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Peter A. Lawler

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 

Rather gruff and rumpled-looking, Peter Lawler was absolutely and always his own man. Not from an elite or Ivy League background, Peter nevertheless could have, and often did, run complete circles around his intellectual opponents, many of whom thought themselves superior. An American original and an anti-individualist individual,...
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Modern higher education tacitly accepts that any values pertaining to the intangible aspects of our experience, such as the humble appreciation of beauty or a passion for justice, are not real on account of being non-quantifiable; Socratic ignorance or wonder at life’s mysteries are lost, as are...

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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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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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...