Tagged: philosophic life

The Significance of Suffering

Recently, a bright-eyed, enthusiastic Korean student asked me for winter reading recommendations. To choose appropriately, I engaged her in two hours’ general conversation aimed at gaining a better understanding of her character. At one point, I asked her the half-whimsical question, “If you were on a plane that was about to crash, whom would you want sitting next to you?” Her eyes widened...

Concluding Unscientific Postscript to “The Dangerous Idealization of Material Success”

My recent article, “The Dangerous Idealization of Material Success,” was calibrated and fully intended to rattle the cages of my so-called “conservative” friends by calling into question one of the central pieties of the late modern advocacy for liberty, namely the implicit belief in commercial success as an indication of virtue, and of the successful businessman as an exemplary human, and even statesman....

On Letting Go of Friends

Throughout my teaching life, spanning twenty-five years, I have frequently had the honor of serving as private counselor or mentor to students struggling with personal problems — usually problems of an existential, as opposed to practical, nature. I seem to have a knack for attracting young people who are a little outside modernity’s social norms, whether temperamentally, intellectually, or both. One reason for...