Articles by:

SCHALL: Sometimes, Wrong Can Be Right

For Christmas, a friend sent me a pleasant book with well-known facts that everyone gets wrong. For example, “Where is Scotland Yard?” The answer is “Scotland Yard is in England.” Another example of a question is, “Where in the Bible is gambling condemned?” It turns out that it isn’t —[Read More…]

by January 26, 2014 0 comments Opinion

SCHALL: What is ‘College Life’?

The “Whiffenpoofs” are assembled “with their glasses raised on high,” as the nostalgic Yale College hymn goes. The University of Maine fight-song resounds: “Lift the steins to dear old Maine…” That college life has historically been associated with drinking, genteel or otherwise, not to mention rowdiness, has long been known among the[Read More…]

by December 6, 2012 0 comments Uncategorized

The Difficult, but Necessary Quest for Deeper Truths

In the July 2, 1751 issue of the Rambler, Samuel Johnson remarked, “Very few have abilities requisite for the discovery of abstruse truth; and of those few some want leisure and others, resolution.” When reading this passage, the word “abstruse” struck me. Its Latin origin means “to conceal.” Today, it means “difficult to comprehend[Read More…]

by December 6, 2012 0 comments Uncategorized

SCHALL: On Missing the Fall Semester

Thanks to a kind article by Lauren Weber (“Recovering From Jaw Cancer, Schall Will Miss Fall Semester,” THE HOYA, Aug. 31, 2010, A1), many know that I am out for the fall semester due to a combination of jaw cancer and asthma. Try to avoid both! Some scientists hint that they will find[Read More…]

by November 2, 2012 0 comments Opinion

SCHALL: Books a Gateway to Truth

A professor who has been many years at a school is often asked by visitors: “Do you notice any difference between current students and those from previous decades?” I always answer that question pretty much the same way: “Look, all the students I ever have are around 20 years old.[Read More…]

by October 26, 2012 0 comments Opinion

On Used Bookstores

Schall holds the minority opinion that used bookstores may be more important to civilization than universities. You ask, of course, where would used bookstores get their used books if there were no professors around to write them? The fact is – this sounds shocking – that people other than professors[Read More…]

by August 31, 2012 0 comments Opinion

SCHALL: The Difficult, But Necessary Quest for Deeper Truths

In the July 2, 1751 issue of the Rambler, Samuel Johnson remarked, “Very few have abilities requisite for the discovery of abstruse truth; and of those few some want leisure and others, resolution.” When reading this passage, the word “abstruse” struck me. Its Latin origin means “to conceal.” Today, it means “difficult to comprehend[Read More…]

by March 15, 2012 0 comments Uncategorized

For Christmas, a friend sent me a pleasant book with well-known facts that everyone gets wrong. For example, “Where is Scotland Yard?” The answer is “Scotland Yard is in England.” Another example of a question is, “Where in the Bible is gambling condemned?” It turns out that it isn’t —[Read More…]

by January 27, 2012 0 comments Opinion

SCHALL: Understanding the Essence of Christmas

In the “Phaedo,” the dialogue of Socrates’ last day, a question arises about Socrates’ burial after he is to drink the fatal hemlock. His friend, Crito, is fussing about what he will do with the body. Socrates does not think it makes much difference. No matter what they do with it, wherever it[Read More…]

by December 1, 2011 0 comments Opinion

SCHALL: The State of the World: Reflecting on the Semester’s End

In the “Phaedo,” the dialogue of Socrates’ last day, a question arises about Socrates’ burial after he is to drink the fatal hemlock. His friend, Crito, is fussing about what he will do with the body. Socrates does not think it makes much difference. No matter what they do with it, wherever it is[Read More…]

by December 1, 2011 0 comments Opinion