Jean Paul Sartre: What is “Bad Faith?”

The one theme from Sartre’s magnum opus, Being and Nothingness, that stuck was his commentary on “Bad Faith.”  Ignorant atheists who have never read Sartre have employed Sartrean language to refer to religious faith as the bad faith that Sartre is discussing even though it is not.  Furthermore, the concept of bad faith is included in Sartre’s many … Continue reading Jean Paul Sartre: What is “Bad Faith?”

Jean Paul Sartre: Being and Nothingness

Jean Paul Sartre was among the most famous of the modern existentialists and phenomenologists, perhaps second only to Martin Heidegger.  Sartre’s great text of fame was his “essay on ontology,” Being and Nothingness.  In typical French fashion, the text is weighty, dense, and draws heavily from the history of philosophy, especially Christianity, Bacon, Descartes, Hegel, Husserl, … Continue reading Jean Paul Sartre: Being and Nothingness

Theodor Adorno and Our Enslavement to Commodity Fetishism

Theodor Adorno is probably the most important 20th century Marxist philosopher, sociologist, and social critic.  The fundamental crux of Adorno is his critique of the Enlightenment and mass culture—typified by places like Hollywood—as a form of self-enslavement and bourgeois imperialism.  But instead of the superstructure directly engaging in clamping its controls over people, Adorno argued that … Continue reading Theodor Adorno and Our Enslavement to Commodity Fetishism

Love, Sex, Sacrifice, and Salvation: A Critical Analysis of Sci-Fi Filmography

The Enlightenment mythology usually goes something like this: Humans had been wallowing in darkness and superstition for a long time, then, sometime in the seventeenth century, a few heroic philosophers and proto-scientists broke the chains of religion and freed humanity from the darkness and superstition that had ensnared them since Neolithic times and the more … Continue reading Love, Sex, Sacrifice, and Salvation: A Critical Analysis of Sci-Fi Filmography

Hegel and Napoleon: On Heroes and the Sublime in History

There are two great stories concerning Hegel and Napoleon. The first, undeniably fantastical and romantic, is that Hegel was finishing up his draft manuscript of the Phenomenology of Spirit as the Battle of Jena roared behind him as he escaped the hellfire of the morning; the second, true, relates to Hegel’s encounter with Napoleon which … Continue reading Hegel and Napoleon: On Heroes and the Sublime in History

Love, Forgiveness, and “The Iliad”

“For all the battle scenes, violent sex, and rage that fills [The Iliad], the most memorable scenes in the poem are moments of love—especially loving moments of embrace.” Befitting Holy Week, here is an essay of mine concerning the themes of love and forgiveness in the very source of Western literature: The Iliad. Deconstructing Homer's … Continue reading Love, Forgiveness, and “The Iliad”

Dialectic and the Wisdom of Listening: Reflections on the Book of Job

“You’re not listening.”  This simple phrase is one of the most cliché, but poignantly true, sentences concerning human existence.  Just a Kohelet stated that there is time for everything under the sun, it is important, then, to know when the time is to speak and when the time is to listen.  This is especially true … Continue reading Dialectic and the Wisdom of Listening: Reflections on the Book of Job

The Allegory and Symbolism of Dante’s “Inferno”

In our exploration of Dante’s Inferno I wish to highlight, in some greater detail, what has already been referenced to in our previous posts, but also bring additional emphasis upon Catholic teaching and how it impacts the construction of Hell from Dante’s pen. Why is hell cold and dark? Color and Image Symbolism Dante’s hell is … Continue reading The Allegory and Symbolism of Dante’s “Inferno”

The Love & Friendship of Dante and Virgil in the “Inferno”

In continuing our examination of some of the themes of Dante’s Inferno, we now turn to examine the transformative relationship between Virgil and Dante within the first part of the Divine Comedy.  The theme of guide and relationship runs throughout the Divine Comedy.  Virgil is Dante’s guide through Hell and Purgatory.  Beatrice takes over for Virgil and … Continue reading The Love & Friendship of Dante and Virgil in the “Inferno”

Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Human Nature and the Purpose of Politics

“[F]or it is a fact that the entire life of a human being is a struggle and every human being symbolically a combatant. The friend, enemy, and combat concepts receive their real meaning precisely because they refer to the real possibility of physical killing. War follows from enmity. War is the existential negation of the … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Human Nature and the Purpose of Politics