Modernity and Despair: What Should We Hope For?

Modernity of our sort produces a certain kind of despair and helplessness because the primary sources of hope are technological development and the institutional efforts of technocrats. The best hope of progress is always elsewhere: the Supreme Court, Silicon Valley, the Justice Department. Looking back we see lots of progress but no role for ourselves in achieving more.

What are the ruling ideas today? Is “College For All” among them? (Doubts-that-don’t-change-our-practices edition)

by flickr user ChrisM70

I’ve just finished an article on higher education and the liberal arts, and it’s full of hope and comes to some definite conclusions about particular ways that an education in the liberal arts is valuable. It’s out for peer review right now, which means that if the reviewer is googling phrases maybe she’ll find this,… Continue reading What are the ruling ideas today? Is “College For All” among them? (Doubts-that-don’t-change-our-practices edition)

Reason & Rallying

I had the pleasure and discomfort of attending parts of the Reason Rally on Saturday, a march on Washington by atheists, agnostics, and heathens. It was cold, rainy, and frequently quite boring. I mostly went to see Bad Religion, but I enjoyed Eddie Izzard’s routine and Cristina Rad, who responds to theists this way: “You… Continue reading Reason & Rallying

Marriage is Magic

I made the mistake of teaching a set of essays on gay marriage at the end of the semester. I call it a “mistake” because I find it very difficult to give my traditional charitable interpretation to the work of folks like John Finnis and Robert George, who make arguments from a definition of marriage… Continue reading Marriage is Magic

Consent Revisited in Light of New Facts

In a previous post, I argued deception robbed sexual and marriage partners of their capacity to grant informed consent: attempts to reduce consent to the simple act of saying “yes” actually ignore the ways in which fraudulently representing oneself may be coercive. We can hate the bigotry and prejudice that make the lies seem necessary… Continue reading Consent Revisited in Light of New Facts