philosophy

But Not Yet

St. Augustine and Refusal of the Call St. Augustine was born Aurelius Augustinus in Algeria, in the north of Africa, in the year of our Lord three hundred and fifty-four.  His understanding of the world, our relationship with God, and… Read More ›

DESERT SOLITAIRE Critique

Much to the surprise, even dismay, of its author, Desert Solitaire has lived to become Edward Abbey’s best loved book. First published in 1968, it temporarily lapsed into obscurity before revivification by Simon & Schuster in 1971. It has lain… Read More ›

Bedrock and Paradox

Night falls upon the Arches as Abbey leaves for the winter, called away by some unnameable, irresistible urge to fraternize with others of his own kind. Like the tumbleweeds, he must follow this impulse to fly, to be carried away… Read More ›

The First Morning

Abbey describes his arrival at Arches National Monument as a genesis, a place where the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. He awakens from sleep to a goal of discovering the… Read More ›

Origins: Cactus Ed

MAY ALL YOUR TRAILS BE CROOKED, WINDING, LONESOME, DANGEROUS, LEADING TO THE MOST AMAZING VIEW, WHERE SOMETHING STRANGE AND MORE BEAUTIFUL AND MORE FULL OF WONDER THAN YOUR DEEPEST DREAMS WAITS FOR YOU. — Edward Abbey (1927-1989)   Edward Paul… Read More ›

Manifest Destiny

ONE OF THE PENALTIES OF AN ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION IS THAT ONE LIVES ALONE IN A WORLD OF WOUNDS. — ALDO LEOPOLD   The landscape of 19th century America, the landscape that produced Abbey, Carson, and Leopold, was markedly different from… Read More ›

Five Minds for the Future

Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner (2008) For years I’ve used Howard Gardner’s seminal essay, “Multiple Intelligences,” in my freshman composition courses. It’s a fine example of the comparison-contrast mode of expository writing using a point-by-point structure; moreover,… Read More ›

Understanding Media

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man Critical Edition by Marshall McLuhan (1964) Edited by W. Terrence Gordon (2003) In this, the book that catapulted him to the world stage of philosophic frontiers, McLuhan looks to the likes of W.B. Yeats,… Read More ›