In Defense of the Useless, Part I

A liberal arts education, like love, is best when it is useless. ‘Useless’ is a philosophic term which refers to that which is enjoyed for its own sake, that which has purpose, value, and meaning in and of itself. Joseph Pieper discusses the useless on page 41 of  his essay In Defense of Philosophy. What he refers to as “philosophy,” he elsewhere refers to … Continue reading In Defense of the Useless, Part I

A Word on Hope: Vocation in Light of the Baltimore Riots, Part III.a of III

Part III.a When I began working on this series, I wanted to respond to the idea that “rioters simply need to get a job.” There is a certain naivete in suggesting that the right job could alleviate despair and serve as a sufficient source of human fulfillment. At the same time, many of us draw … Continue reading A Word on Hope: Vocation in Light of the Baltimore Riots, Part III.a of III

A Word on Hope: Vocation in Light of the Baltimore Riots, Part II of III

This post continues an exploration of vocation. In part I, work (or career) was distinguished from our universal vocation to personhood. Yet, personhood, our primary vocation, is not realized in abstraction. In accord with its nature, personhood exists and develops in a social context. One such context is work. Work is an arena in and … Continue reading A Word on Hope: Vocation in Light of the Baltimore Riots, Part II of III

A Word on Hope: Vocation in Light of the Baltimore Riots, Part I of III

Day Laborers by Steve Houston. The riots in Baltimore are about race, equality, and economics, but ultimately, the problem goes deeper than civil or social reform. There is a crisis of hope, and the human person can only truly flourish in the context of hope. While civil and social reform aim at the protection of human dignity, such … Continue reading A Word on Hope: Vocation in Light of the Baltimore Riots, Part I of III

An Encounter with Personhood

To recognize one’s other as a self is to know a person as a person. Such knowledge goes infinitely further than tolerance or political equality. This post explores how ethical knowledge informs an experience of personhood. Personhood is ultimately a grander and more encompassing pursuit than that of tolerance or human rights alone.  For Thomas Aquinas, there are two primary modes of knowledge: the theoretical and the practical. Theoretical knowledge … Continue reading An Encounter with Personhood