Posts in: philosophy

Yesterday I saw a tweet floating around asking for your “personal canon,” that is, which are the books that you have used to understand the world? Limiting myself only to written works (and not, say, music or film), here’s what I would say, roughly ordered according to when I encountered these books:

I don’t have much reading from my childhood represented; I’m not sure that much reading from before college has stuck with me in this world-shaping way. My list also skews decidedly modern (only three premodern texts), which is a little embarassing for me as a medieval theologian.

I might develop this into a fuller blog post, detailing why each of these books belong to my canon and how they inform my understanding of the world. I’m sure I’ll think of other books to add, too (and maybe, upon further refletion, remove some of these).

The Boston College contingent at Notre Dame’s recent conference on medieval philosophy & theology: John Kern (currently at Pepperdine University), Robin Landrith, Kasey Kimball, AJ Holmes, and me.

I’m not sure what to make about this essay, but there’s some truth to this point, at least:

When I become singularly captivated by another human being, what I want is to possess the good for all time. I want that she and I create something good and pass it on to the future. That is why, when you meet someone just right for you, it feels like the future; and that is why the past can open up at the same time, with the thought that you have always known each other—because time is stretching both forward and backward. And we can have this feeling not only when we want a family with our own cells, but also when we want to adopt—or when children aren’t involved at all, when we want to crusade for the good alongside the person who is just right for us.