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Featured Conversations

Like all human things, war ought to be ordered by law and moral norms. In these selections from the Public Discourse archives, we see neither arguments for or against war, nor policy prescriptions on options for Ukraine, but first principles are never irrelevant.
Public Discourse has hosted arguments about the Court since the publication’s inception. Here, from our archives, are some essays which remain timely, and which might provide some needed perspective on the role of the Court, originalism, and the role of morality and natural law in the Court.
We’ve thought about children quite a bit at Public Discourse, and in this Featured Collection recall previous essays on the theme. No one here pretends that having children is easy, or inexpensive, or endless bliss. Yet, we also know that marriage and having children ought not be quickly rejected.
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.
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.