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A Little Bit Of Virtue Can Be A Dangerous Thing
Text: Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

There is a saying, that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing...perhaps the same can be said of virtue.  In the 9th essay of the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton draws a picture of a sometimes-peaceful, sometimes-just state to convey his warning that an only-occasionally good political order is no good at all.  His insight points to an even further idea, that virtue without consistency can be worse than its absence altogether. Full essay.

When We Lose Something, We Haven't Lost Everything
Text: Emily Dickinson, poem

In what begins as a love poem, Emily Dickinson’s musings shift to a philosophical reflection upon the nature of loss. And loss, she concludes, is never the whole story. For where there is loss, there was once something had. And where there is something had, there must at some point and in some way be loss. Full essay.

The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change
Text: Heraclitus, fragment

The change that occurs in a river is vivid and unmistakable. By claiming that the change we see in a river is true of our world in general, Heraclitus challenges the idea that some things simply stay the same: we may not see the change so clearly, but change is occurring nonetheless. Full essay.

Awaken Thyself!
Text: Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Thoreau would have us give up our morning coffee for a different kind of pick-me-up:  a practice of spiritual awakening.  For one may be physically awake, even alert, while the soul still may be leading an active life, while missing some of the deepest experiences of life. Full essay.