Thomas Hibbs
Thomas Hibbs
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Thirty years later, do we know what 'Seinfeld' was trying to tell us?

August 23, 2019  •  The Dallas Morning News

Thirty years ago this summer, Seinfeld hit the airwaves with two rules, or anti-rules really, for its writers: no hugs and no learning. These rules turned inside out the tenets of the classic American sitcom, which were always about hugs and, more or less overtly, about learning.

A show seemingly about everything, from Keith Hernandez to Snapple, Seinfeld is in an important sense a show about nothing, as the tagline from the episode "The Pilot" makes explicit. It is a show about characters whose lives lack any fundamental point or meaning: no real connection to others (no hugs) and no direction whatsoever (no learning).

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Friendship is essential to a good life. So why are we losing it?

July 25, 2019  •  The Dallas Morning News

In recent months, as I prepared to join the University of Dallas as its new president, my wife, Stacey, and I had the pleasure of meeting many students. During one reception, something struck me. Students almost never approached us individually; instead they came in groups, groups of friends spanning different majors and experiences: English majors with physics majors; art history majors with business majors; athletes with nonathletes, a Muslim student with her Catholic friends, and on and on.

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Outsmarting ourselves
How the most educated among us exercise the worst political bias

July 14, 2019  •  The Dallas Morning News

The 17th century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal once remarked, "The truth is so obscured these days that only those who love it will find it." Living at the advent of modernity, characterized by great ideological contests among and within philosophy, religion, science and politics, Pascal was perhaps more aware than any of his contemporaries of two facts about human beings. First, the need for truth is woven into the deepest impulses of our being. Second, we are prone, consciously and unconsciously, to exercise great energy to avoid truths we don't want to face.

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To save the humanities and restore their prestige, universities might look to prison

June 18, 2019  •  The Dallas Morning News

There is no end to alarmism about the decline of the humanities in higher education, and, indeed, universities are eliminating programs with some regularity. A recent Chronicle of Higher Education headline screamed "The Humanities as We Know Them Are Doomed. Now What?"

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Notre Dame's burning should awaken us to a more eternal culture

April 18, 2019  •  The Dallas Morning News

In his book Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture, the contemporary Japanese-American painter Makoto Fujimura describes an experience of attending a Fra Angelico exhibit at the Met. Staggered by art from the 15th century, he posed to himself the "500 year question": What makes it possible for art to continue to have an impact five centuries after it was created. The related question for a contemporary artist is this — who is making art today with the ambition that it will last for 50 or 100 years, let alone 500? The response to the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, whose beginnings go back to the 12th century, sharpens that question for us.

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Books by Thomas Hibbs

Cover of Rouault-Fujimura: Soliloquies Cover of Arts of Darkness Cover of Aquinas, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion Cover of Virtue's Splendor Cover of Shows About Nothing Cover of Dialectic Narrative In Aquinas

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