Together but Disunited: On Intellectual Culture

Over at Quillette.com yesterday, the site's founder and editor-in-chief, Claire Lehmann, posted an article asking readers to "help build a third culture"--that is, a culture which does not hold humanities and science education in opposition, but which bridges the gap between the two, or somehow otherwise allows them to coexist in harmony.  Her inspiration was … Continue reading Together but Disunited: On Intellectual Culture

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God and God’s Ways

Last week, I received an email out of the blue from a complete stranger, asking me questions about God.  It was sent with an earnest curiosity, and so I took the time to answer.  Below is an edited version of the conversation, given some literary license and with his identity changed.   -- Dear Professor … Continue reading God and God’s Ways

Pride and the Ability to Change

...quia quod quis vehementer desiderat, facile credit. The other day, I saw retweeted into my Twitter timeline an old post on NYMag.com, claiming that with the help of a therapist, anyone can change his or her personality.  Ignoring from the eyeroll-inducing shilling for the psychiatric profession, the article made me think: how popular is the belief … Continue reading Pride and the Ability to Change

Sex, Power, and Instinct

Sexual harassment has been a regular in the news cycle for the past twenty-plus years--often but not always as a tool of political exposure.  Powerful men with covered-up but uncurbed desires have been a mainstay of U.S. politics and political news coverage since Anita Hill leveled unproven, but not disproven, accusations against Clarence Thomas in … Continue reading Sex, Power, and Instinct

A Short: What is Philosophy?

In yesterday morning's reads, I came across this piece by Charlie Huenemann, "Why philosophers should hang out at the humanists' parties" at Aeon Magazine, but delayed it until today.  It is quite bad, altogether misconstrues the nature of philosophical reasoning, and demonstrates that having a PhD in philosophy does not mean you know what "philosophy" … Continue reading A Short: What is Philosophy?

On the Art of Annotation, etc.

I often wonder, when reading, how much work the author put into writing the work.  I know that, in my own book-and-article-writing endeavors, what ends up on the page amounts to less than 1/10th of what I do elsewhere in the process (including all of the editing and revising, which is never less than 2/3rds … Continue reading On the Art of Annotation, etc.

Languages, Translation, and Philosophy

Oftentimes, I go on book-purchasing sprees.  Sometimes this is due to visiting used bookstores in great academic cities.  Others, its due to an influx of cash and dropped prices from my extensive book wishlist on Amazon.  But this week, I spent a painful amount of money (for a po' un[der]employed academic like myself, at least) … Continue reading Languages, Translation, and Philosophy

Worldviews, Atheist and Theist

I'll be perfectly honest: there are a good many atheists whom I like a great deal better than a good many theists, not just because they are more fun to be around, but because they are genuinely better human beings, in any number of ways.  This has very little if anything to do with their … Continue reading Worldviews, Atheist and Theist

Education in the Digital Age

Education, we continually hear, is in a crisis.  Not only is this cry overwrought, it is false: the word crisis comes from the Greek (krisis), where it was a medical term meaning the point in an illness where the patient will either recover or become irrevocably worse and inevitably die. Education--by which I mean specifically … Continue reading Education in the Digital Age

The Value of a Library

After about sixteen months, abandoned in boxes in a storage facility in Houston, most of my belongings were recently retrieved--the majority of which are books.  I had paired down my possessions to a minimum a few years ago, having moved into a furnished house, so I had virtually nothing in the way of furniture--the life … Continue reading The Value of a Library