What Makes Men Men? by J. Budziszewski

2018 Conference Talk

What Makes Men Men?

The Nature of a Man Is What He Is For

by J. Budziszewski

I am a little amused, because it may at first seem that Glenn Stanton and I disagree about everything. He argues that manhood is not natural; I argue that it is. However, this is not a real disagreement, because the term "natural" is used in different senses. Psychologists and sociologists generally use it to refer to what is spontaneous or comes easily for creatures of our nature. Ethical philosophers and theologians generally use it to refer to what reflects the flourishing or proper development of creatures of our nature, and that may come hard. I certainly don't think males become men easily or spontaneously. But for their own good, I do think they need to become men. So manhood is natural in my sense, even though not in Glenn Stanton's—and he and I agree about this.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


J. Budziszewski is Professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin, and the author of What We Can't Not Know (Spence) and Ask Me Anything (NavPress). is a professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin, where he also teaches courses in the law school and the religious studies department. His books include What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide (2d ed. Ignatius, 2011), Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Virtue Ethics (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2017), and On the Meaning of Sex (ISI Press, 2012).


more on fatherhood from the online archives

32.2—March/April 2019

The Boy Genius

Finding Him Again Through the Patriarchal Group by Anthony Esolen

21.4—May 2008

Attention Deficit

on the Absence That Ritalin Can’t Cure by Bruce D. Woodall

22.2—March 2009

The Good Father

on the Manly Character of St. Joseph by Joseph R. Fornieri

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

33.4—July/August 2020

Dwelling in Unity

Our Views on the President Are Not Crucial by S. M. Hutchens

21.1—January/February 2008

One Flesh of Purest Gold

John Chrysostom’s Discovery of the Blessings & Mysteries of Marriage by Mike Aquilina

27.6—Nov/Dec 2014

Tales of Forbidden Stereotypes

Real-Life Men & Women & the Tragic Loss of Human Comedy by Anthony Esolen

00