Aristotelian-Thomistic moral philosophy doesn’t imply that every economy should be capitalist.
Is the fundamental and essential point of forming the polity the polity itself, or is the polity primarily a means of protecting and achieving many other valuable ends?
Our arguments for limited government should recognize political community as an intrinsic good, not mistake it for a merely instrumental one.
Conservatives need to stop shying away from principled, as opposed to merely utilitarian, defenses of economic freedom and its associated institutions.
Just as our culture’s rejection of an essential human nature wreaked havoc on our moral thought, so too our rejection of the concept of form has made our artwork incoherent.
Natural law theory makes a very limited, but very important claim—that there is common ground between all human beings, and particularly between religious believers and non-believers, on which moral disagreements can be rationally adjudicated.
Children’s relationship to the political community is fundamentally different from that of adults, because it is mediated through their belonging to a family and living under the authority of their parents.
When we define our terms based on the results we want, rather than on the reality of the thing being defined, all hell breaks loose.
We cannot embrace same-sex marriage and live in continuity with our past as a civilization. To embrace it is to deny that tradition, revelation, reason, and nature have any authority over us.
Is religious belief wrong, and are religious believers morally culpable for their false beliefs?
No one wants to return to the 1950s as Betty Friedan characterized them, where women felt blocked from pursuing interests outside the home. At the same time, to insist that stay-at-home moms are trapped, desperate, and unhappy is naïve, insulting, and even damaging to the roots of society.
The Founders’ vision of the “common good” was not the pre-modern natural law conception of an objective human good, but a conception of “mutual advantage” shaped by the social contract framework. This logic of liberalism has driven our country to its current political and cultural problems.
While we should reject misguided claims that our founders adopted political voluntarism, we should follow suggestions for strengthening civic life—and thereby sustain American liberalism—through local government, families, churches, and other civic associations.
To reject the presence of natural law in documents of the Founding era is to embrace both cynicism and romanticism.
Hollywood’s new musical masterpiece illustrates a classical legal philosophy, long lost to our liberal establishment, that serves as a golden mean between tyrannical legalism and libertine antinomianism.
Calvin Coolidge is an exemplar for conservative leaders because he was the very opposite of an ideological dreamer; he saw his vocation as a duty to provide the country that elected him with honest and frugal government that respected limits.
The invention of Rex, a bionic man with artificially created organs, helps us see why it is impossible for any machine to be a human being.
True doctors and abortionists are different kinds of persons because they perform different acts as they carry out different proposals: the one, a proposal to remove a non-viable child to save the mother; the other, to kill that child for the mother’s benefit.
Roger Scruton argues that conservatism is a better home for good environmental policy than liberalism.
In a country where we oscillate between the extremes of realism and pacifism, learning the history of the just war tradition is important. A new book by David Corey and J. Daryl Charles offers us an introduction.
Sneering at persons who are not social constructionists has become commonplace. Until defenders of inherent virtues, natural laws, divine beings, and other things that transcend social reality learn to overcome this initial set-up, they will be forever on the defensive.
Yes, George Bailey destroyed Bedford Falls. Good riddance! The entrepreneur creates new ways of life that restore our moral bearings when old ways of life become—as they do in every age—cynical and dysfunctional.
In the classic Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the humane society of Bedford Falls is built on conservative principles, not contemporary liberal ones.
“Natural law liberalism” is a chimera that cannot and does not exist in the American tradition.
Science can and should help determine sound public policy on matters that involve basic human rights.
The solution to the political and moral crisis of our time does not lie in abandoning liberalism or in defending Lockeanism. It rests in the recovery of natural law liberalism—a sustainable public philosophy that is true to reason, to nature, and to Christian belief.
Our Founding liberal principles aren’t the best invocation against inhuman practices like slavery and abortion because they also produce self-aggrandizement, individualism, willfulness, and a conception of liberty as the absence of constraint.
Rather than reject liberalism for its excesses, we should take up the more modest task of recovering the principles of liberalism once embraced by our founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln.
Adam Freedman’s stark proposal in The Naked Constitution that we strip our founding document of its modern and academic glosses shows us that we need to take structural reforms to our Constitution seriously.
A physician-philosopher argues that modern medicine is oriented toward the dead body because it is no longer informed by an ultimate purpose for human existence.
Preserving marriage as a union of man and woman is bound to fail unless we address the true point of contention in the marriage debate, one completely ignored by even the best legal advocates for redefining marriage: the question “what is marriage?"
From the beginning of its existence a human being is always already a person because personhood belongs to it essentially as an instance of that natural kind. The second of a two-part series.
Pro-choice philosophers err in their criticism of the pro-life position because they do not understand potentiality in terms of a being’s essential properties. The first of a two-part series.
Can the press still prevent a tyrannical majority opinion as it did in Tocqueville’s time? Second of a two-part series.
Progressive journalist Walter Lippman’s 1922 book Public Opinion still offers a relevant critique of the concept of “public opinion” and journalists’ power to shape it. First in a two-part series.
Distinguished philosopher Thomas Nagel rejects both evolutionary materialism and theism as adequate accounts of the origin and nature of human life, proposing instead a naturalistic “nonpurposive teleology.” But naturalistic teleology, just like existence itself, calls for a cause that transcends the created order.
Charles Kesler’s new book shows that President Obama’s grandiose progressive ambitions, like those of his progressive predecessors, accord neither with the American character nor with human nature.
Religious liberty litigation against the HHS mandate undermines the initial, reason-based arguments of religious objectors. Objectors would do well to refocus the debate on those arguments. The second in a two-part series.
Conservatives should embrace the cause of equality of opportunity, not sameness of opportunity.
Economic liberty is necessary for achieving the real, non-economic goods of individuals and associations in civil society. Not the collectivist “we” of government, but the many “we’s” of civil society are the true ground of a just, and good, society.
If we encourage people to turn away from what is objectively true and good, to cherish instead their beliefs, whatever those may happen to be, we are teaching them not to think at all.
The Hebrew Scriptures, read as a work of political theory, offer egalitarian, communitarian, and individualistic themes; two recent books incompletely capture the presence of all three.
The authors of the Hebrew Scriptures shape their presentation of God by using three metaphors from the political realm: law, covenant, and teaching.
Michael Rosen’s effort to clarify the history and meaning of dignity ignores Christianity’s important philosophical contributions.
The recent Penn State scandal reminds us that if sports are to instill moral character, we must approach athletics first as an education in the virtues, not as an avenue to fame and wealth.
True authority plays a necessary role in our moral lives, and, when it is distributed according to respectable standards of excellence, it ennobles both those who direct it and those who are directed by it.
The right to religious freedom was crucial to the Founders’ vision of America. Religious freedom is a right to be protected because it enables us to fulfill our human obligation to seek the truth. The second in a two-part series.
The virtuous life is an art; and one learns art not from theorists but from the artists themselves.
Man cannot properly be free without that by virtue of which his freedom has meaning.
Lying is always wrong because it always compromises the love of truth that we need to know and love God better.