Mark Twain, “A Fable”

Reprinted from about.com. One of the few things I read in my undergraduate years that I enjoyed greatly. Wilson Carey McWilliams had us read this before anything else in the Classical Political Thought course at Rutgers – this was prior to Aeschylus, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine. Your thoughts about the nature of criticism are appreciated: […]

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Just finished a Straussian ritual, Aristophanes’ “Clouds:” Preliminary Notes on the Limits of Comedy

1. Consideration of comedians: they use laughter to make everything ridiculous. The good things, while made ridiculous, still are essentially good and cannot be dismissed. They are necessary no matter how much we laugh. The bad things, made ridiculous, fall away quickly. All comedians – including those who believe all is spin, such as Jon […]

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Temptation.

I want to post on the election, and I have no idea why. Yesterday I spent a good bit of time thinking about how all the entries written about the election are now a waste, consigned to the dustheap. No one – not even me – cares what I thought about Joe Biden some weeks […]

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Comment on Neal Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age:” Hackworth, Authorship and Philosophy

Subject to change when I reread the book. IT IS POSSIBLE to conceive of knowledge as reflecting an eternal order, a way things should best be done. Knowledge in this case would be linked to Being, whose permanence would be seen in moral laws, aesthetic standards, and intellectual discipline. Confucian and Victorian mores are of […]

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Bookstore

There’s a new Barnes and Noble open near me. I’ve been walking there nearly every day to read, although I carry my own books. Always the dissertation text and one other book – the recent one has been Heidegger’s “Introduction to Metaphysics,” for obvious reasons. It’s comfortable there: well-lighted, nice furniture, fitting temperature. But the […]

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On Reading Slowly

Just a thought, nothing more: I wonder if all the intellectual virtues can be had merely through reading carefully. Usually we encourage students to get books done so we can start discussing the whole. But that quite obviously serves the end of rereading, of getting more out of the book the second time. Rereading is […]

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