Thursday, April 14, 2005

On manliness

Contrary to what you might first think, pragmatism is a philosophy, not the dismissal of philosophy. And Teddy Roosevelt was more a philosopher than he knew. His advocacy of manliness reflects the difficulties of pragmatism and tells us something about our situation today. We have abandoned—not reason for manliness like the pragmatists, nor manliness for reason like their tender-minded opponents—but both reason and manliness. We want progress without a rational justification and without the manliness needed to supply the lack of a justification.
From Harvey Mansfield's "The manliness of Theodore Roosevelt," in The New Criterion; his essay is excerpted from A Modest Defense of Manliness, forthcoming from the Yale University Press (2006).

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