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Peter Lawler

Peter Lawler
Peter Augustine Lawler (1951-2017) was a Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative. He served as Dana Professor of Political Science at Berry College in Georgia. He was the editor of the quarterly journal Perspectives in Political Science and authored Postmodernism Rightly Understood: The Return to Realism in American Thought, Aliens in America: The Strange Truth about Our Souls, Modern and American Dignity: Who We Are as Persons, and What That Means for Our Future, and American Heresies and Higher Education.

We display our dignity by imposing our will on nature to create a world where we can live as dignified beings—or not as miserably self-conscious and utterly precarious accidents... As we remember our friend Peter Augustine Lawler (1951–2017), we are proud to publish this selection from his insightful book 

Our Puritans were the most serious of philanthropists. They became pilgrims not in the service of some get-rich-quick scheme, but to make an idea real. They developed unprecedented political institutions grounded in heartfelt democratic civic duty, and they provided for the education of everyone as creatures not...

The instinctive conservative response is to reject the idea of the living constitution for various and conflicting reasons. One such reason is the conservative recognition that even a free country depends on tradition. Federalist 49...

The author of the best book ever written on America, and the best book ever written on democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville, claimed to see almost no higher education in America. I think Tocqueville exaggerated a bit in...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Peter Augustine Lawler as he reflects on how Socrates models both rightly-ordered eros and logos, in contrast to the Stoics and Sophists. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher
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There's a distinguished political scientist—Jacqueline Stevens—who agrees with me that the National Science Foundation (NSF) ought to cut the funding for political science. The Republicans in Congress think that these “scientists” are covertly pushing an ideological agenda...
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Here is what I learned from the article* about Amazon in the New York Times: Amazon is the place where your performance is constantly monitored with the latest metrics and you better not have a baby...
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America’s two most astute social commentators, the political philosopher Harvey Mansfield and the novelist Tom Wolfe, have weighed in on the debate over the neo-Darwinian view of evolution. They agree that the real controversy in our country...
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One difference between postmodern conservatives and other contributors to First Thoughts has to do with being influenced by Leo Strauss. Each pomoncon can speak for himself (or herself). But I would say that we all regard that influence...
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So here’s* my contribution to a symposium on “originalism” as the mode of interpreting the Constitution that facilitates the maximization of the libertarian value of “negative liberty.” Everyone else in the symposium operates on a higher pay grade...
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Silicon Valley Miya Tokumitsu writes* with incisive elegance about our altogether elitist and self-indulgent view that our experts have these days about the relationship between love and work. That view,...
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Vinod Khosia has managed* to say a lot in a few words about the consequences of “the next technology revolution.” Let me just list some points for discussion: 1. That revolution comes when it’s finally...
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Thanks so much to Carl for his able account—complete with astutely copious quoting—of Yuval Levin's essay in Modern Age.* Modern Age, of course, was founded by Russell Kirk and has remained infused with “traditionalist” conservatism, which is often contrasted...
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Alan Jacobs patiently explains why even the most scrupulous of scholars can’t understand the first thing about Flannery O’Connor’s stories without at least a good deal of biblical literacy.* Well, a real poet or a person with...