Author: Elayne Allen (Elayne Allen)

About the Author

Cyborg Feminism

The final frontier for equality between the sexes—the missing tech fix—was always, how do we deal with reproduction? How do we deal with the different reproductive roles between the sexes? How can we use tech to flatten those differences? So reproductive inequality is the final frontier in replacing the sexes to with the atomized, sexless, liberal person.


Toward a New Vision of Wealth

In modern societies, wealth is not tied to land or long-lasting material things, nor is it transmitted across generations; it is fluid, shapeshifting, and usually doesn’t extend beyond the horizon of our own lives and personal needs. This series attempts to offer fresh ways of imagining wealth so that it becomes more conducive to cultural vibrancy and helps us flourish.


Let’s Stigmatize Smartphones

Between the individual and government is a great bulk of institutions that could help us address the cultural challenges posed by tech. In addition to policy reforms and individuals’ weaning themselves off tech, we also need to create stigmas around social media and smartphone use—culturally agreed upon limits, including designated times and places where screen time is socially unacceptable.


Why You Should Enjoy Being Perplexed

Being perplexed means allowing other people and ideas to change or move you at times. Perplexity doesn’t seek cheap or easy answers to serious questions. And it isn’t satisfied with momentary highs from oversimplified and triumphant assertions, but prefers the rewards of prolonged contemplation. Perplexity also turns its sights from the grotesque, and doesn’t abuse its objects for the sake of stimulation or entertainment.


Does Dobbs v. Jackson Threaten The Supreme Court’s Legitimacy?

The only way that we can really meaningfully grapple with the Supreme Court's legitimacy is to ask: what was it actually built to do? Roe was wrong. It had become the political equivalent of a black hole, totally devoid of substance, but with such immense gravity that it distorts everything around it. Abortion, of course, isn’t going away as a political issue. The difference now will be that instead of having debates about Roe, we’ll debate about abortion.


Higher Education Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: A Conversation with Baylor University’s Thomas Hibbs

The continuity between administration and teaching for me has always had to do with the question of the moral, intellectual, and spiritual development of young people. Finding creative ways to meet students where they are and draw them into the most important questions is a source of endless fascination for me. When it comes to education, it may be the case that, as Alasdair MacIntyre argues, the only way to carry on sustained debate is from within and between rival traditions, assuming, that is, that members of a particular tradition are genuinely interested in engaging perspectives quite different from their own.


The Philosophical Nowhere Place of the Contemporary Novel

If the novel is by definition tightly bound to the human subject, then contemporary novels will suffer from the same decay and corrosion from which the contemporary soul suffers. Yet, despite the uneasy conditions facing both the novel and the world, the human soul remains remarkably resilient and fascinating. Sally Rooney’s latest novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You? ponders the profound disenchantment that haunts today’s souls and novels alike.


Maintaining Faith Amid Modern Malaise: A Conversation with Public Discourse Contributing Editor Devorah Goldman

I think PD is doing important work in addressing modern spiritual challenges: even just acknowledging such problems from an explicitly religious perspective can hopefully get us closer to mitigating them. Both Judaism and Christianity also engender a kind of humility, as we look to the past for wisdom and acknowledge our indebtedness to those who came before us.


Charting Public Discourse’s Past and Future: A Conversation between Serena Sigillito and Elayne Allen

Our hope is that, by reading PD regularly, our readers will be formed in such a way that they have not only knowledge on particular topics, but also virtuous habits of mind. By illustrating the capacity to earnestly and carefully think through what’s good and what's bad about both conservative and liberal positions, we show that sobriety and careful, detached thinking is still possible—that we really can have knowledge about the truths that give order to our being.

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