Confessions of a Literary Romantic

What is the value of great literature in an age of intrusive technology, endless distraction, and the impossible perpetual pursuit of fleeting pleasure? This notwithstanding the concerted and intense action of the professoriate and professional literary class, critics and their pupils, who cull and destroy the greatness of the arts in the name of multicultural … Continue reading Confessions of a Literary Romantic

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part V: Political Life and Society

In finishing the first part of Thomas Hobbes’s magisterial and path breaking work Leviathan, we are transitioning out of Hobbes’s anthropology and state of nature and toward the artificial construction that is the political.  The rise of covenant political theory is foundational to political liberalism, and Chapters 14-16 deal with what Hobbes means by covenant politics.  … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part V: Political Life and Society

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part IV: War and the State of Nature

Proceeding to reading Chapters 10-13 we hit the meat of Hobbes’s Leviathan.  We approach his famous commentary on the state of nature, wherein we are burdened by the “war of every man against everyman” or “war of all against all” (from the Latin edition: Bellum omnium contra omnes) and his bleak assessment that life in this state … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part IV: War and the State of Nature

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part III: On Freedom

The eighth chapter of Leviathan is one of the most important of the entire book, and it is one with profound implications concerning the political, even if the exoteric discussion is about intellectual virtues arising from passions and the motions of the passions.  If we recall back to Chapter 3, Hobbes defined “rational” as the regulations on … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part III: On Freedom

The Erotic Cosmos of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

Is John Milton a man for our time or all time? The blind and pugnacious, indeed, radical, English poet arguably wrote the greatest epic in the English language. While claiming to “justify the ways of God to men,” Milton’s remarkable poem is not only a window into the battles of early modern English civilization, it … Continue reading The Erotic Cosmos of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part II: Of Man, Knowledge, and “Science”

As we continue to read through Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, an actual reading of the text again causes much confusion to readers who have swallowed the false pill of the myth of the “Enlightenment” and the “Age of Reason.”  In this post we will examine two crucial chapters, 6 and 7, and what the implications are for … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part II: Of Man, Knowledge, and “Science”

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part I: Of Man, Language, and “Morality”

Thomas Hobbes is one of the most consequential and important modern philosophers.  In many ways he helped to shift Western consciousness in philosophy from God, the Transcendentals (the Good, True, and Beautiful), and the soul to materialism, physicalism, and mechanicalism.  This shift is what historian and philosopher Mark Lilla calls “the great separation” in his … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part I: Of Man, Language, and “Morality”

Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

Dante’s three-part epic poem the Divine Comedy, or Commedia, is one of the most influential and dense works of poetic literature in the Western tradition.  Building off Homer and Virgil, and influencing the likes of Chaucer, Milton, Blake, and Tennyson, as well as bringing to popular consciousness and form the modern Italian language, Dante’s epic delves into … Continue reading Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell