• Sir Roger Scruton: Britain's Culture Warrior
    In Memoriam
    March 1, 2020

    Sir Roger Scruton: Britain's Culture Warrior

    I first heard Roger Scruton speak at the 1993 regional Philadelphia Society meeting in Dearborn, Michigan, organized to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind. Scruton spoke on the topic of “The Conservative Mind...
    Read More
  • Historical Revisionism on the Right
    Society & Culture
    March 1, 2020

    Historical Revisionism on the Right

    Nietzsche writes in the concluding section of Twilight of the Idols, “One does not learn from the Greeks—their way is too alien, and also too fluid, to have an imperative effect, a ‘classical’ effect.” The divide between Greek antiquity and...
    Read More
  • Remembering Richard Weaver
    Remembering the Right
    February 30, 2020

    Remembering Richard Weaver

    Native Southerner and traditionalist conservative, Richard Weaver (1910-1963) was a unique figure in the rise of the modern American right. Weaver, a longtime professor at the University of Chicago, was an historian, literary critic, and...
    Read More
  • The Unbearable Burden of Being
    Views
    January 1, 2020

    The Unbearable Burden of Being

    What has brought upon us the madness of the “transgender,” with all its sad denial of the beauty and particularity of male and female? To see the cause, we must diagnose the malady. It is boredom: an irritable impatience with the things that...
    Read More
  • Remembering Robert Nisbet
    Remembering the Right
    January 1, 2020

    Remembering Robert Nisbet

    It is hard to imagine anyone today having a career like Robert Nisbet’s: professor at Berkeley, Arizona, and Columbia; dean and vice-chancellor at the University of California, Riverside; author of widely used sociology textbooks; and co-founder,...
    Read More
  • Suspicious Minds
    American Proscenium
    June 5, 2014

    Suspicious Minds

    Will Russian philosophy gain a foothold in Russia? It already has, laments David Brooks in a New York Times op-ed (“Putin Can’t Stop,” March 3).
    Read More
  • The World Goes Its Way
    April 3, 2014

    The World Goes Its Way

    A French writer argues that “humanity” has become the accepted “version of the universal” in contemporary Western thought, functioning as the “action” of modern democratic polity.
    Read More
  • The Pathology of Postmodernity
    January 9, 2014

    The Pathology of Postmodernity

    According to the Viennese doctor, the fundamental problem, or “discontent,” of a civilization is the unrealistic demands it makes of the id, in particular Christian society’s command to love others as we love ourselves.
    Read More
  • Plato and the Spirit of Modernity
    Views
    May 1, 2013

    Plato and the Spirit of Modernity

    In C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle the world of Narnia begins to dissolve and disappear. The Pevensie children are confused and frightened, but Professor Kirke, now Lord Digory, reassures them that the Narnia and the England they had known...
    Read More
  • Up From Objectivism
    Vital Signs
    August 2, 2012

    Up From Objectivism

    It was sort of like being caught in a raging stream, and swimming hard against the current, inch by inch, to reach safety. The time was many years ago, when, as a college freshman, I fell into the currents of liberalism. And they were powerful.
    Read More
  • Proudhon, Beauty and Lego
    Views
    January 1, 2011

    Proudhon, Beauty and Lego

    Property may be theft, but it is less theft than a great many other things—clouds, birdsong, or a woman’s beauty, to say nothing of taxation without representation, armed robbery, or extortion with menaces
    Read More
  • In Defense of Private Property
    Views
    January 1, 2011

    In Defense of Private Property

    For centuries, the propensity to personal ownership has been considered one of the most elementary and natural features of human nature. Criticism of private property is nothing recent, either, but has turned out to be extremely commonplace in...
    Read More
  • Caring in Colorado (and Everywhere)
    September 2, 2010

    Caring in Colorado (and Everywhere)

    Not long ago I attended a dinner hosted by a Catholic laymen’s organization in the social hall of a church on Colorado’s Front Range. The meal was followed by after-dinner speeches and concluding remarks by an official representing the...
    Read More
  • Looking Backwards
    Perspective
    August 1, 2010

    Looking Backwards

    “Whose picture is this, Daddy?” The little blond girl is 11 years old, and, as she flips through the iScraps, her smooth round face shows the first twinge of the questioning mind that will disturb the complacency on which all future happiness...
    Read More
  • Where the Demons Dwell: The Antichrist Right
    Views
    August 1, 2010

    Where the Demons Dwell: The Antichrist Right

    Those blissfully ignorant of right-wing soap opera will have never noticed the Antichrist Right, a loose coalition of writers who regard the Church as the worst thing that ever happened to Western civilization.
    Read More
  • Authentic Communities
    Views
    August 1, 2010

    Authentic Communities

    Deep in the heart of man there is a need imprinted by nature that may very well be his basic difference from all other animals: Being a thinking one—i.e., an animal capable of self-awareness—man needs to be something meaningful in his own...
    Read More
  • The Demise of Human Understanding
    Vital Signs
    July 1, 2010

    The Demise of Human Understanding

    Who in modern Western society has not heard of that category of citizens honorably known as intellectuals? They profess to be the thinking part of the nation, the people whose special calling is to ponder public or private matters.
    Read More
  • Cicero's Legacy
    Reviews
    February 1, 2010

    Cicero's Legacy

    Once a believer in the blessings of modernity and classical liberalism, Dutch philosopher Andreas Kinneging now considers himself a “convert” to traditional thinking.
    Read More
  • David Hume: Historian
    Views
    September 1, 2008

    David Hume: Historian

    Intellectual historians commonly group Voltaire, Edward Gibbon, William Robertson, and David Hume as the four greatest 18th-century historians. If limited to only one of these authors, we would do well to begin with Hume.
    Read More
  • Art in the Loo
    Column
    July 2, 2008

    Art in the Loo

    Christie’s, the auction house, took a full-page ad in the New York Times to publicize the record sale of a painting by a living artist, Lucian Freud, to the tune of $33.6 million. Thirty-three million greenbacks for a portrait of a...
    Read More
  • Don’t Blame Bryan
    Reactionary Radicals
    October 1, 2006

    Don’t Blame Bryan

    In his recent biography of William Jennings Bryan, A Godly Hero, Michael Kazin joins a long line of historians in making the claim that Bryan (1860-1925) was an ideological precursor of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    Read More
  • The Beauty of Holiness, the Holiness of Beauty
    Perspective
    December 1, 2005

    The Beauty of Holiness, the Holiness of Beauty

    The psalmists never tired of praising the beauty and majesty of the Lord's house. Solomon was so eager to build a fitting temple that he traded a good part of Galilee to Hiram of Tyre in exchange for building materials, and the description of the...
    Read More
  • Conservatism as Medicine
    Views
    December 1, 2005

    Conservatism as Medicine

    What are the basic tenets of modernity? What is the mind and temper of modern man? I would feel rather foolish to try to reply in a few paragraphs if I did not think that the spirit of modernity boils down eventually to only one idea that...
    Read More
  • The Loving Look
    Views
    December 1, 2005

    The Loving Look

    One warm, late-summer afternoon in Eastern North Carolina, a few hundred primary-school children poured out of their classrooms and waited for their buses to take them far and wide around the county.
    Read More
  • A Suppressed Embarrassment
    Column
    October 1, 2005

    A Suppressed Embarrassment

    A book that has failed to go anywhere internationally, contrary to the author’s expectation, is a recent study by a Chilean Jewish academic who teaches philosophy at the University of Berlin, Victor Farías.
    Read More
  • At Home in the Cosmos
    Views
    December 1, 2004

    At Home in the Cosmos

    Nelson Head, a boy in a story by Flannery O’Connor, is reared in the rural South, with little sign of education and in obvious isolation. Yet the boy is arrogant to the point of impudence, because he was born in the city.
    Read More
  • A Northern Light
    Correspondence
    August 1, 2003

    A Northern Light

    Living in Italy, as I have done for some years, may result in an incremental loss of the vivid sensation, in my view all but indispensable in a writer, that the world as a whole is a barbarous place.
    Read More
  • Augustin Cochin and the Revolutionary Process
    Views
    July 2, 2003

    Augustin Cochin and the Revolutionary Process

    Augustin Cochin, born in 1876, died prematurely—as did so many other French intellectuals of his generation—killed at the front in 1916.
    Read More
  • Boethius and Lady Philosophy
    Views
    December 1, 2002

    Boethius and Lady Philosophy

    The political story that shaped Boethius’ life began in 324, when Constantine’s plan to move the capital of the empire from Rome to the city of Byzantium, on the eastern shore of the Sea of Marmora, matured.
    Read More
  • Distrusting John Locke
    Round Table Discussion
    January 1, 2001

    Distrusting John Locke

    John Locke has been interpreted in various ways that appeal I to conservatives—e.g., as a Christian, albeit a materialist and anti-Trinitarian, or as a qualified defender of private property— but there is a general drift to his thought that...
    Read More
  • The Anti-Philosophy of Richard Rorty
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 2000

    The Anti-Philosophy of Richard Rorty

    On the bookstore magazine rack were several copies of Dissent. The cover piqued my interest because it advertised an article by Richard Rorty, an academic philosopher and a professor of mine at Princeton in 1977.
    Read More
  • Mere Children
    Vital Signs
    March 1, 1999

    Mere Children

    There is a profound difference between the ancient and medieval view of children and the modern cult of the child. The Rousseauean idolatry of nature and worship of savages, popularized through a certain brand of sentimental poetry, helped to...
    Read More
  • Thomas Molnar and Late Modern Decadence
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1997

    Thomas Molnar and Late Modern Decadence

    Thomas Molnar has published books in English, French, and Hungarian, while seeing some of his writings, mostly those dealing with the "mal moderne," translated into German, Spanish, and Italian.
    Read More
  • Freudianism and Its Discontents
    Reviews
    January 1, 1993

    Freudianism and Its Discontents

    Freudian Fraud has an intriguing but difficult-to-prove thesis, namely that Freudian thought radically altered American society for the worse. An "audit of Freud's American account," says Torrey, shows more debits than credits.
    Read More
  • Philosophy in an Old Key
    Reviews
    January 1, 1992

    Philosophy in an Old Key

    In the ancient world no one could talk or read too much about philosophy. Wealthy Athenian nobles, Plato and Xenophon, for instance—even Roman emperors, like Marcus Aurelius—lived for the hours they could devote to philosophical discourse.
    Read More
  • The Christian Question
    Reviews
    March 1, 1990

    The Christian Question

    David Novak, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at the University of Virginia, sets out to argue the case for what is called Jewish-Christian "dialogue."
    Read More
  • A Meditation on a Meditation
    Reviews
    March 1, 1990

    A Meditation on a Meditation

    Why has the South had such a flowering of letters in the interval between World War I and the Korean War? Flannery O'Connor responded to that question by quoting the answer Walker Percy gave when he received the National Book Award for The...
    Read More
  • The Consolations of Philosophy
    Reviews
    March 1, 1990

    The Consolations of Philosophy

    Philosophy in the 20th century has shared the fate of other high arts whose audiences are increasingly limit ed to an inner circle of adepts. This is partly the fault of a culture that aims at mass production and mass communication, but a good...
    Read More
  • The Spiritual Meaning of Philosophy
    Views
    September 1, 1989

    The Spiritual Meaning of Philosophy

    In 525 A.D. the Lady Philosophy reminded Boethius, in his death-cell, that true philosophers must think body, rank, and estate of less importance than their understanding of what was truly their own.
    Read More
  • Defining Life
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1989

    Defining Life

    The morality of abortion is entirely a matter of definition: is the fetus a person or not? The definition—whether derived from millennia of religious tradition or from individual analysis and subjective choice—both generates and justifies the...
    Read More
  • Reinterpreting Philosophy
    Views
    April 1, 1988

    Reinterpreting Philosophy

    To paraphrase a well-known saying, We are all revisionists now! Yet somehow even our revisionists are timid—they wait for favorable winds before they "revise" history, economics, philosophy, and science, then write books about "how it really...
    Read More
  • Reenchanting the World
    Reviews
    April 1, 1987

    Reenchanting the World

    Kant has few readers outside of university philosophy departments, but his influence obviously extends to Los Angeles. Part of Kant's legacy to the modern world is the iron curtain that seals off all reality into two compartments: that which can...
    Read More
  • What Is the Good?
    Reviews
    March 1, 1987

    What Is the Good?

    These two unusually interesting collections of studies are in sharp contrast to the contemporary Anglo-Saxon style of academic scholarship. Both authors take seriously the pertinence of classical thought to contemporary discussions of the good.
    Read More
  • Brown Shirts in the Ivory Tower
    Correspondence
    February 1, 1987

    Brown Shirts in the Ivory Tower

    The orthodoxy of Reason is proclaimed, archconservative turned archliberal Garry Wills once wrote, and it will have its inquisitors.
    Read More
  • Olaf Stapledon: Philosopher and Fabulist
    Views
    December 1, 1986

    Olaf Stapledon: Philosopher and Fabulist

    The most widely known of Merseyside philosophers was never a full-time academic. But he gave classes for the Workers Educational Association from 1912, extra-mural lectures on philosophy from the 20's, gained his Ph.D. in Liverpool in 1925, and...
    Read More
  • Natural Philosophy
    Reviews
    March 1, 1986

    Natural Philosophy

    At last there is a scientific work that justifies the term natural philosophy. In every discipline there should eventually come a time when it is possible to repeat the words of a great historic occasion in America: the man and the hour are met.
    Read More
  • Smashing "Ugly Monuments"
    Reviews
    October 1, 1985

    Smashing "Ugly Monuments"

    Adler begins his latest book with Aristotle's admonition: "The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold." Adler concludes with a recommendation: "The recovery of basic truths, long hidden from view, would...
    Read More
  • Commendables
    Reviews
    June 1, 1985

    Commendables

    Thinking Clearly About War, Clear-Eyed Southerner, From the Wilderness to the White House, Satire In and Out of Season.
    Read More
  • In Focus
    Reviews
    June 1, 1985

    In Focus

    Light From the East, Moll and Mouse
    Read More
  • Waste of Money
    Reviews
    June 1, 1985

    Waste of Money

    Not a Prayer, Snake in the Garden
    Read More
  • Thunder on the Right
    Typefaces
    June 1, 1985

    Thunder on the Right

    Intellectuals as a class support their own interests, whether they are kissing the ground a prince walks on or fawning on a Marxist dean or editor.
    Read More
  • Stranded by the Time Machine
    Imported
    June 1, 1985

    Stranded by the Time Machine

    The publication of these three books is likely only to revive and alter our memory of him — not to change our opinion of his limited value.
    Read More
  • Making a Morass of Metaphysics
    Opinions & Views
    January 1, 1985

    Making a Morass of Metaphysics

    As a young man, Carlyle deeply sensed the need for some "system of metaphysics, not for talk, but for adoption and belief." But after a study of Gibbon, D'Alembert, Hume, and Diderot convinced him that he could no longer accept the Presbyterian...
    Read More
  • Comment
    Comment
    November 1, 1984

    Comment

    Read More
  • Yeats: A Second Coming
    Views
    December 1, 1984

    Yeats: A Second Coming

    It's hard to deal with a writer of this magnitude in a review — perhaps one can only say that this fine edition reminds us now of how accessible Yeats is.
    Read More
  • Reality by the Tail
    Views
    December 1, 1984

    Reality by the Tail

    Under the guise of serious literary treatment of the social-political problems of her country, she indulges her appetite for faddish philosophical- aesthetic playfulness. It is not a successful mix.
    Read More
  • Confluences
    Editorials
    December 1, 1984

    Confluences

    From Dewey to Huey, Pathetic Comedy
    Read More
  • Commendables
    Reviews
    December 1, 1984

    Commendables

    A Dangerous Classic, Ideological Body Count, Fighting the Media Moguls, Of Puerile Pedagogy
    Read More
  • Comment
    Comment
    February 1, 1984

    Comment

    If we want a conservative culture, we shall have to think in deeper, braver, broader terms about how to bring such a culture to life.
    Read More
  • Liberal Worship and Conservative Judgment
    Views
    September 1, 1984

    Liberal Worship and Conservative Judgment

    While Ms. Oates leads the nauseous public chorus of liberal critics hailing narcissistic artists as gods, Dr. Lynn stands as a courageous blasphemer who stills the hosannas with a confident and resounding verdict: “This is nonsense, and there’s...
    Read More
  • Liberal Worship and Conservative Judgment
    Views
    February 1, 1984

    Liberal Worship and Conservative Judgment

    While Ms. Oates leads the nauseous public chorus of liberal critics hailing narcissistic artists as gods, Dr. Lynn stands as a courageous blasphemer who stills the hosannas with a confident and resounding verdict: “This is nonsense, and there’s...
    Read More
  • Open—Or Empty?
    Imported
    December 1, 1983

    Open—Or Empty?

    The work of Eric Voegelin and much in the work of Hannah Arendt provide an effective positive rallying point for anti-positivists.
    Read More
Results: 62 Articles found.
close (X)