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Kierkegaard for Grownups

That extraordinary writer of stories about the “Christ-haunted” American South, Flannery O’Connor, was frequently asked why her people and plots were so often outlandish, even grotesque. She answered, “To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you have to draw large and . . . . Continue Reading »

Gadamer & the
Light of the Word

Hans-Georg Gadamer: A Biographyby jean grondintranslated by woel weinsheimeryale university press, 512 pages, $35 It is reasonable to be dubious about biographies of philosophers, even when they are good. For what, after all, is the life of a philosopher? How much a novelist lived the events he or . . . . Continue Reading »

A Grammar of the Self

Chesterton was wrong, for that other vision stood in the wings. But, writing in 1908, how could he have predicted that parents would one day pay minds so modest as these for the opportunity to teach their children that they might not exist, that the answer to the question “Are we?” is not . . . . Continue Reading »

Ivan Karamazov's Mistake

It is has become commonplace to regard Ivan Karamazov’s “Legend of the Grand Inquisitor” as a prescient parable glorifying human freedom and defending it against the kind of totalitarian threats it would face in the twentieth century. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s angry atheist delivers an uncanny . . . . Continue Reading »

The Achievement of Alasdair MacIntyre

Moral philosophers are caught in a peculiar paradox these days. On the one hand, their field is flourishing: No longer intimidated by the logical positivists (who denied truth to moral assertions except as expressions of likes and dislikes), thinkers as diverse as Iris Murdoch, Martha Nussbaum, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Doing Christian Philosophy

Reasoned Faithedited by Eleanor Stumpecho point books & media, $34.95A decade ago, the well-respected Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga urged Christian thinkers to philosophize not only for skeptics but for their own faith communities. Christian philosophers, he argued, should do Christian . . . . Continue Reading »

The Illusion of Moral Neutrality

I Nietzsche claimed that if men took God seriously, they would still be burning heretics at the stake. In the same spirit, one supposes, are the notions that if men really cherished moral truth, they would suppress all beliefs that they considered wrong, and that if men still cared about the . . . . 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 »

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