While We’re at It

♦ Michael Novak died in February. He was a pillar of First Things for more than two decades. Like our founder, Richard John Neuhaus, Michael had been an ardent proponent of a number of progressive causes. Some of his early books about post–Vatican II Catholicism can make you blush. But in the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Touchstone Effect

Everyone should have a copybook of maxims. So I tell my students at the start of freshman year. “You will meet priceless bits of wit and wisdom in the next eight semesters—write them down and tap them often.” They hear it as bad advice, though. Don’t they have enough to do already? But the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Right to Be Yourself?

If authentic naming or identifying is a strictly private, self-governed enterprise, what is there that is truly public? If my public persona is entirely under my control, and if I can die to my old self and rise to my new self any time I choose and in whatever manner I choose, and if indeed I am not to be burdened by my old “dead” name, as the Dean of Law says, in what sense is my persona public? Continue Reading »

Aristotle on the Spectrum

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversityby steve silbermanavery, 560 pages, $19The alleged link between vaccination and autism has been thoroughly studied and debunked, but its appeal is understandable. The symptoms of autism typically begin to appear around the same age . . . . Continue Reading »