Man Thinking

Background Stanley Cavell, the American philosopher and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Harvard University, died recently at the age of 91. Coming to philosophy by way of music and film, he authored a diverse assortment of philosophical texts including The Claim of Reason, Must We Mean What We Say?, Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of... Continue Reading →

Out of This World Music

End of Life Songs Suppositions about dying educe meanings for living. Death opposes life. Likewise, life addresses death. Death is for life a grand question and master teacher. What? When? Where? How? Why? Then? Meanings granted to death both enhance and diminish living. I first explored the interrogative quality of death sixty-two years ago in... Continue Reading →

Lincoln’s American People

“ . . .there are many single regiments whose members, one and another, possess full practical knowledge of all the arts, sciences, professions, and whatever else, whether useful or elegant, is known in the world; and there is scarcely one from which there could not be selected a President, a Cabinet, a Congress, and perhaps... Continue Reading →

Conservatism: Running on Empty

The terms conservative and liberal have a long currency in politics. Among other uses they mark ‘right’ and ‘left’ on the political spectrum. Republicans found it useful to invoke conservative principles in seeking to roll back Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation in the 1930s and 40s. They subsequently launched a ‘movement’ under the banner... Continue Reading →

Atheism: Its Existential Problem

After reading the description of my recently published book, Abdication: God Steps Down for Good, people occasionally inquire whether I’m an atheist. I tell them that I’m basically agnostic and a hopeful theist. It would be wonderful, to my way of thinking, if a convivial, non-dictatorial God existed. It’s a lonely world out there in... Continue Reading →

Small Boost for “Big History”

When earthlings begin high school, it would be great if a credible, straightforward master narrative of our species were available for parents and teachers to tell in launching and guiding the children on their way toward mature adulthood and enlightened citizenship. There are, I know, innumerable stories available for this general purpose in world literature. Then, too,... Continue Reading →

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