New book update

I mentioned awhiles back that I have a new book that expands on some of the claims made in V&R.  Well, it is still doing the rounds trying to find a publisher: the process is somewhat drawn out as the manuscript has to be peer-reviewed.  While I wait for news, I thought I’d post here…

Andy Warhol x Plato

Yesterday Loyola University Maryland hosted the Annual Andy Warhol Lecture sponsored by the Committee on Catholic Social Thought.  I will give a brief summary.   The theme was music and began with the observation that even young toddlers dance on hearing music (for those familiar with this blog know that Huizinga bells were going off…

Dress like Charles: you can’t go wrong

Below is a very interesting article about changes and variations in the British male body and how suit companies are responding.  The article starts out noting how much taller and bulkier the average Briton is today from fifty years ago. This is obvious: even if you don’t think you are especially bulky, just try getting…

Dressing the Ten Commandments

Over the last month, I have posted on natural law and how its approach to ethics can help us think about costume and body modification.   St. John Paul II made a distinctive contribution to natural law thinking. I argued in Ecstatic Morality and Sexual Politics (2005) that this contribution brilliantly develops aspects of Aquinas’s…

Corsets and natural law

The corset is making a comeback. Some worry there are political implications, that corsets objectify by pushing the female body to “perverse proportions” (https://www.wsj.com/articles/waist-management-test-driving-springs-corset-trend-1488471042).   How to assess the morality of “perverse proportions”?   In a previous post, I noted Adam Smith’s aesthetic objections to the corset (http://www.ethicsoffashion.com/adam-smith-on-corsets/). Recalling that for Smith beauty and morality…

Dior, Dance, and Play

Dance and fashion has many famous associations though Coco Chanel’s collaboration with the Russian Ballet is surely the most well-known.   Dior has a dance advert for its new perfume Poison (https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/fashions-dalliance-with-dance?utm_source=Subscribers&utm_campaign=16fa1fd8f8-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d2191372b3-16fa1fd8f8-417297929).   The dance is contemporary but draws upon the most primordial patterns of civilisation.  Huizinga (see my discussion of his ideas V&R Chapter…

Trans-Humanism’s False Hope

Trans-humanism is both very new and very, very old. Whether the promise of wearing a chip that will immediately report the start of cancer cells in your body or an AI “doctor” diagnosing you from data your handheld collects when you jolt with a pang of sciatica, Trans-humanism recalls the very origin of clothes, the…

Natural Law and Costume

*Special note: V&R broadly relies on a natural law argument, that moral values are universal, real, and persuasive. I am often asked for a good introductory book to natural law but I cannot say that I know of one. The history of ideas offers a variety of natural law theories and even in Thomism, the…