Athenian Exceptionalism and Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Athens was undoubtedly an exceptional polity. The Athenians are evidently aware of this fact. In the speeches leading up to the declaration of war between Athens and Sparta the Athenian representatives highlight their long and noble history which had brought them up to this moment in history. The much-remembered funeral oration of Pericles equally praises … Continue reading Athenian Exceptionalism and Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Geopolitics and the Melian Dialogue

In sticking with the theme of geopolitics which I have already discussed, I wish to segway into the Melian Dialogue by way of geopolitics. Alongside Pericles’ “Funeral Oration,” the Melian Dialogue is the most famous of dialogues (or orations) in Thucydides’ masterpiece. Most people who have never read the entirety of Thucydides have probably read … Continue reading Geopolitics and the Melian Dialogue

Corruption of Language and Morality in History of the Peloponnesian War

In a celebrated analysis of the corruption of language and its relationship with deteriorated character, Thucydides reflects on the symbiotic relationship of language with moral character. Language is clear, meaningful, and understandable when there is moral clarity, meaning, and understanding in the human animal. That is, the clarity of language ebbs and flows with the … Continue reading Corruption of Language and Morality in History of the Peloponnesian War

Geopolitics and the Cause of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides, and his famous work, The History of the Peloponnesian War, is often misunderstood. Many consider him the so-called father of “objective history,” or “scientific history.” This has never been the position of the philosophers, and at long last that view of Thucydides is changing in history departments too. Thucydides was, as Leo Strauss said, … Continue reading Geopolitics and the Cause of the Peloponnesian War

The Poison of Rousseau’s Social Contract Vision

One of the key aspects of Rousseau’s social contract theory is that, unlike with Hobbes and Locke, he really doesn’t explain why men embrace the social contract.  This is, again, because Rousseau takes the idealistic picture of humanity in the state of nature.  Man is born naturally good.  He is pure.  He is a moral … Continue reading The Poison of Rousseau’s Social Contract Vision

Liberalism and the Economic Man

What is liberalism?  What is the relationship between liberalism and economism?  Why did the Second International condemn social democracy and social liberalism, those philosophies that are often publicly proclaimed as “radical” and “socialist” by philosophical dilettantes, though not having any relationship to actual socialism?  Also, is liberalism about “natural rights” or is it actually a … Continue reading Liberalism and the Economic Man

Reflections on Jordan Peterson’s “God”

In this essay of mine, published by Merion West, I offer an appraisal of Jordan Peterson’s religious beliefs and his statements concerning God. Going through biblical tradition, especially through the eyes of the Patristic Fathers of early Christianity, I argue that Peterson’s God is not as Gnostic and Jungian as it initially seems. In particular, … Continue reading Reflections on Jordan Peterson’s “God”

Augustine and the Theory of Signification

Saint Augustine of Hippo was one of the most consequential and influential philosophers in the Western tradition. Perhaps most remembered as a theologian, he was, nevertheless a theologian-philosopher whose various ideas and original insights have since passed into philosophical canon. One of Augustine’s more “secular” contributions to philosophy was his theory of signification which is … Continue reading Augustine and the Theory of Signification

Conflict and Republicanism: Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy

Niccolò Machiavelli was one of the foremost man of letters in the Late Renaissance.  He is remembered as the author of the “primer for princes” generally translated as The Prince in English.  His name is associated with manipulation and the idea that it is better to be evil than good to maintain political power.  However, … Continue reading Conflict and Republicanism: Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy

The Philosophy of the Epic of Gilgamesh, 3: The Conquest of Nature and the “Plant of Life”

This essay is abstracted from my lectures on the Epic of Gilgamesh, an audio recording is available below through the YT video:   The episode of Gilgamesh and Enkidu slaying Humbaba is one of the more memorable (if not the most memorable) story contained in the epic.  It is also a story that any student … Continue reading The Philosophy of the Epic of Gilgamesh, 3: The Conquest of Nature and the “Plant of Life”