A Pragmatic Approach to Ideas

We encounter countless institutions throughout our lives—educational, familial, governmental, religious, artistic—many of which fail to sufficiently foster individual character, vital community, or an abounding appreciation for truth. These fixtures of society imprint worldviews upon us, nurture habits of mind and encourage the development of various skills. 

Unfortunately, too often, they espouse ideas which distract from human flourishing (or run counter to it). Or, we settle for that which is merely interesting. When an article strikes us as just a fascinating read or a film is simply entertaining, we have missed an opportunity; concepts stay in an abstract or utopian realm rather than entering into our lived experiences as embodied truths.  

Of course, value exists in the life of the mind—finding pleasure in cultural or intellectual stimulation—but if an idea can’t be manifest in its most impactful form, instructing the ways in which we live, then we have little interest in it. We sympathize with William James’ orientation that viewpoints should be “judged by their fruits…not by their roots,” encouraging individuals to experiment firsthand with theories—rather than remaining mired in axioms or metaphysics. As John Dewey asserted, truth is the “resolution of a problematic situation.” 

Ideas matter, not in and of themselves, but the degree to which they change how we navigate relationships, overcome challenges, relate to Nature, understand our psychology, contextualize our personal place in society, organize societies, and ultimately, create meaning and purpose. 

At Erraticus, we write to challenge dogma, hubris, fundamentalism, and ideological priggishness, aspiring to transcend our moral tribes. We are a town square inviting our many communities to practice a philosophy of neighborliness.  

Narratives are in our nature and creativity is central to the human experience.

The accumulated wisdom of traditions deserve respect but shouldn’t hinder us from innovation: cultural, social, or otherwise. Further, we encourage progress, understanding that it must be grounded within reality. 

We write in hopes that thriving individuals, in turn, sustain vibrant communities, local and regional. This is what is meant by spontaneous culture—solutions to living well are born internally, extending outward to our communities. 

At Erraticus we believe that art, culture, technology, and ideas matter as much as they develop emotional intelligence and empower individuals to live well.

Erraticus Editorial Board

Jeffrey HowardEditor in Chief

Erin MooreContributing Editor | Gender, Politics, Religion, Society

Heather CazadContributing Editor | Arts, Culture, Education

Joshua R. H. ParsonsContributing Editor | Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Technology

Nicole CarloniContributing Editor | Global Health, Politics, Religion, Science

Submissions

We are always interested in thoughtful submissions. Erraticus accepts well-considered and well-written pieces focused on human flourishing, ranging from arts and entertainment, to tech and science, to religion and culture.

Email them to submissions@erraticus.co.