It’s not enough, according to MacIntyre’s recent Notre Dame lecture, to argue for the dignity of the unborn as a property they possess if the economic and social conditions of our society make it difficult for them to maintain their dignity after they’re born. In this Featured Collection, I trust you’ll find some helpful commentary on issues which must be pondered if one wishes to understand MacIntyre’s argument.
At the end of this month, Serena Sigillito will step down from her current role as editor to a new, more auxiliary role as editor-at-large. To mark the occasion, here is collection of nine essays, one from each calendar year of her tenure at PD, that were particularly formative for her.
9/11 was not really so long ago, and we live with its effects still. Today, we remember and grieve, but we continue to think and to act. Nothing will relieve us of that duty until the end of days.
I’ve spent some time this summer driving through parts of the American West. Even though I grew up in the West, I’ve lived on the East Coast long enough to be startled anew at the open space, big skies, and sheer enormity of it all—the mountains are big, the canyons deep, the rivers fast. More...
The Fourth of July will soon be upon us, with its rites of fireworks, cookouts, and disagreement about the meaning and legacy of America. The American story requires an asterisk, some say, given its many injustices—or such is the current mood and impulse. Even if one is not inclined to accept a story of America’s...
To recover our moral direction, we need to speak and think well. Public Discourse’s rich archive of essays on abortion can help us to do so.
We all, each and every one, need help navigating the complexities of life. We are all vulnerable and poor. We all need a decent society with decent laws and decent religion. We’re contending for such decency, and not for ourselves alone.
Marriage is not always easy, and children can be exhausting. Yet it turns out that human happiness is found only in the gift of self. Work can be a generous gift of oneself, of course, but for many the flight from marriage and children into workism results not in the finding of self but in its loss.
In 2021, Public Discourse intends to examine our need for institutions and possible ways to renew and rethink them. While readers can expect to see this theme recur throughout the year, we have in the last month, and particularly in the last week, launched this theme in a series of excellent essays. They’re worth the time to read and carefully consider.
The authors and editors at PD don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but we think we know something about which questions we need to raise, and who we should ask to address them. As more and more about America and conservatism seem up for debate, expect PD to continue to provide a path forward.
During this difficult year, Public Discourse authors have called us to hold on to hope, even when those around us succumb to despair.
Americans are just a month away from choosing our next president. Voting is a great responsibility, and we at Public Discourse seek to inform readers with a variety of viewpoints and arguments all coming from thinkers who share our basic moral commitments.
As Americans head back to school—or try homeschooling for the first time—it is worth recalling several Public Discourse essays on the nature and purpose of education, along with advice for all of those engaged in this important vocation.
Patrick Deneen’s provocative 2018 book Why Liberalism Failed deepened and brought to a focal point a long-running debate among American conservatives. No, not about why FDR-LBJ-Obama-style liberalism had failed—on that American conservatives agreed. The long-running debate was over classical liberalism, the sort associated with John Locke. The questions were first, how much this tradition of...
Discrimination and prejudice on the basis of race is a violation of the human dignity of our neighbors, and we all have a responsibility to fight injustice wherever it is found. The question, of course, is how we ought to do this. Are the foundations of our American systems of government and civil society fundamentally unjust? Or have we only failed in living up to their lofty calls and promises? Do we need to tear down our institutions or reform them?
Is the separation of church and state to blame for the sidelining of religion in public life, and for the moral drift that gave us abortion on demand, the redefinition of marriage, and our transgender moment? Can religious “neutrality” ever be achieved, or will the state act on the basis of some comprehensive doctrine no matter what, in which case better for it to be acting firmly and directly on the basis of the truth? Is integralism—be it conservatively Catholic or progressively secular—inevitable? We offer these essays collected here to help you as you discern where the truth lies.
In the midst of a global pandemic, many parts of everyday life have been locked-down, adapted, or shuttered. The race of productivity and activity has screeched to a halt. Normally crammed schedules have turned into pages of open space. The opportunity for leisure can be embraced or squandered. Through this collection, Matthew Franck offers wide-ranging, excellent recommendations for classic literature and cinema to enrich our intellectual lives and encourage virtuous living.
Coronavirus has upended our lives. How should we respond? How should we think about the government's response? What moral principles should govern our society as we move forward? And how can we flourish during these trying times? Public Discourse authors shed some light.
Since our founding, Public Discourse has sought to promote an approach to economics that focused on the common good. From early essays from our Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Ryan T. Anderson, on a natural law vision of social justice (the subject of his dissertation), to more recent essays from Senator Marco Rubio on the dignity of work and from our Editor, Serena Sigilito, on economic policy and childcare, Public Discourse has been a venue for conservative thinkers to explore how to best understand the relationship of the market and human flourishing. Here is a small sample of some of those early essays and more recent ones from the past year.
It's back-to-school season, and what better way to prepare for the academic year ahead than by reflecting on the ends of education and seeking practical advice from seasoned veterans? Whether you're an undergraduate just starting out, a grad student pursuing a PhD, JD, or MD, a first-time teacher or an old hand, Public Discourse has philosophical insight and concrete suggestions that will help you make the most of the year to come.
Roughly one fifth of Americans, and one third of young Americans, are what the Pew Research Center has dubbed “Nones,” people who claim no religious affiliation—and their numbers are growing. What does this mean for the future?
As part of a week-long Public Discourse symposium, our contributing editors analyzed how the Nones will affect the five pillars of a free and virtuous society: the human person, sexuality and family, politics and law, education and culture, and business and economics. The rise in numbers of people with no religious affiliation reflects the emergence of a new faith rather than a loss of faith altogether. As America’s religious norm changes from Christianity to therapeutic deism and spiritualized progressivism, we will find more people challenging longstanding protections of human dignity and religious liberty, while embracing permissive sexuality, bitter "us vs. them" politics, education without a soul, and big government solutions.
Nothing is more popular in center-right discourse today than discussions of nationalism. But what does "nationalism" actually mean? What role do race, ethnicity, and religion play in defining American nationalism, and what can we learn from the European experience? What does a commitment to nationalism entail for policy questions about immigration and economics? Should social conservatives embrace nationalism?
The essays below can help us answer these questions.
Don't miss Public Discourse Editor Ryan T. Anderson's picks for the best articles we've published this quarter.
Recently, New York passed a law expanding access to late-term abortions, and similar bills are making their way through the legislatures of Vermont and New Mexico. Governor Jeremy Northam of Virginia came under fire for suggesting that infanticide would be permitted under Virginia’s proposed abortion bill, which was not passed. In response, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska has proposed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would ensure that infants born after failed abortions would receive medical care and legal protections.
This controversy over late-term abortions and infanticide strikes at the heart of a decent society. To be just, a society must be built upon the recognition that all human beings have dignity simply because of the kind of beings they are. Human dignity is something we inherently possess, not something that other human beings bestow on us. People matter even if they are not wanted, including the poor and marginalized, the elderly, the disabled, and the unborn.
The articles below explain why human life begins at conception, why all human beings should be considered as human persons whose rights must be respected, and how these principles should help us understand current debates about abortion and infanticide.
Don't miss Public Discourse Editor Ryan T. Anderson's picks for the best articles we've published this quarter!