Aug. 7, 2015 | Why did the financial crisis of 2008 ignite a movement on behalf of capitalism, not against it? Blame the '60s and its excessive individualism... more »


Aug. 6, 2015 | Faithism — a belief in belief, the moral and social benefits of religion, and the compatibility of science and religion — is almost certainly untenable... more »


Aug. 5, 2015 | Semiotics, Bauhaus design, New Criticism, poststructuralism: all have been put to corporate and government use. What's next? The digital humanities... more »


Aug. 4, 2015 | Naked is what you are when you haven't got your clothes on. Nude is what you are when you have intentionally taken your clothes off. Here's why the difference matters... more »


Aug. 3, 2015 | Serious reading — careful, creative, difficult reading — is in serious danger. We are empowered like never before to choose not to read... more »


Aug. 1, 2015 | The universe is governed by laws that promote order, pattern, symmetry, and simplicity, says Frank Wilczek. Our world is an embodiment of beautiful ideas... more »


July 31, 2015 | “It has been my nightmare,” said Germaine Greer, “that Tolkien would turn out to be the most influential writer of the 20th century." Her nightmare has come true... more »


July 30, 2015 | The epistemology of the fart. Scholars tend to overlook scatological aspects of the literary canon. A new book rectifies that -- it takes "shiterature" seriously... more »


July 29, 2015 | The invention of worrying. Born in the 19th century, it blossomed with literary modernism and with society’s renewed faith in personal freedom... more »


July 28, 2015 | Culture has declined and society has gone to the dogs in every age. Frivolity is forever on the rise. But for Mario Vargas Llosa, this time is different.... more »


July 27, 2015 | Copernicus, Darwin, and ... Ernest Lawrence? He ushered in the era of Big Science, transforming the way knowledge advances... more »


July 25, 2015 | There is nothing inherently economic about picking cashews out of a bowl at a dinner party — unless you're a behavioral economist... more »


July 24, 2015 | Though at home in the literary and intellectual circles of London and Paris, T.S. Eliot never lost his wry affection for what he called “Amurrican culchur”... more »


July 23, 2015 | We picture Joan Didion as either young and nonchalant, smoking a cigarette, or elderly and grieving. Through it all she's held the world at a distance... more »


July 22, 2015 | “What pleases the public is always what’s most banal,” wrote van Gogh. Does our obsession with Sunflowers” suggest that his own work has lapsed into banality?... more »


July 21, 2015 | Sir Thomas Browne, a minor writer with a major style, is credited with 784 neologisms, including "electricity,”  “hallucination,”  “ferocious,” and “swaggy.” But a model thinker for our time? Not quite... more »


July 20, 2015 | Three lives in nine objects: How tattered love letters and a portable writing desk reveal Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë... more »


July 18, 2015 | The unbearable maleness of the philosophy department. Blame the gladiatorial element, the misguided definition of “brilliance,” the curriculum... more »


July 17, 2015 | When it comes to criticism, Kingsley Amis said it best: “If you can’t annoy somebody with what you write, there’s little point in writing.” That spirit is in far too short supply... more »


July 16, 2015 | Harper Lee’s nonsensical string of clichés, Go Set a Watchman, materialized so mysteriously. A neat example of exploitative publishing... more »


July 15, 2015 | When literary society was glamorous. The historian Antonia Fraser enjoyed gardens and cricket, danced with T.S. Eliot, and was instructed by Queen Elizabeth to have a fling... more »


July 14, 2015 | Moral philosophers say we’re lazy, scared, and immature. The solution? “Grow up!” Too bad the diagnosis doesn’t consider actual human beings... more »


July 13, 2015 | The speechwriter. To put words in the mouth of public officials is to realize the meaninglessness of words in public life... more »


July 11, 2015 | The Middle Ages are derided as a time both reprehensible and ridiculous. Nonsense! Those years were not dark but alive with technology, art, curiosity, capitalism... more »


July 10, 2015 | Entrenched and unacknowledged Anglocentrism. Today’s academic debates suffer linguistically. Why? They take place in English... more »


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