Category Archives: History

Eroding to wisdom

The best quotes are the misattributed ones — overused maxims that become smoother as they tumble from paraphrase to paraphrase until they are worn smooth like river stones. Whenever I track one of these retroactively adopted orphans back to their … Continue reading

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Liberal symbol

I’ve been marking passages in Inventing the Individual that show the emergence of liberal traits. I’m making a list of these traits in the back of the book, with the goal of distilling a set of liberal family resemblances which, … Continue reading

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Four sides to every conflict

In conflicts, there are four sides to every story: there is my side, there is your side, there is what I think your side is, and there is what you think my side is. If you want to know a … Continue reading

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Slurpy, mergy, touchy-feely notions of interpersonal being

Wow, this post really sprawled out. It hits a lot of my enduring interests. I’m not sure it is suitable for reading. It might just be a personal journal entry written to myself. Feel free to eavesdrop if you wish, … Continue reading

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Critical reverence

In Torah study my fellow students regard our heritage with a distinctive attitude that can be characterized as critical reverence. We are horrified by much of what the Israelites did in God’s name, but we know that this is where … Continue reading

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Scholem

I need to read about Gershom Scholem‘s life. Scholem, along with his best friend, Walter Benjamin, couldĀ be a Northwest Passage from Judaism into those aspects of Nietzsche which remain as compelling to me today as when they blew me to … Continue reading

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Vision and voice

People love to watch an artist draw. He draws a line and slowly it becomes a shape. He adds more lines, and introduces shading. So far, the relationships are all within the page; a composition takes form. But the drawing … Continue reading

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