Sept. 20, 2018 | Monologues last for hundreds of pages; sentences repeat with subtle, endless differences; the plot is indescribable. Behold: the world’s least readable book... more »


Sept. 19, 2018 | Tolstoy died an eccentric, self-denying, hypocritical, despised, beloved, myopic visionary. Ever since, people have tried to follow his example... more »


Sept. 18, 2018 | What if you could start a canon from scratch? New York magazine thought it'd be fun to try. Here's what a 21st-century canon might look like... more »


Sept. 17, 2018 | David Streitfeld looks back on David Foster Wallace, who sent chain letters and considered becoming “an advice columnist for the highly distraught”... more »


Sept. 15, 2018 | The five radical types: democrats, Manicheans, identitarians, propagandists, and technocrats. We need more of the first and the last. Cass Sunstein explains... more »


Sept. 14, 2018 | In 1791, a depressed Austrian woman wrote to Kant seeking advice. She later killed herself. Oh, the folly of asking philosophers for practical advice... more »


Sept. 13, 2018 | What happens when two fiercely clever controversialists, skilled in the art of mandarin invective, clash on national TV?... more »


Sept. 12, 2018 | Meet the Data Thugs, the foot soldiers behind psychology’s replication crisis. Are they saving science — or destroying it?... more »


Sept. 11, 2018 | It’s easy to admire the maxim “Know thyself” — but what about other Delphic wisdom, such as “Beget from noble routes” and “Admire oracles”?... more »


Sept. 10, 2018 | The Village Voice is dead — sort of. Its cultural and political assumptions, once marginal, are now baked into the mainstream... more »


Sept. 8, 2018 | How far can common sense go toward answering philosophy’s most difficult questions? For J.L. Austin, the answer was quite far indeed... more »


Sept. 7, 2018 | Joyce Maynard has published nine novels and two memoirs. Yet you probably know her as the “opportunistic onetime nymphet” who slept with a great writer... more »


Sept. 6, 2018 | A philosophical riddle: Why is listening to music pleasurable? Perhaps because of its ambiguity, subjectivity, or opacity. Or because it challenges us... more »


Sept. 5, 2018 | In the late 19th century, female artists from around the world began making their way to Paris. They would emerge at the forefront of Impressionism... more »


Sept. 4, 2018 | What's the meaning of freedom? Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, and Robert Nozick disagreed on much. But they all emphasized universal values over group identity... more »


Sept. 3, 2018 | Tolkien’s faith. He was explicit about the theological foundation of his work. But was Christianity at the heart of his greatest achievements?... more »


Sept. 1, 2018 | The End of History or The Clash of Civilizations? Which theory better captured the post-Cold War zeitgeist and predicted what would follow?... more »


Aug. 31, 2018 | The theft of rare books from libraries has long been so easy that it makes even the least talented thief think he's a criminal mastermind... more »


Aug. 30, 2018 | The strange story of Amo the African. Given as a child to a German duke, he became a philosopher, then, suddenly, went back to Africa. Why?... more »


Aug. 29, 2018 | Francis Fukuyama's dalliance with deconstruction. He studied with de Man, Derrida, and Barthes. Any memories? "I decided it was total bullshit"... more »


Aug. 28, 2018 | Writers and their cats. A young Doris Lessing was party to a cat massacre; for Vivian Gornick, a more typical experience: being ignored... more »


Aug. 27, 2018 | John Coltrane said he wanted to play as though jumping into the middle of a sentence. After him, there is nothing left to say on the saxophone... more »


Aug. 25, 2018 | For Roger Scruton, music is rooted in subjective experience. The act of listening endows mere vibrations with meaning and purpose... more »


Aug. 24, 2018 | It's hard to remember when the humanities weren't in crisis. But this time is different. Students are fleeing, especially at elite colleges... more »


Aug. 23, 2018 | The past is not a foolproof guide to the future. It is, however, the only guide we have. So why are historians reluctant to comment on contemporary affairs?... more »


(Page 1 of 40) next »