Philosophy

Cosmic Order and Modernity

Laszlo F. Foldenyi— In Venice, in an of the out-of-the-way corner of the Piazzetta located at the corner of the basilica of Saint Mark, there is a statuary group depicting the Four Tetrarchs. Carved out of the hardest granite, the sculpture, dating from the beginning of the fourth century, depicts

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Putting an End to Pests

John Hainze— The Endangered Species Act is one of the premier environmental laws in the United States. It offers protection for endangered and threatened organisms both large and small—from orchids to insects to bears. That the Act does not differentiate between charismatic animals and those of a lesser pedigree is

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What Is Wisdom?

Giambattista Vico— Wisdom is the faculty that commands all the disciplines; by these, all the sciences and arts that complete our humanity are apprehended. Plato defines wisdom as that which is the perfecter of man. Man, in the being proper to him as a man, is nothing other than mind and

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Hardships

Musonius Rufus— In order to support more easily and more cheerfully those hardships which we may expect to suffer in behalf of virtue and goodness, it is useful to recall what hardships people will endure for unworthy ends. Thus for example consider what intemperate lovers undergo for the sake of

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France and the Self

James Livesey— The history of the self is vitally important, and the contrast between the French and British histories is highly instructive. The self, or at least the version of the self as self-determining individual, is the postulate of every variety of liberalism and its institutions, and it is clear

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Beyond Buddhist Exceptionalism

Evan Thompson— Confusion reigns in the debates about science and religion. Nowhere is this more evident than in the special treatment Buddhism receives. People say Buddhism is the most science-friendly of religions. According to a widespread view, Buddhism at its core isn’t so much a religion as it is a

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Materialism and the Senses

Terry Eagleton— The early Marx is engaged on an arrestingly original project. No other critic of the system under which he lived had taken it to task for what it does to the human senses. There had been no such phenomenology of capitalism before. In Marx’s view, the capitalist mode

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Espionage and the I Ching

Michael Harrington— The study of espionage has a long history in China. The classic known as The Art of War, dating from a period of strife between the states of pre-imperial China, contains an entire chapter devoted to the use of spies. One of the overall themes of this short

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Ghostcatching

Emily Coates and Sarah Demers — Physics and dance share the singular problem of our universe: time moves in one direction. Events that occur can never be repeated exactly. A detector captures the collision of two black holes as an abnormal frequency—a cosmic blip, like the notation for a billion-year-old

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David Garrick and the Club

Leo Damrosch— When I got the idea of telling the story of a famous eighteenth-century club that called itself simply “the Club,” I knew that there were incredibly rich resources in the writings of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Edmund Burke, Edward Gibbon, and the rest – as well as fascinating

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