Category Archives: Philosophy

Tributes and Excerpts

Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion, offers his tribute to the late Sir Roger Scruton, British author, scholar and consummate gentleman:  “I delighted in witnessing his polemical nimbleness—it could be devastating—but unlike many able debaters there was an essential gentleness … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, Philosophy, Roger Scruton, Theodore Dalrymple

A Prophet Against Anonymous Dictatorship

“If you do not watch out, what the dictators wanted to achieve in a few years will materialize in fifty or a hundred; the result will be the same: the State will have conquered all, absorbed all; you will have … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Religion

Molnar on Bernanos

“If such a thing could be at all stated of a Christian… Bernanos could be called an ‘alienated man,’ somewhat in the sense in which Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Kafka were alienated. In reality, such a man is the least alienated … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics

Political Convenience and Moral Right

In a Christmas letter to his future biographer, Samuel Johnson wrote: “This is the time of year in which all express their good wishes to their friends, and I send mine to you and your family. May your lives be … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Samuel Johnson

A Philosophical Postscript

I have not read A. C. Grayling’s new History of Philosophy (Penguin), but Nicholas Stang provides an interesting summary of the work and of the challenges facing similar intellectual pursuits. Stang points out that philosophy is different from technical or … Continue reading

Posted in Etienne Gilson, Philosophy

When Regret is a Good Thing

Williams Shatner, best remembered for his Captain Kirk role in Star Trek, argues that “Regret is the worst human emotion. If you took another road, you might have fallen off a cliff. I’m content.” This is sound thinking on a … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Religion

Rebels, Greeks and Pedants

I am venturing into Albert Camus’ The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt with a mixture of curiosity and caution. I never quite know where Camus is going, and his thoughts are expressed in prose that is both dense … Continue reading

Posted in Existentialism, History, Philosophy, Politics, Theodore Dalrymple

Myson the Misanthrope, And Other Sages

Diogenes Laertius recounts that one day Myson of Chenae (fl. 6th c. B.C.), one of the early Greek philosophers, “was seen laughing to himself in a lonely spot; and when someone suddenly appeared and asked him why he laughed when … Continue reading

Posted in History, Philosophy

Studying Nature with Thales

While admiring the autumnal beauty of a cool clear day I was struck by a sudden perspective: a group of birch trees framed by their larger neighbors. The contrast of pale golden leaves and the smooth light bark was an … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Religion

Our Directing Mind

Marcus Aurelius’ spiritual diary, which has come down to us in fragmentary form, is sometimes obscure, often terse, and occasionally repetitious. But it contains enough astute observations on the human condition to ensure its enduring popularity. Recently I jotted down … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Stoicism