New Books

Moderately Modern
Moderately Modern

Moderately Modern wears its thesis on its sleeve. Modern men and women, those thoroughly imbued with modernity’s ideas, hopes, and projects, need to moderate themselves. They need to rein themselves in, they need to think and act beyond their comfort zone. Implicit in this claim, of course, is a slew of topics, claims, and an argument. What is modernity? What’s lacking in it? Where should its adherents look outside and beyond it? What would they find? And what would a conjunction of a chastened modernity and a newly respected outside look like? It would be difficult to find someone more equipped to raise and pursue these questions than Rémi Brague.

The Mystery of Death and Beyond
Mystery of Death and Beyond, The

The purpose of this little book is to answer certain questions that many people have about the nature of death. Most people feel that there is something wrong about death. We all want to live a happy life and we do not want to die. Life is experienced as something very good and we want to preserve it. But the reality is that man is by nature mortal, which means that he is destined to die sooner or later. The fact is that we begin to die the moment we are conceived in our mother’s womb.

Nature's Virtue
Nature's Virtue

Virtue is not what it used to be. It has lost its good name. If virtue were a television show, it would garner low ratings and promptly be cancelled. If virtue were running for president, it would fare poorly in the Iowa caucuses and would drop out of the race after a weak showing in the New Hampshire primary. Virtue has a bad name, both because people no longer use the term and because it is associated with repression of desires. Today, it not considered healthy to keep inner urges at bay for very long. Virtue comes off looking like a relic of a quaint, narrow-minded, uptight age. Virtue does not support self-esteem since it is difficult to master the passions.

On the Principles of Taxing Beer
On the Principles of Taxing Beer

What is real and what is noble, as well as what is deranged and wrong, can often be stated briefly. Nietzsche was famous for his succinct aphorisms and epigrams. Aquinas in one of his responses could manage to state clearly what he held to be true. Ultimately, all of our thought needs to be so refined and concentrated that we can see the point. So these are “brief” essays and they are largely of a philosophical “hue.” They touch on things worth thinking about. Indeed, often they consider things we really need to think about if our lives are to make sense.

Paths to Salvation
Paths to Salvation

In this work Klaus Vondung explores the various forms in which the elevation of politics into the sphere of religion was expressed in the Third Reich: in the faith of committed National Socialists, in the party’s cult events which celebrated the “community of the people” as a “community of faith” and the Fuhrer as “savior”, and in the persecution of the Jews that was ‘justified’ in religious terms by demonizing Jews as the “evil enemies of humanity” responsible for the world’s ills.

The Pilgrimage of Philosophy
Pilgrimage of Philosophy, The

The Pilgrimage of Philosophy: A Festschrift for Charles E. Butterworth intends to introduce readers to the work of Charles E. Butterworth, and thereby to introduce students to Medieval Islamic political philosophy, of which Butterworth is one of the world’s most prominent scholars. In a wider sense, the Festschrift introduces its readers to the current debates on Medieval Islamic political philosophy, related as they are to the questions of the relationship between Islam and Christianity, the Medieval to the Modern world, and reason and revelation

The Platonic Tradition
Platonic Tradition, The

The Platonic tradition in Western philosophy is not just one of many equally central traditions. It is so much THE central one that the very existence and survival of Western civilization depends on it. It is like the Confucian tradition in Chinese culture, or the monotheistic tradition in religion, or the human rights tradition in politics.

The Politics of Culture and Other Essays
Politics of Culture and Other Essays, The

This work brings together Scruton's best essays from many sources, arranging them thematically. The book has four sections: Language and Art, Writers in Context, Architecture, and Culture and Anarchy. Though the essays are diverse, certain themes are developed in particular and then in general ways, and there are several important essays on writers and critics, that contribute to the reappraisal of their work – among them Dante, Andre Breton, Graham Greene, James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, Jacques Lacan, and Yukio Mishima.

The Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays
Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays, The

A fascinating collection of studies, The Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays explores the historical and theoretical underpinnings of personal liberty and free government and provides a trenchant analysis of the crisis of civic consciousness endangering both of them today. The book addresses a range of issues in contemporary political philosophy and constitutional theory. These are seen to be all the more urgent in importance because of the surging aspirations for liberty in the wake of the collapses we see throughout the Middle East, Africa, and other areas, and the withdrawal from leadership in America and Europe.

The Praise of 'Sons of Bitches'
Praise of 'Sons of Bitches', The

This book tries to return to the first obligation of the Christian, that of worshipping God. It argues that contemporary Christian thought and practice, insofar as they are moved away from the center, usually in the name of social action or ecology, have changed the essential meaning and purpose of human life in the Christian tradition.

Pre-Modern Philosophy Defended
Pre-Modern Philosophy Defended

“Pre-modern philosophy” means the line of reflection that started with Plato andvAristotle, passed through Augustine and Boethius, and reached its acme in Aquinas, Scotus, and Suarez. The whole line was harshly judged by Descartes, then mocked by the empiricsts of the 18th Century. Why, then, did Pope Leo XII make a determined effort to revive it? And, more importantly, why was the revival a stunning success by the middle of the 20th Century?

Protestant Nation
Protestant Nation

Alain Besançon’s studies, over decades, on Russia, France, Islam, and art have convinced him that “that nothing is comprehensible if one neglects the religious choices that determine a historical destiny.” His aim is to comprehend the most powerful nation on the earth, and he was convinced that Protestantism was the key to America.

Rules of the Game in Social Relationships
Rules of the Game in Social Relationships

Pieper set about defining three types of social interaction and describing how they function. 1. The community is an intimate grouping based on mutual affirmation of its members what they share in common. The family is an example. 2. Society is the sphere we enter on leaving the intimate circle in which we live. Here, tact, etiquette and contract come into play for the protection of one another’s privacy. 3. Organization is the sphere dominated by usefulness of the individual.

So Ancient and So New
So Ancient and So New

The study of any masterpiece can change one’s life, but the Confessions of St. Augustine, like Plato’s Republic or Dante’s Commedia, has the almost uncanny power to enact in the reader what it describes. Plato’s book reconfigures the city of the soul by freeing it from enslavement to the tyrannical passions and making it answerable to reason in its pursuit of the good. For Augustine, who shares many of the same ends, the pursuit of the good is not the rectification of philosophical reason, but (as it was for Dante) an intensely personal and consuming love: the encounter with the living God. Oddly, it may seem, that encounter comes for Augustine through the act of reading. Unlike Plato, who depicts the process of reasoning toward the truth, Augustine finds the truth revealed in another, immeasurably greater book that cannot be read in its true sense without the help of its author.

Socrates' Children - Ancient
Socrates' Children - Ancient Philosophers

Kreeft focuses on the “big ideas” that have influenced present people and present times, and includes relevant biographical data, proportionate to its importance for each thinker. Moreover, the aim of the work is to stimulate philosophizing, controversy, and argument. It uses ordinary language and logic, not jargon and symbolic logic, and it is commonsensical (like Aristotle) and existential in the sense that it sees philosophy as something to be lived and experienced in life. Philosophy, after all, is not about philosophy but reality . . . about wisdom, life and death, good and evil, and God.

Socrates' Children – Contemporary
Socrates' Children - Contemporary

Kreeft focuses on the “big ideas” that have influenced present people and present times, and includes relevant biographical data, proportionate to its importance for each thinker. Moreover, the aim of the work is to stimulate philosophizing, controversy, and argument. It uses ordinary language and logic, not jargon and symbolic logic, and it is commonsensical (like Aristotle) and existential in the sense that it sees philosophy as something to be lived and experienced in life. Philosophy, after all, is not about philosophy but reality . . . about wisdom, life and death, good and evil, and God.

Socrates' Children - Medieval
Socrates' Children - Medieval

This is the second of a four-volume history of philosophy. Kreeft seeks to be simple and direct and clear. But it is not dumbed down and patronizing. It will stretch the reader, but it is meant for beginners, not just scholars. It can be used for college classes or do-it-yourselfers. It emphasizes surprises; remember, “philosophy begins in wonder.” And it includes visual aids: charts, cartoons, line drawings, and drawings of each philosopher.

Socrates' Children - Modern
Socrates' Children - Modern

This is the third of a four-volume history of philosophy . . . on ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy. After the fourth volume is produced in paper, a one-volume clothbound edition, containing all four paperbound editions, will be published.

A Socratic Introduction to Plato's Republic
Socratic Introduction to Plato's Republic, A

This book is designed for three classes of people:

(1) Beginners who want an introduction to philosophy;

(2) Those who have already had an introduction to philosophy and who would like to see it in action now applied to a great book written by a great philosophy, but who have never read Plato’s Republic, the most famous and influential philosophy book ever written;

(3) Those who have read Plato’s Republic before but did not understand its deepest significance.

Southwell's Sphere
Southwell's Sphere

Once feared by Queen Elizabeth I and admired by William Shakespeare, Robert Southwell, s.j. (1561–1595), clings today to a thinning canonical presence in English literature among a sphere of other writers incongruously called the metaphysical poets. Southwell’s Sphere lifts this sixteenth century Jesuit priest and prolific writer from the obscurity in which he too often resides and places him instead at the center of a sphere of English poets upon whom his life and works exerted an observable influence.