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A Moderate Proposal

From the February 2018 Print Edition

Faces of Moderation: The Art of Balance in an Age of Extremesby aurelian craiutupenn, 304 pages, $59.95 Everyone is orthodox to himself.” This famous phrase from Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration might aptly be rewritten as “Everyone is moderate to himself.” For who really thinks himself . . . . Continue Reading »

Learning to Play

From the October 2016 Print Edition

My piano tuner is well over eighty years old. Each time I call him, I fear I’ll learn that he has died. So far he is still with us, though at each visit a little more white-haired and frailer than before. I worry that he will hurt himself when he lies under the instrument or takes out the . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Need for Privacy

From the Aug/Sept 2015 Print Edition

The new game Cards Against Humanity advertises itself as “a party game for horrible people—despicable and awkward [like] you and your friends.” Its premise is simple. Black cards pose a question like “What did Vin Diesel eat for breakfast?” or an incomplete statement, such as, “After . . . . Continue Reading »

Taking A Life

From the May 2015 Print Edition

Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights
 by katha pollitt 
picador, 272 pages, $25 It’s easy to be a charitable reader when you like what a writer is saying. It’s possible even when you don’t agree, if an author is temperate and thoughtful. It’s most difficult when the author is an ideologue . . . . Continue Reading »

Learning in Love

From the April 2014 Print Edition

Over the past few months there has been a marked increase in stories about the decline of the humanities in higher education. Sometimes the coverage emerges from a particular political vantage point: The humanities are dying because they have been corrupted by leftist ideologues. Race, class, and . . . . Continue Reading »

No Happy Harmony

From the October 2013 Print Edition

At least once a semester, a young female student will come to my office with questions about an assignment, and after we have finished our official business, will mention her concerns about the future: whether she should apply to medical school or take the less demanding physician’s assistant . . . . Continue Reading »

On Susan

From the November 2012 Print Edition

Susan was a colleague in Baylor’s Honors College, not exactly a friend, though we were quite friendly. She was reserved and elegant, with a willowy figure all women couldn’t help but envy. She was a fine scholar and a beloved teacher, but she never cultivated a following, eschewing celebrity . . . . Continue Reading »

Life on the Divide

From the June/July 2012 Print Edition

On a typical afternoon, I drop off my eight-year-old daughter and her best friend at ballet lessons and return home to meet my five-year-old son’s friend for a “play date.” Their mothers and I appear to have everything in common. We all order our children’s clothes from the same upscale . . . . Continue Reading »

A Disposition of Delight

From the February 2012 Print Edition

After his death in 1990, Michael Oakeshott’s executors found dozens of unpublished but completed essays in the drawers of his desk. It’s hard to imagine a modern-day academic, under pressure to produce, leaving such a volume of work unpublished, but Oakeshott never felt compelled to bow to . . . . Continue Reading »