Emotions as Self-Justifying

This week, I have been contemplating an emotional phenomenon that I have seen in people of my generation: the justification of one's actions based upon an idea of positive emotion as self-justifying. The principle would be something like this: Positive Emotions are a) indicators of happiness i.e. they arise from contact with people/places/things that will … Continue reading Emotions as Self-Justifying

A Student’s Frustration and Confusion

In my recent studies, I have been dogged by a concern that I have had from the start of my undergraduate years: why is it that those who have presumably learned the most—those with PhDs or other intellectually high positions—seem incapable of writing or speaking in a manner comprehensible to plain persons? Rather than continue … Continue reading A Student’s Frustration and Confusion

MacIntyre’s Concept of Inter-Tradition Conflict

During my recent reading of the prologue to the third edition of Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue, I realized that I had never, either for others' education or my own, written down my own understanding of MacIntyre's process of arbitration between rival traditions of rational inquiry. Since that process is central to MacIntyre's project and I … Continue reading MacIntyre’s Concept of Inter-Tradition Conflict

Let’s Give Sense-Perception its Due: When Dialogue Might be Unnecessary or Harmful

Any graduate of Wyoming Catholic College is familiar with the scene from Augustine's Confessions in which he and his mother Monica converse "in the presence of Truth, which You [Christ] are, what the eternal life of the saints could be like, which eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the … Continue reading Let’s Give Sense-Perception its Due: When Dialogue Might be Unnecessary or Harmful

The Vicious Fantasy of Amazon’s “The Boys”

This past summer, I attempted to watch a show now streaming on Amazon's video streaming service, Prime Video, called The Boys. Many of the journalists I follow online dubbed it a "subversive" and "brilliant" take on the superhero genre. Since I am of a melancholic and cynical disposition, such a show seemed suited to me. … Continue reading The Vicious Fantasy of Amazon’s “The Boys”

A Subtle Regime: Tocqueville on the Tyranny of the Majority.

“Thought is an invisible and almost intangible power that makes sport of all tyrannies” [1]. Thus, Tocqueville, in Democracy in America, describes the Achilles heel of the traditional tyrant. No matter the physical constraints or social constructions that a tyrant might try to impose on his citizens, he cannot fully suppress thoughts hostile to the … Continue reading A Subtle Regime: Tocqueville on the Tyranny of the Majority.

Kicked out of the Alehouse: What Kristin Lavransdatter Has to Say About Love

A colleague of mine, known to our eight (give or take) faithful readers as Alasdair Slackintyre, recently remarked on the tonal quality of our [his and my] blog posts. "We aren't trying to be properly academic," intuit, "[We're] not properly planning out essays, not putting in good conclusions, not putting in good thesis statements." Well, … Continue reading Kicked out of the Alehouse: What Kristin Lavransdatter Has to Say About Love