Please support First Things by turning your adblocker off. Thanks!

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 »

Obama the Scientist

So I spent a few days this week attending a conference at Berry College in Rome, Georgia hosted by Peter Lawler and Eric Sands. It was a terrific and well organized series of events capped off by a thought provoking presentation by our own Jim Ceasar on Tocqueville, his consideration of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Happy Birthday to Lincoln

Here is a short excerpt of an address I’ll be delivering at Geneseo College devoted to Lincoln’s Bicentennial: Of course, the occasion for my lecture today is the Bicentennial celebration of Abraham’s Lincoln’s birth. It’s worth noting that today is also the bicentennial . . . . Continue Reading »

Heating Up

This one will stir up a hornet’s nest . . . .  The words “global warming” may have achieved Pavlovian status.  Like the ringing of the bell that accompanied the Alpo fed to Pavlov’s dogs, the words foster an immediate and instinctive response by adherents of our . . . . Continue Reading »

Self-Medication and Modernity

Matt Crawford ably explains how college campuses have become incubators of schoolmarmish therapeutic supervision. No longer confident in the mission of higher education and therefore too hobbled to resist becoming an adjunct of popular society versus an engine of . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith and Quantum Theory

Quantum theory is unsettling. Nobel laureate Richard Feynman admitted that it “appears peculiar and mysterious to everyone—both to the novice and to the experienced physicist.” Niels Bohr, one of its founders, told a young colleague, “If it does not boggle your mind, you understand . . . . Continue Reading »

The Form of Speaking

The Language of God by francis s. collins free press, 304 pages, $26 “Today we are learning the language in which God created life.” With these words, President Clinton announced one of the great feats of modern science, the mapping of the human genome. Standing next to him in the East Room of . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles