About Rightly Considered

We are academics—graduate students, professors, and independent scholars, mostly in, or closely associated with, the profession of philosophy—who are on the political right. Obviously, we won’t always agree with each other on everything. We have no specific checklist of positions or statement of faith. But we all generally identify with the tradition of philosophical conservatism that began with ancient sages like Plato and Aristotle, carried on by Christian thinkers like Augustine and Aquinas, continued through Enlightenment-inspired geniuses like Burke, Tocqueville, and the American Founders, up to economic theorists like Belloc and von Hayek and contemporary authors like Kirk, Buckley, and Sowell. At the heart of this tradition is a family resemblance-related set of beliefs that we think uniquely promotes human flourishing. Whatever contradicts or subverts those beliefs not only inhibits human flourishing, but often promotes evil and suffering.

Such beliefs include, but are not limited to, the belief that all human life is intrinsically valuable, and in virtue of that all humans have natural rights, chiefly the right to live and have their life protected, the responsible exercise of individual liberty, and private ownership and management of justly acquired goods. Those rights are grounded in an objective reality—e.g., God, human nature, or both—not government. That reality entails a proper order to family and societal structures, as well as gender and sexuality norms. Maximal respect for those rights will almost always involve minimal intrusion, and most matters should be handled at the level of the closest appropriate authoritative body. These beliefs about ordered liberty and decentralization of power, when extended to the market, generate an economic system that creates more wealth and destroys more poverty than any other.

There is little doubt that the overwhelming majority of academics today are leftists, if not militantly anti-right. We are convinced that they, in some form or another, contradict or subvert the aforementioned beliefs (among others), and so, wittingly or not, inhibit human flourishing and promote evil and suffering. But the fact is that leftists are the power brokers of academia today, and so have the luxury of taking their leftist dogma for granted. Publicly questioning leftist dogma often leads to ostracism and discrimination. We’re tired of conservatives being dismissed as crazy and immoral, tired of being censored and bullied, and even more tired of seeing countless students influenced by only one side—a side we find highly unconscionable, to say the least.

We, as academics on the right, created this blog to share perspectives on politically related topics and current events that are rarely represented in other academic blogs, or anywhere else in academia for that matter. Some of our posts will be research oriented. Some of our posts will be critical replies and rebuttals. Some will be satirical and comical. Some will be expository and info-sharing. Some will be philosophically exploratory. But all will be rightly considered.


AR-15
A former police officer, AR-15 (or “AR”) knows the difference between an assault rifle and home defense rifle. AR now fights with other weapons and demolishes arguments. He agrees that the pen is mightier than the sword, but he isn’t so stupid to bring a pen to a gunfight.

Catholic Hulk
Catholic Hulk is a traditional conservative and a Canadian. He regrets the latter because of the hippies and the laïcité of the French.

Charles Martel
Charles has degree in philosophy and is currently studying in France. He is staunchly Catholic, staunchly opposed to leftism, and wants to save western civilization. For some reason, he thinks studying philosophy might help achieve that goal.

Common Sense
Common Sense holds two masters degrees, one in philosophy and one in theology, and is currently a PhD student at a very prestigious university in England. Common Sense’s primary interests include: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, and Applied Ethics (especially in regards to political philosophy). Common Sense has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. As a professor who is a religious conservative with some libertarian tendencies, Common Sense has been discriminated against on multiple occasions on the basis of religious and political beliefs while teaching at two different American institutions.

Criticus Ferox
Criticus Ferox was relegated to the basket of deplorables because he refused to embrace the vilification and destruction of his nation, culture, race, sex, and way of life. You can contact him at criticusferox@gmail.com

Eudaimonic Conservative
Eudaimonic Conservative is a philosopher who has published in ontology, epistemology, and philosophy of science. He is interested in the nature and structure of rationality, and finds methodological skepticism to be a useful heuristic in evaluating the strength of arguments and their connection to the truth. As an academic, however, he has found leftism to be an active (and often acted upon) threat to this sort of free-thinking. Raised in a leftist household, Eudaimonic Conservative entered into college as a leftist. Over time, he slowly discovered that the first principles of “progressivism” are both false and dangerous to human well-being. And yes, he honors the right to bear arms.

Federal Philosopher
Federal Philosopher is a philosophy graduate student in New Jersey. She was awakened from her political slumbers after reading biographies of Margaret Thatcher—one of her heroes.  She loves philosophy, but thinks the profession has been hijacked by a bunch of leftist bullies who are little more than partisan journalists that happen to know philosophical jargon. She carries a recurve bow and quiver full of arrows at all times, so as not to trigger leftists by saying she packs a .380 in her purse.

Fideist
A jaded but jolly bearded giant with former aspirations in professional philosophy, Fideist spurned the profession after it spurned him. He’s now chasing more lucrative endeavors in the private sector, although he still thinks about all that ills the world, and often wonders when Almighty God will make good on His promise to make all things new.

Henry Fowler
Henry Fowler teaches philosophy in a Celtic land, believes we are probably living in the End Times.

Jack Burton
This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I’m talkin’ to whoever’s listenin’ out there. When not doing historical philosophy, he’s fighting the forces of evil (i.e., Lo Pan, his minions, and leftists). To those who fear university bureaucrats, “social justice” activists, and anyone with a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker, just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye and he says, “Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.”

Jan Sobieski IV
For Jan Sobieski IV, the West is on the precipice of ruin again. With interests in journalism and philosophy, he’s a millennial convinced we’re living in another Vienna, 1683. Sobieski IV aspires to help lead the pivotal charge for Western civilization against those seeking to overrun or open her gates—these days, they’re one and the same, deserving nothing but the fury of the winged hussar reborn.

Natural Lawyer
Natural Lawyer is the lead editor of Rightly Considered. He teaches philosophy at a religious institution somewhere in the southwestern United States. He has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals defending traditional moral positions. He enjoys long walks with his dog and eats at Chick-Fil-A as often as he can. 

Ragnar
From out west comes the philosopher Ragnar, a keen student of western political and moral thought and an eager champion of the Christian tradition. He finds the canons of western civilization to be rich and fruitful resources for moral reflection that have withstood the test of time. Boasting a solid footing in reason and a grasp of human nature, their wisdom plants the standard for future inquiry and critique. Versatile and adaptable, this inheritance is far from being exhausted. When not doing philosophy, Ragnar enjoys watching feats of strength and contests of skill with his family.

Son of Liberty
Son of Liberty is a conservative libertarian philosophy graduate student specializing in ethics who thinks the current economic stagnation is one of the major problems facing civilization and that cloning Ronald Reagan is the solution.

That Single Individual
Striving to be set apart from the shrewdness of today’s world of academic philosophy, That Single Individual does philosophy in the hope that his work might stir others to faith in Jesus. This flippant disregard for career idolatry has made him unpopular in certain circles, a fact he only considers cause for thanksgiving, since it means he knows something the placement directors and esteemed chairs won’t admit to anyone, especially themselves: there are in fact fates worse than never becoming an assistant professor!

Thomas Wayne
Thomas Wayne is a philosophy graduate student at a university located somewhere in the United States of America. He is a conservative protestant, and he really likes chocolate. Occasionally, Mr. Wayne likes to sell guns on the black market to prove that more gun regulations don’t stop criminals from using and selling guns.

Touchstone
Former feminist turned conservative. PhD. Proud helpmeet. Teaches at a liberal arts school somewhere in the Midwest. Enjoys hunting and eating animals. Favorite musician: Hank Williams Jr. 

Walter Montgomery
Walter is a philosophy graduate student in New Hampshire. He sometimes wishes he was a lawyer, and other times wishes he was a basketball coach. Some of his favorite childhood memories involve traveling with his immediate family, grandparents, and cousins’ family in big gas-guzzling vans towing campers. He sees philosophy as a tool for getting at Truth, and thinks too many contemporary philosophers see it as a tool for advancing their ideological preferences.

Federal Philosopher

Federal Philosopher is a philosophy graduate student in New Jersey. She was awakened from her political slumbers after reading biographies of Margaret Thatcher—one of her heroes. She loves philosophy, but thinks the profession has been hijacked by a bunch of leftist bullies who are little more than partisan journalists that happen to know philosophical jargon. She carries a recurve bow and quiver full of arrows at all times, so as not to trigger leftists by saying she packs a .380 in her purse.

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9 Comments

  1. Looking forward to this blog’s content!

    Will this blog cover topics like sex and gender? Questions like whether gender is a spectrum, or whether there are more than two biological sexes are questions that seem to be given little attention by conservative philosophers – several posts over on Public Discourse being an exception. Most of the work here has been done by feminist philosophers. If I’m mistaken on this point, I would really appreciate references to conservative perspectives on these issues.

  2. I was directed to this blog via a link from one of my “daily read” Christian philosophy blogs, and it looks very promising. Looking forward to seeing it develop. Following…

    Cheers!

  3. ML,

    Yes, a number of us are interested in those issues, and none of us know of much beyond what’s been done at Public Discourse. A lot of the posts will be exploratory, perhaps working out arguments in the comments section.

    Glad to have you here!

  4. CRD,

    Thanks! I hope it makes a nice run. Time will tell. A disadvantage to posting anonymously is that there is less incentive to publish your thoughts. Hopefully the “it’s for a good cause” motivation will act as a countermeasure. Time will tell.

  5. To the Rightly Considered suspects,

    Your blog looks good. I’ll be checking in regularly.

    I’d like to use this comment to float an idea before the Rightly Considered contributors to see if the group as a whole would find value in the following concept.

    1. Compose an updated Syllabus of Errors, consisting of 95 theses, timed for release on the 500th anniversary of same on October 31, 2017.

    2. The purpose of this document would be to refute the contemporary premises of leftism and relativism. It would be a polemical tract for taking the battle to the enemy. It would be a summary of right-thinking propositions for the confused, a brace for the wavering, and a guide for future action.

    3. The document I have in mind would be something punchier than the “Manhattan Declaration.” It should have the rhetorical subtlety of an artillery barrage.

    4. Thought should be given as to the target audience. College campuses would be high on the list.

    5. The 95 theses should be arranged topically from the highest level of abstraction to the lower levels of human action, such as Theology, Philosophy, Society, Economy, and Political life.

    6. Each section of the document should be introduced by the same rubric or formula.
    Example:
    ——————-
    On God:
    Let that person be held in error whosoever says:
    N. That there is no God; there is no Creator of the universe and all that is in it, both seen and unseen.
    N. That revelation of a “god” from outside the cosmos cannot happen since nothing exists outside the cosmos.
    On the universe:
    Let that person be held in error whosoever says:
    N. That the universe “just is,” or that it is its own cause, or that it came to be through “evolutionary” processes, or that it is nothing other than a “brute fact” to be taken as given with no further explanation.
    N. That empirical science alone is capable of arriving at a complete understanding of the origins of the universe.
    On religion:
    Let that person be held in error whosoever says:
    N. That religion is nothing but a “social construct,” produced by human beings.
    On natural law:
    Let that person be held in error whosoever says:
    N. That there is no objective moral truth.
    N. That moral truths are whatever society says they are.
    —————— end of example ————-

    7. You get the idea. The document would need 95 of these puppies.

    8. The document should be an ePub. It should be circulated to allies and friends on college campuses and elsewhere. It should be a declaration of principles. A battle flag.

    9. A project should have a vision statement or a guiding spirit. I like the following quote from George Orwell: “At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid- Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.” That’s from his essay, “The Freedom of the Press,” 1945.

    10. Most of all, the project outlined here needs a group of people with the intellectual candlepower and the drive to pull it off. I would caution against a solo act; a group effort with peer review would be the way to go. That’s where Rightly Considered comes in, and that’s why I’m glad I came across your blog. I recommend the contributors collectively consider the following: is this project worthwhile? Is it something Rightly Considered can and should take on? How can the concept be shaped and refined? There should be a binary, go-no-go decision, on whether to adopt the project, but if there’s a green light who would take ownership? Who would be the go-to person for the drafting stage and who would be the contributors for the various sections?

    11. Over to you.

  6. James S. Your proposal has definitely been noticed by the group. We’re still working on the site and getting organized, but it’s definitely an interesting proposal. This was worth reading it alone:
    “3. The document I have in mind would be something punchier than the “Manhattan Declaration.” It should have the rhetorical subtlety of an artillery barrage.”

    • Thanks, Leonidas. I’m not a philosopher or a theologian or in academia. I’m retired from US gov’t work and live abroad. I don’t have the credentials or the contacts to shape the concept above. Which is why I passed it along to you folks. You should have my email so let me know if I can be of help. Good luck.

      Jim

  7. I have just one brief advice: you should dedicate more attention to visual identity of your blog. Text is the most important but good pictures – one carefully chosen per article – can make great difference in quality of site.

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