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The Risky Business of Loving

And now I’m terrified of loving ‘Coz I’m terrified of pain And of missing out on human things By cowering away ~ (Gang of Youths, Go Farther In Lightness, “Fear and Trembling”) I stumbled across these lyrics over Christmas break and was immediately struck by the struggle expressed here and its relevance to the human condition. Here the singer, David Le’aupepe, vocalizes his deep fear … Continue reading The Risky Business of Loving

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A More Honest Relationship with Reality: Finding New Meaning in my Studies

You can find plenty of common, scholarly reasons to study history in textbook introductions, education philosophy books, or in the classroom on the first day of a history class. However, these were not the reasons that prompted me to declare a history major my freshman year. What motivated me was an idealism which claimed that if we could just understand history and teach it correctly, … Continue reading A More Honest Relationship with Reality: Finding New Meaning in my Studies

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Talk Less, Listen More: A Reevaluation of Our Conversational Life

We live in a culture of prescribed opinions. We are so set on our beliefs that we have already decided we do not agree with someone even before they have had a chance to defend themselves. That is like declaring the accused guilty before the trial has even started. These behaviors are not necessarily universal, but they are highly prevalent in our society and need … Continue reading Talk Less, Listen More: A Reevaluation of Our Conversational Life

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Metaphysical, Not Political

One of the best–known works of John Rawls, a Harvard scholar known for his prolific political writings, especially in the field of criminal justice, is entitled: Justice as Fairness: Political, not Metaphysical. In this work, Rawls presents a famous analogy which he refers to as the “veil of ignorance.”He argues that, in juridical procedure—such as the trial of a criminal—one must deliberately put aside all … Continue reading Metaphysical, Not Political

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The Negative Space of Music: Jacob Collier’s Djesse Vol. 3

If you’ve had a conversation with me about music recently, it’s likely that Jacob Collier has come up. His most recent album, Djesse Vol. 3, has become somewhat of an obsession of mine—I haven’t been able to stop listening since its release this past August. The extent to which Jacob Collier has captured my imagination is rather odd, because his music is, well, rather odd. … Continue reading The Negative Space of Music: Jacob Collier’s Djesse Vol. 3

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Don Quixote: A tale of Sanity in Times of Madness

This famous  novel written by Miguel de Cervantes is often presented as the story of a man who seems to have lost his mind after reading too many chivalric books and starting to see the world in a distorted way. The adjective “quixotic” is a synonym of “impossible”, “imaginary” or “unrealizable”; denoting the folly of the acts and thoughts of the novel’s protagonist: Don Quixote … Continue reading Don Quixote: A tale of Sanity in Times of Madness

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Measuring Time

There’s this silly, sentimental country song by Tracy Lawrence with the famous chorus, You find out who your friends are  somebody’s gonna drop everything,  Run out and crank up their car, Hit the gas, get there fast, Never stop to think “what’s in it for me?” or “it’s way too far” They just show on up, with their big old heart, You find out who … Continue reading Measuring Time

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Baby Driver and the Art of Letting Go

Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver first and foremost delivers on sheer entertainment value; it cannot help but be fun. The premise of a getaway driver who obsesses over music and synchronizes his driving and actions to the music delivers all the satisfaction of a well-choreographed dance while retaining all of the fun and intensity of high-speed car chases. With these two combined in such an incredibly … Continue reading Baby Driver and the Art of Letting Go

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Originalism: An Introduction

In recent weeks, the judicial philosophy of originalism has been in the news thanks to the confirmation hearings of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Many discussions of originalism, however, have caricatured its understanding of the judicial role. We hope to address these misconceptions by clearly defining originalism.  Simply put, originalism insists that judges interpret the Constitution based on the original public meaning of its text. Although … Continue reading Originalism: An Introduction

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The New Abnormal: On Flourishing in a Pandemic

We live in apparently unprecedented times. If common parlance speaks truly, humanity is encountering uncertainty as never before. A pandemic ravages the globe. Schools close. Quarantines, stay-at-home orders, and lockdowns begin. The economy is shut down, subsequently crashing. Armchair virologists crack open their laptops, taking to Facebook to report the results of their research to the general public. Zoom’s quarterly revenue increases to over $600 … Continue reading The New Abnormal: On Flourishing in a Pandemic

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The Unlikely Peripatetic, or, A Postscript to the Paperclip

He meets your eye from the book’s broad flyleaf, a vivid figure on a ground of flame blue. Piercing through a quizzical squint and the flash-fixed vapor of a cheeky cigar, the gaze is more forward than one expects from such age. Facing the title page’s monoglyph—Design—the portrait reads like a dare. In a way, it is. A household name in his native UK, Terence … Continue reading The Unlikely Peripatetic, or, A Postscript to the Paperclip

Meet Me at Our Spot

Humans all have a deeper longing to engage with music in a kind of dance where there is intention, anticipation and response, and a sort of push and pull motion. Recorded music can certainly help facilitate this, but unfortunately it can also dampen that longing. There is a certain language that we learn, whether subconsciously or through a more active process, that helps shape the … Continue reading Meet Me at Our Spot

The Problem of Christian Philosophy

God is not an answer to the enigma of being; He, veiled and hidden, tenuous to the human eye, is wrapped in its center In a 1935 series of lectures, Martin Heidegger asserts that Christian philosophy is a contradiction in terms. If philosophy—especially metaphysics—is the exploration of the fundamental question “Why is there being rather than nothing?”, then religion, and dogmatic religion in particular, cannot … Continue reading The Problem of Christian Philosophy

Suffering Redeemed: Work as an Act of Love

While it is true that manual labor has an inherent value, to focus primarily on the meaning of the activity and ignore the way that activity is experienced largely misses the point I have heard many different philosophical explanations for the value of hard work and the dignity of America’s working class. They offer a response to those among the upper and upper- middle classes … Continue reading Suffering Redeemed: Work as an Act of Love

Waiting to Remember

To remember is to restore. To return to one’s memories, particularly the painful ones, is to revisit a place of holy ground. It is to return to the breaking ground and the winnowing field. In drear nighted December John Keats, 1817   In drear nighted December,      Too happy, happy tree,  Thy branches ne’er remember      Their green felicity— The north cannot undo them  With a sleety whistle … Continue reading Waiting to Remember

Revisiting Daredevil

“Our lived reality often conflicts with theological principles in ways that cannot be resolved easily, or even at all.” In the first season of Marvel’s Netflix show Daredevil, Matthew Murdock has a frank discussion with his priest about personal vocation. A lawyer by day and masked vigilante by night, Matthew walks a fine line of hypocrisy. He regularly steps outside the bounds of the justice … Continue reading Revisiting Daredevil

Gregory Alan Isakov and Rainer Maria Rilke on the Quiet Things of Life

“ Oh blessed rage for order…The maker’s rage to order words of the sea…”   ~ Wallace Stevens One of Augustine of Hippo’s ways of understanding the human heart sounds paradoxical at first: a man can walk around the earth, but he cannot ever circumscribe his own heart. Rather than debate whether or not this is the case, I am going to take this as … Continue reading Gregory Alan Isakov and Rainer Maria Rilke on the Quiet Things of Life

The Writer as Artist: On Transience and the Joy of Words

Throughout my academic career, I have viewed writing as a means by which I can paraphrase, convey, and analyze other people’s ideas. I never attempted poetry or creative prose, or anything outside of academic essays for that matter, because the thought that those styles of writing were something I could do or something worthwhile had never even crossed my mind. As a writer, I was … Continue reading The Writer as Artist: On Transience and the Joy of Words

All Goodbyes Are Temporary

One of my favorite places in the world is a little donut shop in Coldwater named Dutch Uncle. By any ordinary standards it isn’t a very nice establishment: The bathroom door only sort-of closes, they serve water in sketchy styrofoam cups (which they have to go back into the kitchen to get because the soda fountain is broken), they only take cash, and the benches … Continue reading All Goodbyes Are Temporary

The Missing Dictionary Entry

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrasal verb “to miss out (on)” is an American colloquialism that arose in the early twentieth century. This meaning of “being deprived of an experience or opportunity” is a relatively new meaning for “miss” in our language; a word that actually dates back to Old English. Originally, “miss” meant “to go wrong, to make a mistake,” which has … Continue reading The Missing Dictionary Entry