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Ludwig Wittgenstein is the only non-fiction writer I know whose outlook on life is systematically—and rousingly—askew of mine. Still, we should consider what value his way of seeing and speaking holds... John Verdi, Fat Wednesday: Wittgenstein on Aspects (Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 2010)
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John Paul II's "Fides et Ratio" is an act of daring: not only an exhortation to professional philosophers to return to foundational rationality, but an invitation to all and sundry to realize their natural philosophical capability. I find this call absolutely remarkable, not only as a Magisterial...
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We live in a country in which liberty is both exercised and preserved by free action. Such action is by its very nature pre­ceded by thought, from which it follows that human be­ings, the young especially, ought to have a period of re­flective learning as a prelude...
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The "liberal" in "liberal arts" has traditionally and rightly been understood to refer to freedom in several ways. In a classical context the liberal arts rescue us from banal pursuits. In a religious context they deliver us from earthly bonds. And in a modern context they set...

We want to give our students a classroom in which inciting books are talked about not as mere literature nor as historical documents, but boldly as they meant themselves to be taken: as the Word of God, or the insight of the intellect, or the...
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When the ancient philosophers speak of the philosophical life, one thing is immediately clear: It is a life and not a profession of which they are speaking. For the life of philosophy seems to have one reason for being—the search for truth...
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Our tradition may be in dire need of resuscitation and recollection, and it seems quite possible that the Chinese may help us in our necessity... Sour Sweet by Timothy Mo (288 pages, Sphere Books, 1982; Aventura Paperback, 1985)
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Phantasia is the realm of the imagination, the realm into which nothingness first erupts, and the begin­ning of philosophy... I The Unending Story by Michael Ende is both literally and in several...
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Kant shows that the one necessary, non-contingent existence is God, a being that is one, simple, unchangeable, eternal, and a spirit. There is, then, necessarily a God, a being comprehending not all, but all the highest positive reality...

Here’s a cause close to my heart: public and semi-public speech. I mean occasions when we are addressed by our political leaders on grand occasions of concern to the whole republic, and times, like the present, when we...
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The ancient rhetoricians, who knew their business, taught that the way to begin a speech, the more so a breakfast talk, was with what they called a captatio benevolentiae, a “capturing of goodwill.” I’ll try that on you—I’ll...
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For the first time in nearly a decade I again have the great pleasure of teaching a freshman language tutorial. I am myself a believer in the "spirit" of a tutorial, because I am convinced that...
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Peter Kalkavage's The Logic of Desire presents an exemplary attitude for a reader to adopt toward a book. To use a fancy term, it embodies a “hermeneutic,” a principle of interpretation. The most...
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Parents and Relatives, Fellow Tutors and Mr. President, Board Members and, above all, Santa Fe Seniors and Graduate Institute students! Some of you will remember that radio-telephone distress signal of old: “Mayday, Mayday.” It had, alas, nothing...