Christianity most of his life but accepted Christian truth in his later years. Some of his books included Platonism (1917), The Religion of Plato (1921) and The Christ of the New Testament (1924).

Paul Elmer More’s Nietzsche

By |2020-01-22T11:15:07-06:00January 24th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Friedrich Nietzsche, Paul Elmer More, Philosophy, Senior Contributors|

Paul Elmer More offered one of the single best critiques of Friedrich Nietzsche, delving deeply into the essence of his thought, in both attraction and repulsion, finding that it is in the attempt to reconcile the love and apprehension about Nietzsche that best allows one to understand him. “Who has ever been concerned for me [...]

Humanism as Realism

By |2020-01-17T15:33:35-06:00January 17th, 2020|Categories: Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Irving Babbitt, Modernity, Paul Elmer More, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Religion|

We live in a world completely mastered and permeated by economic ideals, yet expecting better government within societies brought up on humanitarian thinking strikes us as yet another fantasy. Much has changed since the solutions posited by humanist thinkers of the last century, so what can we do in this world? What can we bet [...]

Lewis, Letters, and Love

By |2021-04-23T12:29:21-05:00September 5th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Love, Paul Elmer More, T.S. Eliot|

Real, actual letters are a gift, an insight into our best and our worst selves. Unlike the present world of the ephemeral email and hatchet posts on social media, letters of the pre-internet era could be gorgeous works of art. In them, the writer shares just a bit of his soul, preserving it for time, [...]

Irving Babbitt’s Higher Will

By |2021-04-27T21:24:14-05:00September 18th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Featured, Irving Babbitt, Paul Elmer More, Religion, T.S. Eliot|

Irving Babbitt believed that man defined himself not by his rights, but by his duties, and particularly how willing he was to restrain his darker impulses and sacrifice himself for another… Famously, when Paul Elmer More and Irving Babbitt were debating one another while on a walk, the former, exasperated, asked: “Good God, man. Are [...]

Paul Elmer More: The Virgin and the Dynamo

By |2019-04-07T10:51:10-05:00August 16th, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Paul Elmer More, Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind|

Long ago, The Nation had a conservative editor. Paul Elmer More edited the already venerable magazine for five years just before the First World War. On joining The Nation, More was already an entrenched conservative; indeed, he preferred the term “reactionary.” While at the magazine, he wrote 600 articles. At his departure, he was well [...]

Obedience to What is Noble

By |2016-11-26T09:52:17-06:00March 12th, 2012|Categories: Paul Elmer More, Quotation|

Paul Elmer More For, when everything is said, there could be no civilized society were it not that deep in our hearts, beneath all the turbulences of greed and vanity, abides the instinct of obedience to what is noble and of good repute. It awaits only the clear call from above–Aristocracy and Justice [...]

Teenage Russell Kirk: His First Academic Article

By |2015-05-19T23:13:36-05:00August 31st, 2011|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Classics, Conservatism, Heroism, Irving Babbitt, Paul Elmer More, Russell Kirk|

Below are quotes from Russell Kirk’s first published academic article, “Tragedy and the Moderns.” The article appeared in January 1940, when Kirk was just beginning his second semester of his senior year in college. He wrote it, however, during either his freshman or sophomore year at Michigan State, under and with the encouragement of his [...]

Paul Elmer More on Woodrow Wilson

By |2016-11-26T09:52:24-06:00August 10th, 2011|Categories: Conservatism, Paul Elmer More, Quotation, Woodrow Wilson|

Paul Elmer More “I have disliked various politicians, Roosevelt for instance; but I have never felt towards any other man, not even Bryan, as I do towards Wilson. He has certain qualities which appeal to the intelligence of men otherwise clear-sighted and straightforward, and as a consequence he seems to have corrupted the [...]

Paul Elmer More: The Failure of Logic

By |2016-11-26T09:52:25-06:00June 22nd, 2011|Categories: Paul Elmer More, Quotation|

What saved me from moral and emotional paralysis in this pseudo-philosophy was, I think, a deep-seated interest in humanity. I could not reason myself into believing that men are only machines; I could not smother in logic the sense of mystery that broods upon the world, not find any place in the network of blind [...]

The Christian Humanism of Paul Elmer More: From Plato to Chalcedon

By |2017-06-27T12:43:40-05:00March 8th, 2011|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Paul Elmer More, Religion|

Paul Elmer More’s final statement—a religious one—as offered in his book, Pages from an Oxford Diary, is one of the great short works of the last century. If offers a profound statement of faith from a man who spent most of his life being skeptical regarding Christianity. Though he consented to Christian truth later in [...]

Punishment of the Gods: Paul Elmer More vs. Woodrow Wilson

By |2017-06-27T11:31:15-05:00March 4th, 2011|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Paul Elmer More|

As the great Princeton classicist and Nation editor Paul Elmer More viewed it, the Great War (1914-1918) had descended upon the world as a punishment by the gods. Nineteenth-century liberal man had forgotten how utterly flawed the human soul could be, and he had attempted to hide or destroy the temples and the so-called “superstition.” [...]

Go to Top