New Oxford Blog
My Facts, Your Facts
Some facts are brute facts; they “just are”By James Hanink | June 20th 2019 8:29 PM
Here’s a snappy reality check: “You’re entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts.” But reality isn’t always easy to check. For a start, if my opinion is ill-formed, I’m not really entitled to it. There’s a duty to think carefully about our opinions. Of course, today’s political slugfest…READ FULL BLOG POST
The Bored and the Boring
The trouble may be in your setBy James Hanink | June 13th 2019 7:16 PM
Sure, some professors are boring. Blimey, some of us remember Harvard’s eminent Professor Boring, Edwin Boring, a leading psychologist of the 20th century. Some blogs, maybe, are also boring. Not to mention a weekly podcast I host. A good friend, reviewing this humble effort, said that he found some of…READ FULL BLOG POST
Priests serve the Gospel and the people of GodBy James Hanink | June 7th 2019 4:42 PM
Once upon a time, 1965 to be exact, a slim volume appeared with the title Everybody Calls Me Father. Its author was the anonymous Father X, a humble priest. (By the way, it’s still available.) Now comes Cardinal John Dew, headlined as “New Zealand’s top Catholic,” who encouraged priests not…READ FULL BLOG POST
It is increasingly the right thing to doBy James Hanink | May 31st 2019 3:22 PM
Pope Francis recently spoke to health care workers and raised a note of caution about conscientious objection. “The decision to object,” Francis warned, “must be taken with respect, so that what should be done with humility does not become a reason for disdain or pride, so as not to generate…READ FULL BLOG POST
"Always Certain, Seldom Right"
Let’s revisit this damning dismissalBy James Hanink | May 16th 2019 3:02 PM
Know anyone who’s outspoken, opinionated, who calls a spade a spade? I surely knew my father, to whom I owe more than I can ever repay. When the family was planning his funeral, my mother told the pastor “John was outspoken…too outspoken for most people.” Right. Some of us liked…READ FULL BLOG POST
The Double Line
History progresses in the line of evil and in the line of goodBy James Hanink | May 8th 2019 2:44 PM
Asking someone “How are you doing?” can get personal. What if someone takes the question literally? Maybe someone like Mr. Pilgrim. He’s no pushover. Suppose he flips the question and asks “How are you doing?” Or he might even ask “How are we doing?” If he raises this question, he…READ FULL BLOG POST
Sects, Sectarianism, and Secularism
Conciliatory approaches don’t satisfyBy James Hanink | April 29th 2019 9:14 PM
Funny things happen on the way to political dialogues. Not to mention that the participants say the darnedest things… On the one hand, we believe that our deepest commitments should inform our political practices. These practices, presumably, include political dialogues. On the other hand, we tell each other that true…READ FULL BLOG POST
From Bad News to Good News
Daily we puzzle over tough questionsBy James Hanink | April 17th 2019 5:04 PM
My wife and I were sitting in Pann’s, a local eatery. Filmmakers use it to get “real life” footage. Service at Pann’s is also real life, as in slow. Rena, in her mid-90’s, stopped by our table, sequins shining, to schmooze. With her husband, decades ago she’d started the place.…READ FULL BLOG POST
What Are We Doing?
Our communities must share an overarching vision of the goodBy James Hanink | March 12th 2019 4:49 PM
What are we doing? When philosophers ask that question, they’re looking for an act-description. An act-description involves an agent, an act, and (implicitly) the intention in so acting. We can take some act-descriptions at face value. Others we can't. Consider two presidential examples. Harry S Truman, pressed to declare a…READ FULL BLOG POST
What Do People Really Want?
Most of us seek fundamental changes in the established disorderBy James Hanink | March 4th 2019 4:05 PM
The other day I had a chance, via Skype, to have a conversation about what people really want. The conversation was with some friends from the American Solidarity Party and a young socialist working on his Ph.D. If one “average” question leads to another, our question—what do people really want?—led…READ FULL BLOG POST
Venezuela: Overcoming Tragedy
We must publicly reject a U.S. military excursion thereBy James Hanink | February 25th 2019 4:36 PM
No man is an island, nor can any country stand alone. If as “outsiders” we are to be of any help in overcoming Venezuela’s tragedy, we have some hard thinking to do. And since we are human beings, what and how we think is intertwined with our emotions and imagination.…READ FULL BLOG POST
Pope and Grand Imam: Time to Meet Again?
God does not will us to affirm a contradictionBy James Hanink | February 18th 2019 6:51 PM
Given the news cycle, the document Human Fraternity—issued by Pope Francis and Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar—has used up its 15 minutes of fame. But let’s ignore that secular cycle. The Grand Imam speaks on behalf of a major Muslim center of learning. Pope Francis needs no introduction.…READ FULL BLOG POST
Thinking philosophically reaches to wisdomBy James Hanink | February 11th 2019 5:59 PM
Dysfunction is the order of day, and at every level. Each of us, I’ll wager, wants to tell someone “get your act together.” Plenty of people think that I need to hear the same message. And someone, no doubt, thinks that you, gentle reader, need to as well. Of course,…READ FULL BLOG POST
What's Your Angle?
'Economism' and 'politicism' are merely intellectual viewpointsBy James Hanink | February 4th 2019 4:09 PM
Ask me “what’s your angle?” around 7 am. If I can summon the strength, I’ll say that in five minutes or so, if I’m upright, I’ll be at a 90 degree angle from the floor. It might take a few tries, though. Graceful, I'm not. Intellectual angles matter even more…READ FULL BLOG POST
A-Marching We Will Go!
The pro-life struggle includes moments of celebrationBy James Hanink | January 28th 2019 5:51 PM
This time I kept my sign. Heck, I could have been the model for it. On one side there’s a silhouette of a “senior” wearing what looks like my cap. His cane is like one we keep handy at home. On the other side, there’s a Gospel truth: Toda Vida…READ FULL BLOG POST