Author: Randall Smith (Randall Smith)

About the Author

Deconstructionist, Deconstruct Thyself

The human soul is marvelously complex. Anyone who thinks he can definitively disentangle another author’s motivations—let alone his own—is fooling himself. He is engaging less in scholarly inquiry than self-projection. Only by listening attentively to others can we instruct our minds and enlarge our souls.


Whose Nation? Which Nationalism?

Americans are in the midst of an important debate about the virtues and dangers of nationalism. Unfortunately, interlocutors are not always clear about what they are arguing for or against when they use the term. Some key distinctions from the work of Jacques Maritain can help clarify matters.


Conforming to Good or Evil: More Moral Lessons in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Clear moral norms are crucial. But to be effective, those norms need to be embodied in moral communities and social practices, habituated in the virtues, and animated by a conviction that they are an essential part of human flourishing. We must create social structures and communities in which intellectual training and moral formation in the virtues can happen.


Why Senior Faculty Should Teach First-Year Students

Why aren’t we insisting that students be introduced to the discipline by those who know it best? Pawning these courses off on overworked junior faculty who are so busy grading they have no time to eat lunch, let alone publish or—worse yet—on adjunct faculty who are paid slave wages and have no benefits is unconscionable.


Patient Patriotism

Patriotism isn’t merely something you show in a parade; it means having to deal with people with whom you disagree, but whose lives are bound to yours as yours is to theirs, in a long, difficult, patient, and sometimes painful search for the common good.


Employment and Social Justice

When we debate problems of social justice, we must keep our shared principles separate from the means we advocate to recognize them. Failure to do so produces unfruitful discourse and misdirected charges.

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