Now Available: For a New Naturalism, edited by Arran Gare and Wayne Hudson

Telos Investigations is a new book series that collects papers delivered at Telos-Paul Piccone Institute conferences. The first volume in the series, For a New Naturalism, edited by Arran Gare and Wayne Hudson, is now available for purchase in our online store. Save 20% on the list price by using the coupon code BOOKS20 during the checkout process.

Western civilization has been afflicted by a divide between the sciences and the humanities, a divide that has been harmful to both. The first volume in our new Telos Investigations series, For A New Naturalism elaborates the implications of recent developments in natural philosophy that challenge both Cartesian dualism and reductionism. The contributors to this volume write from a variety of political, philosophical, and scientific standpoints. They all agree, however, that a civilization based on reductionist naturalism, with its impoverished understanding of both human life and the universe, is failing to generate the political and social thought we need. And they all support the need for a wider naturalism than the objectivating naturalism that emerged in seventeenth-century Europe. In addressing the contested status of naturalism in contemporary philosophy, the contributions to this volume question both prevailing assumptions about nature and assumptions about what is knowledge. They argue for a new alliance between science and the humanities, and spell out some of the implications of this challenge for philosophy, society, and religion.

Continue reading →

That’s So Liberal It’s Conservative

As an occasional feature on TELOSscope, we highlight a past Telos article whose critical insights continue to illuminate our thinking and challenge our assumptions. Today, Maja Sidzinska looks at James Kalb’s “Understanding Conservatism and Tradition,” from Telos 124 (Summer 2002).

Let’s start with the punch-line: James Kalb informs us, in his article “Understanding Conservatism and Tradition,” that “the modern emphasis is too much on technology, on breaking things down to their simplest parts and reconstructing them in accord with human will. The problem with applying that approach to human life as a whole is that one can make sense of one’s actions only by reference to standards and realities one does not create” (164). In Kalb’s view, tradition creates these standards and realities, and is irreplaceable in this role. He compares the role of tradition to the roles of bureaucracy and markets, and he holds these three operative approaches as constitutive of politics, public policy, and life more generally.

Continue reading →