Islamic Theology, Philosophy, and Theodicy

Within the context of Western philosophy, Islamic philosophy is generally added to replace “Orthodox” philosophy in the geographic sense. For various reasons I don’t want to get into, students of Western philosophy generally study Islamic philosophy ca. 8th century-Reformation, or at the very least, are given some familiarity with the most important Islamic philosophers during … Continue reading Islamic Theology, Philosophy, and Theodicy

Augustine on the Nature of Evil

Although Confessions is long-winded prayer and an autobiography, Confessions is also a work of profound philosophical and psychological importance.  The first half of Confessions roughly deals with anthropology, the tension between desire and reason, and the need for reason to order desire to achieve what desire seeks.  The second half of Confessions shifts to a more philosophical and theological commentary, which includes Augustine’s … Continue reading Augustine on the Nature of Evil

Immanuel Kant: On Perpetual Peace

Among Immanuel Kant’s famous essays is his essay “To Eternal Peace” (alternatively titled “On Perpetual Peace”).  In this essay, published in 1795 right at the onset of the French Revolutionary Wars, Kant follows up on his philosophy of history by offering deep contemplation on the nature of unfolding history and constitutions to peace among nations.  … Continue reading Immanuel Kant: On Perpetual Peace

Immanuel Kant: “History with Cosmopolitan Intent”

Immanuel Kant wrote many important books, but he was also an important essayist—and some of his most important philosophical reflections, with longstanding and consequential legacies, were written as essays.  One of his most famous essays, with a rich consequential legacy, was “Idea of Universal History with Cosmopolitan Intent.”  One of the first elaborations on the … Continue reading Immanuel Kant: “History with Cosmopolitan Intent”

Johann Gottfried von Herder’s Philosophy of “Kultur”

Johann Gottfried von Herder is one of the most important transitionary figures in German philosophy. Perhaps along with Fichte, Herder was actually one of the most influential philosophers after Kant but largely forgotten in the Kant to Hegel canonical study that dominates most philosophical departments and continental surveys. Nonetheless, Herder was instrumental in pioneering the … Continue reading Johann Gottfried von Herder’s Philosophy of “Kultur”