Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

Avicenna is one of the most important Islamic philosophers of all time.  He is also the most famous of the Islamic Neoplatonists.  He is, like Augustine to the Christian tradition, sometimes considered the “philosopher of love” because of the importance of love in his thought.  We will unpack the basic philosophy of love from his … Continue reading Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

Reading “War and Peace”: The Tyranny of Historicism and Tolstoy’s Philosophical Reflections

Philosophy of History is a major sub-theme that runs through the work; it begins to appear more readily in the second half of the story and a dedicated second epilogue by Tolstoy is nothing more than reflections on the philosophy of history. War and Peace, therefore, is more than just a story, more than a … Continue reading Reading “War and Peace”: The Tyranny of Historicism and Tolstoy’s Philosophical Reflections

Reading “War and Peace”: Kutuzov and Napoleon

There are many “great men,” or historical figures, who appear throughout Tolstoy’s work. Many have single appearances, like the Austrian general Karl von Mack. Others appear repeatedly; their shadow sort of hanging over the principal characters. Two such great men stand out, and both are dialectically contrasted with each other: The French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, … Continue reading Reading “War and Peace”: Kutuzov and Napoleon

Reading “War and Peace”: Natasha and Helene

The two of the most prominent female characters in War and Peace are Natasha and Helene. The two women couldn’t be more starkly contrasted with each other. And in their stark contrasts, the two move toward different destinies like the two unfolding cities in St. Augustine’s masterpiece The City of God. Like Andrei and Pierre, … Continue reading Reading “War and Peace”: Natasha and Helene

Napoleon’s Last Thunder: A Review of John Gill’s “1809: Thunder on the Danube”

Mr. Gill's three volume history of the War of the Fifth Coalition, 1809: Thunder on the Danube is the academic resource on the War of 1809. It is accessible to laypersons and academics alike, with very fluid and detailed writing with a great wealth of resources. Filled with maps and names, this seemingly academic history … Continue reading Napoleon’s Last Thunder: A Review of John Gill’s “1809: Thunder on the Danube”

The Many Faces of Napoleon: A Review of Three Napoleon Books

In 1841, Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle penned On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History. One of the first histories to bring forth the "Great Man" tradition of history--the view that certain individuals are driving forces of history, and simply knowing about such individuals would give one a good command of the history of that era, … Continue reading The Many Faces of Napoleon: A Review of Three Napoleon Books

Plato’s “Republic”: The Descent into Savagery and Tyranny

Plato’s Republic stands in contradistinction to Aristotle’s Politics, indeed, it stands in contradistinction to almost all other works of political philosophy because Plato never speaks in the dialogue.[1]  It would, therefore, be absurd to reach the conclusion that Plato’s dialogues teach us nothing because Plato is silent throughout his entire written corpus – giving way … Continue reading Plato’s “Republic”: The Descent into Savagery and Tyranny

Plato’s “Euthyphro”: The Death of Piety and the Triumph of the State

Plato’s Euthyphro is one of the more famous of the shorter dialogues.  Several of the major themes are brought up in the dialogue include theology, ethics, and filialism.  As such, we will briefly examine the major themes and their impact on philosophy and, by the end, we shall see how these seemingly unrelated issues are, in fact, … Continue reading Plato’s “Euthyphro”: The Death of Piety and the Triumph of the State