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The Animal with Logos

In Genesis the goodness of creation requires what I have called a logic of otherness , in which dualities that could become divisions or antagonisms are united for the good. The basic structure of this logic is: (1) first one, then the other, (2) the one for the good of the other, and (3) the one . . . . Continue Reading »

Is It Wrong to Say “Unborn Child”?

Are pro-lifers wrong to speak of the “unborn child”? A reader annoyed with Ramesh Ponnuru’s use of the phrase wrote him, saying, “There is no child until birth. Late in pregnancy the fetus may have some moral status but it is still not a child.” Ramesh replied: “Merriam-Webster’s . . . . Continue Reading »

11 Most Annoying Catchphrases

A couple of years ago, researchers at Oxford University compiled a list of the top ten most irritating expressions. Their list included overused office lingo, (24/7, synergy), grammatically incorrect constructions (“shouldn’t of”), and adverbs used out of context (literally, ironically).While everything on their list is certainly irritating, few of the items rise to the level of truly annoying. Perhaps Americans have a particular facility with our shared language because we seem to have a special affinity for creating trite catchphrases. Here are my eleven candidates for most annoying sayings: Continue Reading »

Ludwig Wittgenstein Confesses

Along with Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein is generally considered to be one of the two greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. But as with the field of twentieth-century philosophy itself, Wittgenstein has never seemed to be a very accessible thinker to the nonspecialist. Those, it . . . . Continue Reading »

The Philosophical Crusher

We milk the cow of the world, and as we do We whisper in her ear, “You are not true.” —Richard Wilbur “Before we dismantle this imposing structure, let’s step back a moment and admire its elegant lines.” Thus Alex Tourigny, my teacher of philosophical psychology forty years . . . . Continue Reading »

Abortion Talk

Decoding Abortion Rhetoric: Communicating Social Changeby celeste michelle condituniversity of illinois press, 236 pages, $24.95 Students of Western thought have long understood the correlation between public discourse, conviction, and practice. Even as far back as the fifth century B.C:. Democritus . . . . Continue Reading »

“Linguistic Injustice”: An Exchange

The University of Notre Dame To: My Colleagues in the Department of TheologyFrom: James F. White On December 13, 1982, the Department made an important step in approving a motion calling upon us to avoid sex-exclusive and sex-discriminatory language. I write you because as time progresses, I find . . . . Continue Reading »

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