Humanitas

Publication covering the humanities.

Articles from Vol. 22, No. 1-2, Spring-Fall

Altruism and the Art of Writing: Plato, Cicero, and Leo Strauss
H. A. Prichard changed the course of Plato's Anglophone reception in his 1928 lecture "Duty and Interest" with the claim that Socrates' defense of justice in the Republic is based entirely on self-interest as opposed to disinterested moral obligation....
Being 'Other Cheeky': Moral Hazard and the Thought of Stanley Hauerwas
In the fall of 1899 itinerant preacher and faith-healer John Alexander Dowie purchased 6,600 acres of land along the shores of Lake Michigan just north of Chicago. Placing the church at the center of a city configured to look like the Union Jack, Dowie...
Condorcet and the Logic of Technocracy
One of Goya's etchings in the series called Los Caprichos of 1796 depicts a sleeping figure, his head resting on a writing table, pen and paper scattered around him. Around the sleeping man hovers a shadowy swarm of bat- and owl-like creatures, and...
Freedom and the Family: The Family Crisis and the Future of Western Civilization
In April 2009, Dr. James Dobson stepped down as head of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family with a pessimistic message about his years in the "culture wars." "We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict,"...
From Civilization to Manipulation: The Discrediting and Replacement of the Western Elite
Civilization stands or falls with those who set the tone in society. Are they proper models for emulation? Do they inspire others to realize their better selves, or are they schemers manipulating others for their own benefit? Increasingly, those who...
Progressive Change in Emerson's 'The Conservative'
Emerson scholars have long noted the ubiquity of change in his perspective on the natural and social worlds. They have also called attention to the dialectical process that Emerson credits with driving such change. They have not, however, paid much...
Quantification and Intelligence Testing: A Reassessment
Though not a student of the history of testing for intelligence, I have always thought that intellectual ability, the ability to think conceptually, is primarily shaped by culture and that testing for intelligence reflects the culture of the West,...
Shackling the Imagination: Education for Virtue in Plato and Rousseau
For most of human history, parents had the primary responsibility for educating their own children, usually with help from an extended family or members of a small community. Today, governments have assumed much of the task, compelling education, and...
The Moral Hazard of Modern Banking
In his Essay on Duties, Marcus Tullius Cicero tells a story about Cato the Elder, a wealthy man renowned as a landowner, who lived a century before Cicero. One day Cato was asked, what is the most profitable aspect of property ownership? Cato answered,...
To Dreamworld and Back: A Movie out of the Ordinary
"An Education" 2009. Director Lone Scherfig. Scriptwriter Nick Hornby. Producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey. Christianity and the classical heritage taught men and women to strive for a better life but to have modest hopes. The reason why we...
William Dean Howells's America and What Went Wrong
March 1, 2012, will mark the 175th anniversary of William Dean Howells's birth. Experience has disgraced my prophetic abilities more than once, but I will venture this cautious prediction: the date will pass unnoticed. Such disregard is regrettable,...
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