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A False Paradigm

So much for the “new paradigm.” With the Church now mired in its most severe crisis since the Protestant Reformation, the heady talk of last spring now seems as distant as the “Catholic moment” or the “springtime of evangelization.” Rightly or wrongly, the idea of a gauzy mercy without . . . . Continue Reading »

Believe, That You May Understand

In 1970, Michael Polanyi wrote an essay called “Why Did We Destroy Europe?” In it, he reflected on the cancerous spread of ideologies and war in the twentieth century. He argued that scientific rationalism had initially “been a major influence towards intellectual, moral and social . . . . Continue Reading »

MacIntyre Against Morality

Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity:An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrativeby alasdair macintyrecambridge, 332 pages, $49.99 I The dialogues of Plato provide the first sustained demonstration both of the depth and difficulty of philosophy, and of the fact that the beginnings of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Cocktails with the Existentialists

More than seven decades have passed since philosophy held court on the world-historic stage, in the cafes and jazz halls of wartime Paris. For those who lament the decline of the “public intellectual,” this period richly serves the needs of nostalgia, conjuring chic melancholy, debates conducted in a tobacco haze, and the evergreen romance of La Résistance. Continue Reading »

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