Aug. 2, 2018 | We used to reach for metaphors, idioms, and images to convey abstract ideas, says Steven Pinker. Now our prose is more efficient, but more lifeless... more »


Aug. 1, 2018 | The cult of Evelyn Waugh included Graham Greene and Kingsley Amis. The modern Waughian wears tweed, rides a bike, and, most likely, blogs... more »


July 31, 2018 | Russia came early to the idea that "the people" carry the moral solution to the world’s ills. These populists, fueled by a guilty idealism, failed utterly... more »


July 30, 2018 | Peter Berger did as much as anyone to illuminate the place of religion in the modern world. He was more opaque about his own religious identity... more »


July 28, 2018 | If art can do harm -- and it can -- it can also do good. If it’s beautiful enough or moving enough or original enough, maybe it can even atone for the sins of the artist... more »


July 27, 2018 | Charles Mills is sensitive to the weaknesses and limitations of liberal political theory. His critique is a reckoning, and an effort to save liberalism... more »


July 26, 2018 | Diogenes Laertius may have been a flaming mediocrity, but he deserves our admiration: He's our best source on ancient philosophy ... more »


July 25, 2018 | An unfortunate side effect of democracy is that it incentivizes ignorance, irrationality, and tribalism. So says Jason Brennan. He has a cure: epistocracy... more »


July 24, 2018 | Extremism is too often seen as a foreign threat — an infection from an alien civilization. As Hannah Arendt knew, it grows out of a local problem: loneliness... more »


July 23, 2018 | What is it like to be a man? We talk plenty about masculinity, but the topic resists straightforward discussion — even as men suck the air from every other conversation... more »


July 21, 2018 | How is it that the gray mush inside our skulls can produce "hopes, fears, and dreams"? It's the sort of question that animates a lot of useless agonizing... more »


July 20, 2018 | "Disrespecting your ideological predecessors is something of a sport in modern American feminism, and it reaches varsity level when it comes to criticizing the second wave"... more »


July 19, 2018 | They cost 99 cents and depict glistening shirtless men. Romance e-books might seem frivolous, but the controversy over Her Cocky Doctors is anything but... more »


July 18, 2018 | Writers and even academic institutes are celebrating the mystical power of psychedelics. The enthusiasm is based more on hope than on scientific evidence... more »


July 17, 2018 | Shakespeare and science. He was a poet of Copernican astronomy before the telescope, and a poet of microbiology before the modern microscope... more »


July 16, 2018 | What does it mean to acquire a taste for something, whether classical music, coffee, or conservatism? It means shedding who we are and becoming who we aspire to be... more »


July 14, 2018 | Science is too white, too male, too straight. So efforts to increase diversity make sense. But do they undermine scientific progress?... more »


July 13, 2018 | A mystical approach to translating Clarice Lispector. Hallucinations and prayers abounded; magic crystals were employed; when the dictionary failed, a psychic was consulted... more »


July 12, 2018 | Privilege: We hear that word a lot these days, usually as an indictment lobbed by the privileged themselves. Why? Matthew Crawford has a theory... more »


July 11, 2018 | Our culture scoffs at Freud and Jung and puts its faith in science and statistics. One hole in this pervasive rationality: the magic of coincidences... more »


July 10, 2018 | The Western canon emerged from a textual culture. Now we're in a digital age, when information is infinite. What authority do the Great Books still possess? ... more »


July 9, 2018 | Have we fundamentally misunderstood our relationship with the earth? Bruno Latour, suspecting so, goes to meet the 98-year-old behind the “Gaia” hypothesis... more »


July 7, 2018 | The lone male artist has often been taken as a genius; the lone female artist as a muse or “art monster.” But art does not have to be masculine or feminine... more »


July 6, 2018 | Donald Hall’s poetry could be dismissed as patriarchal, capitalist, and nationalist. But it also teaches persistence, practicality, and farsightedness... more »


July 5, 2018 | The good life, according to Aztec philosophy: The goal was not the pursuit of perfection but rather rootedness, moderation, prudence, and courage... more »


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