Category: Ideas and Reflections

The Philosopher’s Scream

Rebelling, as we must, against late modernity’s fantasia of “the profundity of angst” — as though lacking self-control and fearing everything were some kind of higher virtue for the post-moral age — I offer the above, slightly elongated image of yours truly as my answer to the supposedly archetypal painting of our time, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” I call my version “The Philosopher’s Scream.”...

Weekend Reflection: Father’s Day

This is where I inevitably preface my remarks about a special day by noting that I have little time for these made-up “holidays” designed by corporate entities, progressive busybodies, or feel-good statists of all parties hoping to curry public favor. If you doubt my cynicism, take a quick scroll through the history of the various modern versions of Father’s Day around the world....

On Being Outside

I officially swore off wasting any more mental energy on Donald Trump’s reality TV presidency this week, and determined, as I do when I feel overly mired in the transient insanities of our moment of civilizational disintegration, to turn to the eternal. I shall, however, cheat a little on my promise — but only to the degree necessary to demonstrate a philosophical point!...

Weekend Reflections: The Coma of Reason

My old friend Tim Birdnow, who has a real gift for isolating the civilizational portent of “local news,” had a great piece Friday at American Thinker, “Progressive Jihad on the Prairie,” about a suburban school board member in Illinois, Steve Springer, who had the audacity to criticize social justice indoctrination for children and special bathroom privileges for boys who “identify as” girls, and...

Nietzsche, Youth, and Hubris

From Twilight of the Idols: To live alone one must be an animal or a god — says Aristotle. There is yet a third case: one must be both — a philosopher. (R.J. Hollingdale translation, 1968.)  True — but why does Nietzsche assume that Aristotle had not thought of that? My suggestion: the hubris of exceptional youth. Nietzsche completed Twilight of the Idols...

Abortion: The Colosseum for the Progressive Age

An age of hedonistic paganism, with its concomitant popular reverence for its one true god, Pleasure, is subject to a special moral blindness, namely the inclination — even the need — to pursue amusements that overwhelm natural empathy. Why? Perhaps because enjoying blood sports and their analogues demonstrates the hedonist’s pious devotion to Pleasure most fully, by elevating gratification above even life itself....

Weekend Reflection: Nietzsche on Looking Around

On Friday, Ireland, a traditionally Catholic country, voted overwhelmingly to legalize abortion, which means that if you walk the streets of Dublin today, most of the people you meet will be supporters of killing human life to facilitate irresponsible pleasure. Meanwhile, halfway around the world in Korea, a democratically elected Korean president embraced and held hands with a grotesque brute responsible for the...

On Friday, Ireland Voted to Kill You

The following is an open letter to an unknown girl, one without a name, one without a friend, and, as of Friday, May 25th, if Ireland’s abortion-legalization referendum goes as expected, one without a future on this Earth. For communicative convenience, I will do this child, whom I’ll never meet, an honor her mother wasn’t willing to grant her, namely naming her: “Emily.”...

Plato: Mythologist or Philosopher?

Apropos of a discussion of Plato’s intentions in his depiction of Socrates, and specifically the notable ways that Plato’s Socrates differs both from Xenophon’s contemporaneous depiction and from the historical figure later Socratic philosophers, such as the Stoics, had in mind, a friend who views Plato with some skepticism confronted me with this provocative question: Is Plato a philosopher or an artist? Is...

Weekend Reflections: Glenn Beck, School Shooting, Royal Wedding

Three events of this weekend, quite unrelated to one another, but all, in their various ways, indicative of the critical state of decline in which modernity finds itself today. Glenn Beck, having shown the courage of his convictions throughout the 2016 presidential primaries, and having suffered significant financial pain for his troubles, has finally, it seems, buckled under the pressure and come as...