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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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At its finest, the new conception of nature enabled people to appreciate, and wish to safeguard, the natural environment on which life depends. At its worst, this reverence for the natural world gave rise to a mindless sentimentality that regarded all human activity as harmful and exploitive...
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It is for the soul’s health that we engage in inquiry; right action is the indirect, one might almost say, the unintended, consequence of thinking things through. Indeed, the old understanding of liberal education is that its very liberality consists in its being pursued for its own...
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Although modernity contains other and contrasting elements, it may be permissible to call the new type of person simply "modern man." His demeanor is very different from that of premodern man. Far from discounting the opportunities of a worldly existence, this person entertains great expectations... Today’s...
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Edmund Burke understood that the individual’s own natural reasoning would never be as deep or profound as the wisdom of our ancestors, bequeathed to us through tradition and custom. He believed that looking inwards, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau advocated, would precipitate our demise...
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Moral imagination runs not incidentally but necessarily in tandem with a certain aspect of conservatism, what I think of as imaginative conservatism... The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (259 pages, Ivan R. Dee, 2006)
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The sorriest aspect of the twentieth century has been the rallying of the intellectuals to the arrogant banner of nationalism, which rejects universal and eternal truth for the sake of national and passing advantage... Thirty years ago,...
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The nexus between the Straussians and neoconservatives has been overstated for partisan ends, but it is still nonetheless there. Sociologically and culturally, the two movements are largely indistinguishable... The Truth About Leo Strauss by Catherine and Michael Zuckert (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
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The cause of modern American disunity can be found in today’s twisted notions of freedom... In his masterwork, The City of God, Saint Augustine offers a definition of a people that can shed some...
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To revive American constitutionalism would require not more people who talk about "justice," "the common good," and "the best regime," but people who are able to shoulder concrete responsibilities, so that the reconstruction of society could begin where it matters most, in the personal lives of the...
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What is it, in and about music, that gives one an experience so outside of oneself that one can see reality anew, as if newborn in a strange but wonderful world?... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Robert Reilly...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Robert C. Koons, as he explores the ways in which we may reform the higher education system. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher The “higher education...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join James Seaton as he discusses the importance of Irving Babbitt's imaginative conservatism. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher It is tempting to think of Irving...
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Pixar certainly has a winning formula. The movie studio seems to have found that little spot behind the collective ear that we like to have scratched. Its first 2015 release, Inside Out, follows the same inimitable story-telling recipe...

As elaborated thus far, natural law teaches that legitimate government is circumscribed by liberty in a dual sense: It derives from the consent of equally free individuals, and it aims at securing the natural rights which comprise...