Resolutions of Abandonment, by Michael Pakaluk

Deacon Robert V. Thomann: Marriage: Why Bother?
January 4, 2023
There’s Nothing Wrong With Asking Questions About Damar Hamlin’s Sudden Collapse, by Shawn Fleetwood
January 4, 2023

*Image: A Serious Talk (Ein ernstes Gespräch) by Ludwig Johann Passini, c. 1900 [private collection]

By Michael Pakaluk, The Catholic Thing, Jan. 4, 2023

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is a professor in the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America. …

New Year’s resolutions are typically an effort in self-control.  But what if the best resolutions are those by which we relinquish control?

Allow me as a philosopher to begin with a taxonomy of resolutions, since some kinds of resolutions are better than others.

If I resolve not to eat between meals, or to put away machines when spending time with my family, I am making a merely “corrective” resolution.  If I am successful, I simply put myself back to where I should be.  I don’t improve myself but keep from getting worse.

Other resolutions are, let us say, “additive.”  Suppose I resolve to put aside $50/week for a travel fund to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Here, each step adds to a previous step.  It’s cumulative, and in that sense, I constantly improve my position. …