Pythagoras: An Introduction To His Life, School, And Ideas

Only one name in European history unites the realms of religion, mathematics, and philosophy, and that name is Pythagoras.  Yet it is this very achievement that so torments posterity when assessing his legacy.  Centuries of speculative accretions, hagiographic mythologizing, and the dubious testimonia of ancient authors have so obscured his original doctrines that the exasperated scholar must, at last, accept that fact and legend are in him inseparably woven.

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Obstacles And Pitfalls For The Youthful Student Of Philosophy

I was recently asked in correspondence to provide some thoughts on the pitfalls and obstacles to the study of philosophy.  I have to admit that it was something of a relief to get this request, as it offers me a pretext to describe my own ideas on this subject.  All of us seek a greater level of understanding of things; but perhaps few of us give much thought to avoiding the obstacles to understanding.  A horse and its equestrian rider, however, cannot clear a hurdle until they have had experience in judging its height and length.  Here, then, are some of the most commonly encountered pitfalls of the student of philosophy. 

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Tusculan Disputations: What It Is About, And Why It Is Important (Podcast)

In this podcast I discuss my new translation of Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations. The work deals with five critical problems that face all of us: the fear of death, how to endure pain, how to alleviate mental distress, the various disorders of the mind, and why virtue is important for living a happy life. (A review of the book can be found in the October 2021 issue of The New Criterion). What questions could be more essential and fundamental than these?

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