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Bring Back the Body

In 2014, France’s High Audiovisual Council, the government body that regulates broadcast advertising in that country, banned one of the most moving TV commercials ever made. Titled “Dear ­Future Mom,” the ad addressed women pregnant with children diagnosed with Down syndrome. “Dear future . . . . Continue Reading »

Card-Carrying Precadavers

It has been almost twenty years since I dissected a dead human body. It still seems strange: My first encounter with a human body to learn the art of healing was an encounter with a corpse. What is more, I took this body to pieces. In any other context, this act would have been a felony. Respect for . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter to an Aspiring Intellectual

You’ve asked me how to become an intellectual. You’re young, it seems (only young people ask questions of that kind), and you think you might have an intellectual vocation, but you can’t see what to do about it. What should you do in order to become the kind of person an intellectual is? What . . . . Continue Reading »

A Moderate Proposal

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 »

Virtuous Evildoers

At the end of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Brutus and ­Cassius, the conspirators who had assassinated Caesar, are themselves dead. Brutus has, in fact, fallen upon his sword rather than face capture by the armies of Octavius and Mark Antony. Brutus was bad enough to betray and murder a . . . . Continue Reading »

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