Feb. 3, 2015 | If free speech is contingent on hurting no one's feelings, then it isn't free speech. It's paternalism, and it's insidious ? especially in a university... more »


Feb. 2, 2015 | Elite undergrads want to do many things ? save the world, build an app, make it on Wall Street. What they don't want to be are professors... more »


Jan. 31, 2015 | Biography in the age of psychoanalysis. Some lives ? Freud's, for example ? resist neat explanation. Enter the ?bio-riff?... more »


Jan. 30, 2015 | Montaigne thought that animals could speak but that man was too arrogant to hear them. So if your dog spoke up, what would she say?... more »


Jan. 29, 2015 | Seneca, ancient hypocrite without peer, never let philosophical commitments interfere with his devotion to conspicuous consumption... more »


Jan. 28, 2015 | Shock is no longer chic. We?re right to be weary, but we?ve become too weary. Is offensive art still possible?... more »


Jan. 27, 2015 | Michael Walzer detects much anxiety on the left, where fear of being called Islamophobic seems greater than fear of Islamist zealotry... more »


Jan. 26, 2015 | Poetry and the short story have slipped from minor arts to crafts, of interest primarily to other poets and short-story writers... more »


Jan. 24, 2015 | Isaac Bashevis Singer and his women. The Yiddish writer bragged about "his harem" of translators. They were his muses. And maybe his lovers... more »


Jan. 23, 2015 | Facts are standard fare for historians, but intellectual fashions are what entices them: nationalism, Marxism, postmodernism, globalization... more »


Jan. 22, 2015 | Science once had moral authority. But today, with scientism resurgent, skepticism reigns. The cost is paid by all of us... more »


Jan. 21, 2015 | Vincent van Gogh, drama queen. Rejected in love, he threatened to burn his hand. When broke, he cajoled and guilt-tripped his brother for money... more »


Jan. 20, 2015 | John Brockman's Edge question for 2015 asks 182 intellectuals: What do you think about machines that think?... more »


Jan. 19, 2015 | On the origins of evolutionary innovation. ?Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest?... more »


Jan. 17, 2015 | Does great expertise make for great criticism? Not always. Knowing everything about a topic forecloses on original and unexpected takes... more »


Jan. 16, 2015 | Edgar Allan Poe: popular writer, successful editor, and always meagerly paid. Nearly everything he wrote, he wrote for money... more »


Jan. 15, 2015 | Intense gaze, bare chest, bull-like physique: The camera was crucial to Picasso's image as both genius and lover... more »


Jan. 14, 2015 | In Wagner, we encounter a truth: Anti-Semitism is a metaphysical condition that can express itself in unexpected forms, even abstract sound and opera... more »


Jan. 13, 2015 | Packaged pleasures. The 'tubularization? of society ? cigarettes, tin cans, soda bottles, lipstick ? marked a radical shift in human experience... more »


Jan. 12, 2015 | Approaching forty, sense of total failure. And so Cyril Connolly quit journalism to write a masterpiece. The key, he believed, was to have an interest in but contempt for humanity... more »


Jan. 10, 2015 | The world of high criticism is endangered. Not by academic mandarins, but rather by Silicon Valley philistines. Sean Wilentz explains... more »


Jan. 9, 2015 | Taken in by Doris Lessing, young Jenny Diski was silent for weeks. Then she asked a question that Lessing refused to answer... more »


Jan. 8, 2015 | Amid the rise of technologism and scientism, the replacement of wisdom by quantification, and the recasting of life as data, what's become of humanism?... more »


Jan. 7, 2015 | Yes, the canon is subjective and flawed. But the idea of maintaining one is not. It's crucial to distinguish between the great and the good... more »


Jan. 6, 2015 | Goya's etchings of war exemplify one aspect of his talent, but it showed up in many guises. The irreducible breadth of an artist's vision... more »


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