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Spirits of Rhetoric

The Immanent Frame, an academic blog launched on the release of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age , is still going strong. They’ve started a new discussion series , replete with invited scholars, centered around Obama’s traditionalistic inaugural claim that the “values upon . . . . Continue Reading »

The Sunshine King

Richard Florida is blogging . Behold the intellectual firepower : While I find such lists informative and fun, in my book Who’s Your City, I say that there is really no such thing as a single best city:  Invoking the old and somewhat cliched adage, “different strokes for . . . . Continue Reading »

American Rapture

There are two models of rapture — one super-worldly, one this-worldly, one in which we are abducted, from here to eternity, and one in which we are inducted, to infinity and beyond. The first model is depressing if it’s the only opportunity we have to experience eternity. Even the . . . . Continue Reading »

Togetherness Today

Here’s a nice contrast. First, Rod : As Wendell Berry explains, especially in “Sex, the Economy, Freedom & Community,” you cannot have community without order, and you cannot have a workable order as long as both economic and sexual decisions are wholly privatized — that . . . . Continue Reading »

Prospects for Neo-Neoconservatism

Ross’s latest NYT column makes a point I think I alluded to earlier: just because losing Arlen Specter is bad doesn’t mean having him to begin with was good . And this is not just a charge you can level due to Specter’s stance on policy (on ‘strictly political’ issues . . . . Continue Reading »

The Disenchantment of Genius

I’ve just finished a draft of a dissertation chapter that dredges up one of Richard Rorty’s few, all-too-few references to Philip Rieff. Rorty liked Rieff’s remark that “Freud democratized genius by giving everyone a creative unconscious.” Harold Bloom, no antagonist . . . . Continue Reading »

Glory vs. the Garden Gnome

Roger Scruton’s written a book on beauty, in case you hadn’t heard. Here’s a nice little review, which frames the beauty question evocatively enough in terms of beauty’s relation, or antagonism, to kitsch. And so I ask: if beauty is the promise of happiness, is the problem . . . . Continue Reading »

Rules Spurned and Celebrated

What piques me most about the Twitter phenomenon (not this blog’s new subject, I swear) is precisely what I think is considered most harmless and cool about it: it’s got all the advantages of regular communication, plus all the fun of communicating using only 140 characters! Or, as MoDo . . . . Continue Reading »

Bad Infinity [5 minutes ago from web]

Thru Andrew, the latest attempt to supply the Twitter phenomenon (and Twitter, along the way) with meaning: As the physical world takes on more of the characteristics of a simulation, we seek reality in the simulated world. At least there we can be confident that the simulation is real. At least . . . . Continue Reading »

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