First Things - Religion and Public Life Donate to First Things
Login forgot password? | register Close

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 »

History in the Past Perfect

Is not the past large enough to let you find some place where you may disport yourself without becoming ridiculous? —Nietzsche It is nothing new for poets, painters, and philosophers to harken back to Utopian “golden ages” when greatness or harmony flourished. The German Romantics . . . . 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 »

Beyond Liberty

This Hemisphere of Liberty: A Philosophy of the Americas by michael novak aei press, 153 pages, $18.95 We are nearly two years into the post-Cold War era—an era as yet without a name—and we have awakened to the sobering reality that democracy is easier to desire than it is to sustain. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Achievement of Jacques Maritain

Although the twentieth century was often proclaimed by the church to be the “Age of the Laity,” it remains true that most Catholic discourse is still taken up with the words of popes, bishops, priests, and sisters. Nonetheless, as in the nineteenth century so in the twentieth, a number of lay . . . . Continue Reading »

Restoring the God of their Fathers

The Emergence of Jewish Theology in Americaby robert g. goldyindiana university press, 149 pages, $25 Judaism was born in the Fertile Crescent when a young Semite, deeply troubled by his own sense of incompleteness and guilt, answered God’s call, and in so doing started a chosen people that would . . . . Continue Reading »

1789: A Requiem

Perhaps no English poem was more frequently cited during France’s 1989 Bicentennial year than William Wordsworth’s Prelude, in Book XI of which one finds “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, / But to be young was very Heaven!” Anyone unfamiliar with the poet’s biography might reasonably . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith and Politics

The Political Meaning of Christianity: An Interpretationby glenn tinder louisiana state university press, 257pages, $29.95  “I seek God! I seek God,” wails the madman. “Whither is God?” “We have killed him,” cries the crowd, “you and I. All of us are his murderers . . . God is . . . . Continue Reading »

A Minimalist Aristotle?

Innocence and Experience by stuart hampshire harvard university press, 195 pages, $20  Stuart Hampshire begins his new book by pointing out that “there are a thousand or more themes that might be pursued under the heading of moral and political philosophy.” In Innocence and Experience, . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles