Welcome all. If you’re reading this then you have stumbled across the site of a scholarly pilgrim. My name is Paul Krause (those who know me well will understand why my pen name here is “Hesiod” but if you read enough of my writings you’ll figure it out). Perhaps you’ve stumbled across my writings in journals and magazines; or perhaps you’re stumbling across me for the first time. If so, welcome!
I’m a teacher, writer (arts and literature critic primarily), and political philosopher. I have written widely on the Greco-Latin classics and English literature, as well as philosophy, for The FORMA Review, The Imaginative Conservative, VoegelinView, and Merion West, among other publications. I’ve also written on ecological philosophy for Front Porch Republic. Furthermore, I’ve contributed op-eds on a wide range of topics: art, cultural, political, religious, and economic, for Arc Digital, American Thinker, Crisis Magazine, Forbes Online, Salon, and The Wanderer, among other publications. My peer reviewed work has appeared in the journals Kritike, Valley Humanities Review, and the Armstrong Undergraduate Journal of History. I’m a published and cited historian and historian of philosophy.
I hold a master’s degree in theology and Bible from Yale and a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Buckingham (UK) where I had the honor of studying with Sir Roger Scruton just prior to his death. My theses were on the political theology of Saint Augustine and the political aesthetics of Edmund Burke. I also hold a bachelor’s degree in economics, history, and philosophy from Baldwin Wallace University where I concentrated in economic theory, American and Ancient (esp. Islamic) history, and the history of philosophy and ethics. My book, The Odyssey of Love, was published by Wipf and Stock. I have contributed to The College Lecture Today (Lexington Press) and to the forthcoming book Diseases, Disasters, and Political Theory (Routledge).
This site is dedicated to my more personal and random musings with a crypto-academic disposition. You can also find a portfolio of my essays and scholarly works available at my Academia Page.
Discourses on Minerva is free for all and doesn’t charge for access to any material. However, it is not free to produce and maintain. If you enjoy the content and education, please consider making a donation. Any help is appreciated and goes to the content and maintenance of this site.
“Discourses on Minerva” makes three obvious allusions to any educated reader. First is to the political philosopher and man of letters Niccolò Machiavelli and his magnum opus Discourses on Livy—his less famous but more profound work (the other being The Prince). Second is to the philosopher Georg W.F. Hegel, who famously captured the so-called dreary, or tragic, spirit of philosophy that comes to know the historical condition of the world only after it has come to pass. Third is the fact that by naming the site after Minerva, the goddess of Wisdom, this site portends to hold wisdom which aids in the fight to slay discord.
In his magisterial work Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans, Saint Augustine launched into a breathtaking work of cultural criticism which brutally deconstructs the pagan critics of Nicene Christianity as not only being ignorant of their own history, but blind to the realities of their own heart in not seeing Christianity as the religion of the pagan Roman heart. Orosius, one of Augustine’s devoted disciples, then wrote History Against the Paganswhich continued the Augustinian tradition of cultural criticism in exposing how the pagan critics managed to get away with their criticism only because of their ignorance. I am no Augustine, and this is not a systematic site for a single work of dedicated cultural criticism, but this site takes that spirit of Augustine and adapts it for the twenty-first century.
The phenomenon of man being detached from his roots and then lashing out and embracing absurd beliefs is nothing new. When detached from the past, roots, and history man engages in the worst form of romanticism—an a-historical glorification of the lust for domination transforming that lust for domination as a virtue. Many nefarious forces benefit from this alienated ignorance. There are two forms of Romanticism. One that is symptomatic of the alienated and ignorant mind—Rousseau being the best example of this strand; and the other being a militant determination to hold onto the past against the encroaches of the new nihilism that threatens to do away with roots, history, and tradition—the German Romantics were perhaps the best example of this strand with the English Romantics being a close second.
Part of the mission here at Discourses on Minerva is to revisit that past and see what insights and wisdom it has for us in the present. For those who would really like to gain knowledge, have a better understanding of the reality of the world, and leave the darkness of the Cave, perhaps you will enjoy the content here. If so, all I can recommend to you is Read On!
The content here will be similar to my more professional work, which concerns itself with the interstices of anthropology, philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of history, and theology, as well as my more public work: literary exegesis and film criticism. But it will contain a more personal tilt to my interests.