Category Archives: American Politics

Light on the Longest Hatred

Light on the Longest Hatred I’d intended to devote this column to leisurely reflections on what I sometimes term “the Jewish assignment” in history.  Reflections prompted by a biography I’m now reading, with the title, Rabbi Leo Baeck: Living a … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, Bible, Biblical God, bigotry, book reviews, books, Christianity, Cities, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Love, Martyrdom, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Mysticism, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romanticism, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, terrorism, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Was It A Past Life?

Was It A Past Life? By now there are many cases on record of individuals recalling previous lifetimes.  A person under hypnosis will seem to remember incidents that occurred under conditions quite different from those obtaining in that person’s present … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, bigotry, books, bureaucracy, Childhood, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Feminism, Freedom, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Martyrdom, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, science, scientism, secular, self-deception, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, terrorism, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Politics of Friendship

The Politics of Friendship I have a woman friend who’s been in my life over long stretches of time, interrupted by sharp breaks in the friendship – one break from me and one from her. Friendships have themes, I’ve noticed.  … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, bigotry, books, Chivalry, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Institutional Power, Jews, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, motherhood, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, Romanticism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Levinas, the Other, and Me

Levinas, the Other, and Me Some years ago, I went to a conference on Emmanuel Levinas at the University of Chicago.  I had just discovered Levinas, found him a dramatically original and appealing philosopher, and went out there with no … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, American Politics, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, Biblical God, bigotry, books, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, memory, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, self-deception, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Past 150 Years: Looking Backwards

The Past 150 years: Looking Backwards I’ve said, and I believe, that our lives are the true stories of who we are – something we find out as we try out the deeds that appear to express who we are … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, bigotry, books, Christianity, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, nineteenth-century, novels, Oppression, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Poetry, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, science, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Confessions

Confessions Last night I was trying to cope with a digestive disaster and wondering what on earth could have caused it, since it didn’t seem to have the usual obvious connection with food.  Two explanations presented themselves. First, a possible … Continue reading

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Sanctifying the Name

Sanctifying the Name Christians have the concept of martyrdom, from a term of Greek  derivation that means witness.  The martyr refuses to renounce her faith despite all that the world can throw against it. The corresponding Jewish figure does something … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, Biblical God, bigotry, books, bureaucracy, Chivalry, Christianity, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Desire, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, history of ideas, idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Did I Get To Be This Happy?

How Did I Get To Be This Happy? If I put this question to an existentialist, the answer would be: “Because you’re inauthentic.  You walk around in bad faith.”  The human situation can be deemed absurd (if you’re feeling French) … Continue reading

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Proceedings and Addresses

Proceedings and Addresses Proceedings is the shared forum, like the Athenian agora, where American philosophers who have managed to command the attention of their colleagues publish their invited addresses. Since 2000, I’ve stepped down from active faculty status (though not … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, book reviews, books, bureaucracy, Chivalry, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hierarchy, history of ideas, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, life and death struggle, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, science, scientism, Seduction, self-deception, seventeeth century, Sex Appeal, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, status, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Back by Popular Demand: It’s Hegel!

Back by Popular Demand:  It’s Hegel! Hegel is one of the philosophers from whom I’ve learned a lot.  Though he was born and died in nineteenth-century Germany, he’s still timely. In the Anglo-American sphere, the question I get is, “What’s … Continue reading

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