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Romantic poet, amateur orientalist, prolific essayist and speaker (author of “Nature,” “Self-Reliance,” and “The American Scholar,” to name a few), and a leader of the Transcendentalist movement: these are but a few of the descriptors necessary to capture the contribution of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), on this anniversary of his death. Not a few schools have...

Recently re-reading Leon Kass, I was struck by the profoundly humane quality of his reasoning. As a trained physician, medical researcher, and ethicist, Kass has been involved with a number of deeply insightful projects (e.g., President’s Council on Bioethics) that promote a truly liberal understanding of the human experience, and I would argue that he...

David Rothman is one of those colleagues whose friendship in pursuit of the Good is a genuine grace. With his characteristic wit, verve, and style (all of a piece for a man dedicated to the arts), Rothman is an incredibly cultured man, who wears his learning lightly, even delightfully. Today I’m reposting an interview with David...

Today’s video-lecture comes to us by way of Furman University, where Dr. Benjamin Storey serves as associate professor of politics and international affairs, while also co-directing the Tocqueville Program with its mission of “seeking the truth about the moral and philosophic questions at the heart of political life” through a variety of extra-curricular activities.   In the...

“There is a magic made by melody,” say Elizabeth Bishop, and I imagine that such magic is especially potent on Mondays, as we face the workweek and make plans to perform meaningful work—for ourselves and those we care for. A little poetic soundtrack for this week’s road-trip, so to speak.  As I understand it, the poets help us to rediscover the meaning that is “there before us; there before we...

As we approach the weekend and continue to reflect on our cultural moment, it seems fitting to reconsider one of America's First Principles: free speech. Rather than provide a disquisition, I'm going to refer to the legal resource website, Justia, with its page on "Freedom of Expression: The Philosophical Basis," where we read the following: "Other...

At the 2019 Symposium, we had the delightful opportunity to visit with Dr. John Briggs (University of California, Riverside), in a conversation about the work of C.S. Lewis.   In particular, we discussed An Experiment in Criticism (1961), one of Lewis’ later works that focuses on the nature of reading. The “experiment” that Lewis is describing an experience of reading by which the reader is immersed in the text and...

Guest contributor: Dr. Michael Ivins, “Liberal Arts and the Vocational Sciences”   One avenue for promoting the value of liberal education in an educational environment which emphasizes the importance of STEMM fields is arguing that the kind of critical thinking skills developed in the study of the humanities are beneficial not only for work in the sciences...

Today’s video-lecture is from this year’s National Classical Education Symposium. Our conference theme, “The Historian’s Craft,” provided ample room for both historians and other subject matter experts, who could speak to the ways in which history pertains to other disciplines.  From Dr. Owen Anderson’s lecture, we learn that another discipline, philosophy, affects the ways in which we...

“Art should grow from and speak to the common roots and universal principles of human nature in all cultures.  “Art should deny the simplifications of the political Left and Right, and should refine and deepen the radical center.  “The function of art is to create beauty.  “Art recognizes the tragic and terrible costs of human civilization, but does not abandon hope and...