New articles in Culture: standards of excellence

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, Thinking, Public and Private: Intellectuals in the Time of the Public. “As professional thinkers come to understand “publicness” more and more as the permanent condition of our work, then, we might also come to better appreciate the specific ways in which politics and scholarship intersect, and the ways they remain fundamentally separate. This would mean recovering the disquiet within the term “public intellectual,” and treating that disquiet as an invitation to rethink the relationship between thought and action. And it would also mean recovering another question, namely the nature of ideas themselves, those entities inevitably pulled between certain impulses of mind we might call transcendental and the worldly swirl of human curiosity and purpose out of which ideas come.” read

Jeff Pearlman on Jon Moscow. read

Paula Cohen on H.L. Mencken’s continuing relevance. “Mencken had a perspective on America that derived from Thomas Paine’s dictum: “We have it in our power to begin the world again.”” read read

New articles in Culture: standards of excellence

Marilynne Robinson critically assessed by Paul Gleason. “In her own lifetime she has witnessed “the uncoerced abandonment by the so-called mainline churches of their own origins, theology, culture and tradition…..Liberal Christians no longer need theology to make their case. They can couch their argument entirely in terms of secular political rights (as Robinson does here). In fact, arguments based on rights were probably more convincing than theological arguments even to them.” read

New articles in Culture: standards of excellence

John Kaag and David O’Hara on importance of philosophy. “We are on the verge of becoming the best trained, and least educated, society since the Romans — and reducing the humanities to a type of soft science will only hasten this trend…..f the aim of education is to gain money and power, where can we turn for help in knowing what to do with that money and power? Only a disordered mind thinks that these are ends in themselves.” read

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein on philosophy and becoming coherent (2014). read