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Aristotelian Pluralism and Diversity: The Conditions for Civic Education and the Common Good

Aristotelian Pluralism and Diversity: The Conditions for Civic Education and the Common Good

With the decline in social capital and the rise of the immigrant populace in the United States, there is renewed interest in civic education as a way to provide a...
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A Philosophy of Prudence and the Purpose of Higher Education Today

A Philosophy of Prudence and the Purpose of Higher Education Today

In the past decade there have emerged several books that have spoken about the crisis in American higher education. However, what this crisis is and how do institutions best address...
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Higher Education: A Modest Proposal for Reform

Higher Education: A Modest Proposal for Reform

The problem with reforms is that they almost always are thinly-veiled programs of revolutionary action. Sold as corrections of abuses, reforms generally aim to subvert existing institutions and replace them...
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Timelessness of Proust: Reflections on In Search of Lost Time

Timelessness of Proust: Reflections on In Search of Lost Time

Timelessness of Proust: Reflections on In Search of Lost Time. Charles R. Embry and Glenn Hughes, eds. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2019.   This volume offers a philosophical-spiritual...
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Raising Statesmen

Raising Statesmen

In a democracy, we get the politicians we deserve. Apparently we deserve many leaders, but no statesmen. We may be happy or unhappy about the policies a politician promotes, and...
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Unmasking the Administrative State: The Crisis of American Politics in the Twenty-First Century. John Marini and Ken Masugi, eds. New York: Encounter Books, 2019.
 
This volume of essays and lectures sets out John Marini’s case that the administrative state is the primary threat to America’s constitution.  The timing of the volume’s publication is convenient.  Attacking the administrative state is said to…

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John of Salisbury not only depicts the thorough and balanced measure of the education of the ideal scholar, but he also points to the deficits within our modern educational system. Like his antagonist Cornificius and his followers, our educational culture of today appears shallow, showy, and in many ways, one-dimensional in its thinking. Many students see their education as a…

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Here is the grand fact that Protestant theologians always overlook. They, in reality, always present nature and grace as two antagonistic powers, and suppose the presence of the one must be the physical destruction of the other. Luther and Calvin, weary of the good works, and shrinking from the efforts to acquire the personal virtues enjoined by Catholicity, began their…

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In 1915, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats wrote a scathing poetic attack on the scholars of his day called, fittingly enough, “The Scholars.” Fourteen years later, in 1929, he revised the poem substantially; I quote from and discuss the earlier, and more well-known, version[1]:
Bald heads forgetful of their sins,
Old, learned, respectable bald heads
Edit and annotate the lines
That young men, tossing…

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There is a major revolution occurring in our society, and it has been occurring for some time. No, I am not talking about the current state of political struggle. I am talking about the decline and fall of the humanities. The collapse of the humanities is not something that readers here are not unfamiliar with. If the humanities are vital…

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In a letter of Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) addressed to the poet Alexander Pope (1688–1744), dated September 29, 1725, Swift spoke of returning to the grand monde of Dublin to deal with various curates and vicars, and to “correct all corruptions crept in relating to the weights of bread and butter throughout those dominions where I govern.” As Dean of St. Patrick’s…

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On October 28, 1726, the book known today as Gulliver’s Travels was published as Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. A mock work of travel literature, Jonathan Swift’s famous novel is a far deeper work than one of just Juvenalian and Horatian satire. It is an indictment against the prevailing spirit of Enlightenment philosophy and utopianism, an esoteric defense…

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The legend of the Lady of Shalott, which is of such recurring interest and fascination to Victorian writers and painters, would seem therefore to be an instance of the type of myth that must be an attempt to symbolize something essential in human experience, a truth in the profoundest sense because, as Voegelin says, “A myth can never be ‘untrue’…

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Flattering the Demos: Fiction and Democratic Education. Marlene K. Sokolon and Travis D. Smith, eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
 
That America’s institutions of higher education are in crisis is widely accepted. What should be blamed and what the remedy should be is widely debated. Marlene K. Sokolon and Travis D. Smith's Flattering the Demos: Fiction and Democratic Education is a collection…

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“That’s just your opinion.” My students and my children have given vent to this phrase countless times during dinner table discussions and philosophical conversations, often in response to some fundamental and important matter. Hearing the word “opinion” used in this way takes me back to my own school days, before learning the real meaning of the word “opinion” in the…

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