Aug. 9, 2016 | Very few of the Nuremberg defendants were mentally diseased. Psychiatry can offer diagnoses, but it reveals little about the problem of human evil ... more »


Aug. 8, 2016 | Yes, Rudyard Kipling was a racist, misogynist, and imperialist. He was also a wonderful writer. To simply dismiss him for his prejudices reveals little but cultural ignorance... more »


Aug. 6, 2016 | To the extent that intellectuals are out of touch with the societies they inhabit, it is because they lose sight of a central fact: They belong to a tiny and bizarre minority... more »


Aug. 5, 2016 | Hieronymus Bosch. We know the painter witnessed a wildfire, married up, and joined an elite religious brotherhood. But where did his real world end and fantasy begin?... more »


Aug. 4, 2016 | What matters is not what you think or do but how you feel. So goes the reigning view of neuroscientists, mindfulness mongers, and other technologists of joy... more »


Aug. 3, 2016 | By the age of 50, Basil Bunting had been a balloon operator, military interpreter, and spy. He'd survived assassination attempts and jail. Then he became a poet... more »


Aug. 2, 2016 | A philosophy of education. Influenced by Hegel and Darwin, John Dewey launched a revolution that overthrew the methods of the day. Hannah Arendt was not pleased... more »


Aug. 1, 2016 | We have a nuanced canon of war literature. Motherhood, however, is missing from our literary and philosophical tradition. That's beginning to change ... more »


July 30, 2016 | To writers, their work amounts to evidence that they've fallen short of their potential. The oeuvre is never satisfied, always taunting, a work in progress until the end ... more »


July 29, 2016 | How to think about anger. Its arguments are weak and pathetic, says Martha Nussbaum, while the voice of generosity is strong as well as beautiful ... more »


July 28, 2016 | Widowed, Patrick Brontë sought a new wife with remarkable crassness and egotism. What, if anything, did his literary daughters learn from him?... more »


July 27, 2016 | Rousseau was a hypocrite for our times. He preached family values but exposed himself to women and was given to compulsive masturbation, though he warned against it in his writings... more »


July 26, 2016 | Libertarians like genre fiction but tend to ignore romance novels. Want to understand the importance of work and free markets? Crack open a bodice-ripper... more »


July 25, 2016 | “Never underestimate the willingness of a man to believe flattering things about himself,” said Paul Samuelson. Just ask a success about luck's role in life... more »


July 23, 2016 | Death is unavoidable and suffering is everywhere, says Julian Baggini. The only debate should be about the nature and extent of our participation. So let's talk about eating meat... more »


July 22, 2016 | What is modernism? How a term that's come to mean so much — as a literary movement, a design aesthetic — has always lacked a clear definition... more »


July 21, 2016 | Art asks for an emotional investment, with the promise of some insight into the human experience. But what if the artist is an algorithm?... more »


July 20, 2016 | Every culture has rules and taboos about food, but moralizing about what we eat is most evident in cultures with a dichotomy between pleasure and virtue... more »


July 19, 2016 | Academics have exhausted topics like Virginia Woolf and democracy. They now study such things as dust, coffee, masturbation, bullshit, and, most fittingly, boredom... more »


July 18, 2016 | Neuroscience marches on, but if it becomes possible to scan and upload your brain, will the result be you? Humans are not brains in vats... more »


July 16, 2016 | The problem with “public intellectual.” The term has lost meaning as conditions have changed. It’s time to re-examine the relationship between thought and action... more »


July 15, 2016 | Tired? Don't blame the supposedly novel demands of modern life. Exhaustion is a timeless experience, as is theorizing about exhaustion... more »


July 14, 2016 | To be a wife is not to engage in “wifing.” To be a friend is not to engage in “friending.” Yet parents talk about "parenting." That verb is a big mistake ... more »


July 13, 2016 | Wagner's The Ring Cycle is not the answer to life in a post-religious world, says Roger Scruton. But it asks real questions, and it shows us one way of confronting them... more »


July 12, 2016 | Sure, the glossy magazines are leaking prestige, power, page counts, and glamour. But the allure remains, and James Wolcott can't get too many tales from the editors' desks... more »


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