Time Capsule

by Mark English Academics and other intellectuals have always played a role in public life, and one of their most important roles has been to speak out and to engage – through newspapers and the electronic media, for example – with a wider audience. But, over the last half-century or more, I think there has been a subtle shift in […]

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The Noble Sage

By Paul So When I first encountered philosophy, I thought it involved improving one’s spiritual life by providing some insightful and useful instructions. So it is unsurprising that I imagined a philosopher to be a wise and noble sage who utters koan-like statements that will eventually amount to some life-changing insights conducive for practical living. Many people who haven’t had […]

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This Week’s Special: Henry Kamen’s “The Decline of Spain: A Historical Myth?”

by Michael Boyle http://www.romanistik.uni-freiburg.de/raible/Lehre/2006_07/Materialien/1978_Kamen_Decline.pdf The story that is usually told about early-modern Spain involves depicting it as one of the great powers of Europe. Whether recounting tales of the voyages of exploration, the contributions of Velasquez, El Greco, and Cervantes, or the military power of Spain in Europe itself, Spain is seen as a major player in a number of […]

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This Week’s Special: Charles Tilly’s “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime”

Michael Boyle Tony Soprano and the Nation State: Charles Tilly’s “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime” http://www.scribd.com/doc/280094995/Tilly-War-Making-and-State-Making-as-Organized-Crime One of the most significant sociologists of the 20th Century, Charles Tilly (1929-2008) is best known for his linkage of war and war-making with the appearance of the nation-state in Europe, especially in his 1990 book, Coercion, Capital, and European States, […]

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Critical Thinking Before the Second World War

By Michael Boyle One of the most frequently heard phrases in discussions of higher education today is “critical thinking.”  Whether the setting is a college classroom, a presentation by a university administrator, a political speech, or reports concerning what skills employers are looking for, there’s a good chance that the phrase “critical thinking” will crop up somewhere. This ubiquity, however, […]

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