Curriculum Problems are Faculty Problems

In the midst of discussions over curricular developments at Notre Dame, I am mindful of a remark made by Otto Bird, the founder of the Program of Liberal Studies: “In the 1950s I was a member of the Faculty Hiring Committee, a body appointed by the administration to put pressure upon the department heads to…

Studying Death

The following column was published in The Observer on Thursday, September 4, 2014. When students first read how Athens put Socrates to death they either balk at the injustice of the Athenians or at the uncalculating stubbornness of Socrates. Socrates was charged with corrupting Athens’ youth and refused to yield when faced with death. I myself sided…

Book Recommendations for Undergrads Considering Law School

Coming to law school has made me particularly glad that I decided to major in philosophy. In many ways, I’ve found many of the ideas I encountered as an undergraduate to be foundational to the way I approach the law. I could make a pretty long list of books that I think every student should…

Idylls and Rambles, by Fr. Schall

Fr. James Schall is a member of the “old school.” He teaches at a very old school, but he is somewhat of an anomaly. He is an incredibly educated man who resists the fads that drive much of the university corporation machine today. He thinks that education has something to do with virtue, that college is…

My Senior Thesis

The following was a sample column submitted with my application to be a columnist for Notre Dame’s student newspaper, The Observer.  In the Spring of 2011, if one were to wander to the 13th floor of the library in the middle of the night, one might have found a pretentious-looking sophomore, crammed into a desk…

The Great Books at Notre Dame

In November 2010, I presented a paper for the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture’s annual Fall Conference. After several requests, I have reproduced this paper below, with some minimal edits and revisions. Regarding discussions of my experiences in the Program, it must be noted that I only took three of the required classes….