Amanda Burgess

Leaving small-town York, Pennsylvania for the big city, Amanda is a freshman studying at The King’s College in Manhattan (specifically located in the Empire State Building.) Studying “Media, Culture and the Arts” with a dual minor in philosophy and theology, Amanda has always had a deep passion for arts and ideas. With background in studio art, theater directing and writing, she has just begun to submerse herself in the world of art and artists. And, at only eighteen years old, she is excited for the opportunities ahead of her.

Raymond Haim On New Urbanism

Published at  Public Discourse, Raymond Hain addresses the idea of  “new urbanism”  in his article Building Virtue.

“The heart of “new urbanism,” is the claim that human beings are better off if they can perform their daily activities without the necessity and complexity of artificial transportation.”

“My first argument is the following: We need others in order to identify what is good for us.”

“…my second argument for thinking that the natural law requires walkable human communities: true virtuous action demands that we treat others justly, charitably, and with kindness. But it’s not sufficient for me, when I perform a virtuous action, to know that what I do is just in this particular context.”

“… my third argument is this: When our lives are fragmented in the way suburbia makes possible, it is much easier for us to act badly, and it is much harder to learn from the bad actions we do perform.”

“Bess reminds us that suburbia represents a turning away from public life towards private life. Front porches have become back decks, and public squares have disappeared. Suppose we were to rebuild those public squares, and all of us spent our evenings on our front porches. We might discover, to our dismay, that we had almost nothing to talk about.”

David Brooks on The New Humanism

Op-ed columnist, David Brooks, discusses an innovative way to view human nature in his article “The New Humanism” published on the Opinion Pages of The New York Times:

“We have a prevailing view in our society … that we are divided creatures. Reason, which is trustworthy, is separate from the emotions, which are suspect. Society progresses to the extent that reason can suppress the passions.”

“When we raise our kids, we focus on the traits measured by grades and SAT scores. But when it comes to the most important things like character and how to build relationships, we often have nothing to say. Many of our public policies are proposed by experts who are comfortable only with correlations that can be measured, appropriated and quantified, and ignore everything else.”

“… Over the past few decades, we have tended to define human capital in the narrow way, emphasizing I.Q., degrees, and professional skills. Those are all important, obviously, but this research illuminates a range of deeper talents, which span reason and emotion and make a hash of both categories.”

“Attunement: the ability to enter other minds and learn what they have to offer.  Equipoise: the ability to serenely monitor the movements of one’s own mind and correct for biases and shortcomings. Metis: the ability to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations. Sympathy: the ability to fall into a rhythm with those around you and thrive in groups. Limerence: [A sort of motivation.] The conscious mind hungers for money and success, but the unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence when the skull line falls away and we are lost in love for another, the challenge of a task or the love of God.”