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Amor Mundi 1/24/16

In this week's Amor Mundi, we reflect on the democratic role of the U.S. constitution, ask what it means to share the unshareable, and much more! Posted on 24 January 2016 | 9:00 pm

The Essay Form

“Like all collections of essays, this book of exercises [is] a sequence of movements which, like in a musical suite, are written in the same or related keys.” – Hannah Arendt, Preface to Between Past and Future, 1961 Hannah Arendt called Between Past and Future her most important book. The essay collection deals with fundamental…Read more The Essay Form Posted on 24 March 2014 | 10:24 am

Friedrich Nietzsche on Thinking

‘The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.’ -Friedrich Nietzsche Posted on 13 March 2014 | 12:16 pm

The Preferential President

There is a fascinating essay over on the Guernica blog, where David Bromwich examines “how Obama became a publicist for his presidency (rather than the president).” In his first term Obama delivered 1,852 separate speeches, comments, or scheduled public remarks and granted 591 interviews. These exceptional numbers, explains Bromwich, were the result of  “magical thinking”…Read more The Preferential President Posted on 12 March 2014 | 11:56 am

The Irony of the Elite

Peggy Noonan is worried about the decadence of elite American culture. While the folks over at DailyKos are foaming about the irony of Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter complaining about the excesses of the power elites, Noonan makes an important point about the corrosive effects that irony has on elites and on culture more generally. The two…Read more The Irony of the Elite Posted on 21 February 2014 | 12:41 pm

Are We One of Them?

In an essay in the Wall Street Journal, Frans de Waal—C. H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University—offers a fascinating review of recent scientific studies that upend long-held expectations about the intelligence of animals. De Waal rehearses a catalogue of fantastic studies in which animals do things that scientists have long thought they…Read more Are We One of Them? Posted on 29 March 2013 | 12:55 pm

In Memorium – Jacques Barzun

“Teaching is not a lost art but the regard 
for it is a lost tradition. Hence tomorrow’s problem will not be to 
get teachers, but to recognize the good ones and not discourage them
 before they have done their stint.” —Jacques Barzun, Teacher in
 America Jacques Barzun has died. With his passing we lose another…Read more In Memorium – Jacques Barzun Posted on 26 October 2012 | 12:03 pm