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Updated: 23 min 29 sec ago

<strong>We are all cyborgs</strong>. Our minds extend into the world and develop in response. That's the opinion of the philosopher Andy Clark, who sees this as an excellent thing. Is it?

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 19:45
We are all cyborgs. Our minds extend into the world and develop in response. That's the opinion of the philosopher Andy Clark, who sees this as an excellent thing. Is it?

Not content with absolute power, <strong>dictators write</strong> long and tedious books. That's not to say tyrants are always poor stylists. Stalin's strengths were modest, but real

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 19:45
Not content with absolute power, dictators write long and tedious books. That's not to say tyrants are always poor stylists. Stalin's strengths were modest, but real

Did Orwell really did shoot an elephant in Burma? Did Sontag accurately represent a get-together? The <strong>vagaries of memory</strong> pose a special threat for writers

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 19:45
Did Orwell really did shoot an elephant in Burma? Did Sontag accurately represent a get-together? The vagaries of memory pose a special threat for writers

<p>Benjamin Franklin, &ldquo;Dear Abby,&rdquo; Dale Carnegie: America is unique in its <strong>hankering for advice</strong>&nbsp;on how to date, mourn, work, and raise children</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 17:26

Benjamin Franklin, “Dear Abby,” Dale Carnegie: America is unique in its hankering for advice on how to date, mourn, work, and raise children

 

For <strong>Hannah Arendt</strong>, thinking was a form of political engagement. She didn't just want to find a place for herself in the world. She wanted to change it

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 17:26
For Hannah Arendt, thinking was a form of political engagement. She didn't just want to find a place for herself in the world. She wanted to change it

<p>The true story is always the oppositional story. Or so goes the logic of both literature professors and the right-wing media. What have the <strong>radical politics of humanities professors</strong>&nbsp;wrought?</p>

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 17:26

The true story is always the oppositional story. Or so goes the logic of both literature professors and the right-wing media. What have the radical politics of humanities professors wrought?

The first dissertation on <strong>Jane Austen</strong> appeared in 1883. Ever since, the field has given rise to many Austens &mdash; moralist, humorist, ironist &mdash; and little consensus

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 19:06
The first dissertation on Jane Austen appeared in 1883. Ever since, the field has given rise to many Austens — moralist, humorist, ironist — and little consensus

What undergirds our <strong>commitment to equality</strong>? For Bernard Williams, it&rsquo;s our ability to love and to suffer. For Jeremy Waldron, it&rsquo;s something broader

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 19:06
What undergirds our commitment to equality? For Bernard Williams, it’s our ability to love and to suffer. For Jeremy Waldron, it’s something broader

<strong>How to be an intellectual</strong>. Find three uninterrupted hours per day; overcome boredom; mind the distinction between intellectuals and academics

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 19:06
How to be an intellectual. Find three uninterrupted hours per day; overcome boredom; mind the distinction between intellectuals and academics

Bill Buckley&rsquo;s <strong>conservative irregulars</strong>. In its early days, the <em>National Review</em>&rsquo;s staff included a former spokesman for Leon Trotsky, a nocturnal ex-Communist, and Russell Kirk

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 18:32
Bill Buckley’s conservative irregulars. In its early days, the National Review’s staff included a former spokesman for Leon Trotsky, a nocturnal ex-Communist, and Russell Kirk

<strong>Edward Lear</strong> would produce paintings as a hostess gift, regale companions with jokes and stories, and sing while accompanying himself at the piano. Best dinner guest ever?

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 18:32
Edward Lear would produce paintings as a hostess gift, regale companions with jokes and stories, and sing while accompanying himself at the piano. Best dinner guest ever?

<strong>John Gray</strong> takes a dim view of reason. Indeed, he takes a dim view of humanity. He is a "card-carrying misanthrope for whom human life has no unique importance"

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 18:32
John Gray takes a dim view of reason. Indeed, he takes a dim view of humanity. He is a "card-carrying misanthrope for whom human life has no unique importance"

For <strong>Joseph Conrad</strong>, international politics was subject matter &mdash; but with what kind of global vision? To Chinua Achebe, he was simply a &ldquo;bloody racist&rdquo;

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 18:41
For Joseph Conrad, international politics was subject matter — but with what kind of global vision? To Chinua Achebe, he was simply a “bloody racist”

While science advances, <strong>philosophy stays the same</strong>, asking the Big Questions again and again. The field is still immature

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 18:41
While science advances, philosophy stays the same, asking the Big Questions again and again. The field is still immature

&ldquo;I want his youth.&rdquo; A deathly spirit, channeled at a s&eacute;ance, had it in for the literary prodigy <strong>Raymond Radiguet</strong>. He was rich, famous, f&ecirc;ted by the avant-garde, and doomed

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 17:40
“I want his youth.” A deathly spirit, channeled at a séance, had it in for the literary prodigy Raymond Radiguet. He was rich, famous, fêted by the avant-garde, and doomed

<strong>Muriel Spark</strong> left Edinburgh when she was 18 but held fast to a belief she associated with the place: that contradictory ideas can have equal validity

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 18:14
Muriel Spark left Edinburgh when she was 18 but held fast to a belief she associated with the place: that contradictory ideas can have equal validity

<strong>James Wood</strong> was well matched to the literary style of the 1990s &mdash; aesthetics were in, politics out. Now things have changed. Does Wood still matter?

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 18:14
James Wood was well matched to the literary style of the 1990s — aesthetics were in, politics out. Now things have changed. Does Wood still matter?

<strong>The cult of Tocqueville</strong>: How did a Frenchman who hasn&rsquo;t been in the United States in over 185 years become the man everyone loves to quote?

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 18:14
The cult of Tocqueville: How did a Frenchman who hasn’t been in the United States in over 185 years become the man everyone loves to quote?

<strong>The fate of handwriting</strong>. It was imperiled by the printing press, then the typewriter, the computer, and the phone. But is an elegy premature?

Sun, 04/08/2018 - 18:22
The fate of handwriting. It was imperiled by the printing press, then the typewriter, the computer, and the phone. But is an elegy premature?

Most remarkable about <strong>Alexander von Humboldt's scientific achievements</strong> is that he didn't accidentally kill himself long before 1859, when he died at age 90

Sun, 04/08/2018 - 18:22
Most remarkable about Alexander von Humboldt's scientific achievements is that he didn't accidentally kill himself long before 1859, when he died at age 90