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

Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Understanding Liberalism

In continuing an examination of Carl Schmitt’s Concept of the Political, we turn to focus in one his widely influential and much debated understanding and critique of liberalism.  Schmitt’s critique of liberalism has been influential to those on the New Left (post-Marxist Left) as well as those on the political Right (conservatives proper) who share an … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Understanding Liberalism

John Locke: From Self-Preservation to Property

John Locke is one of the most important modern philosophers.  He contributed, most famously – though often misunderstood by people who name-drop him – to political philosophy. But Locke also made important contributions to philosophy more broadly: including epistemology, theology, and labor theory in economics.  In this post I would like to examine the internal … Continue reading John Locke: From Self-Preservation to Property

John Locke and the “Law of Nature”

One of the great debates of scholarship surrounding Locke is his “natural law” or law of nature theory. There are those that argue he stands squarely within the Ciceronian-Augustinian-Thomistic tradition wherein the natural law is not only moral, but it will, at end, produce happiness for us. There are others who claim otherwise – that the law … Continue reading John Locke and the “Law of Nature”

Our Brave New Century

Michel Foucault famously wrote in Madness and Civilization, “The ultimate language of madness is that of reason.”[1]  Foucault was referring to liberal civilization—born of the Enlightenment—a civilization that extolled the virtues of materialistic rationalism, individualism, market economics, private property, which ends in the slow erosion of the communitarian bonds that had shaped human society since pre-modernity.  … Continue reading Our Brave New Century

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part IV: War and the State of Nature

Proceeding to reading Chapters 10-13 we hit the meat of Hobbes’s Leviathan.  We approach his famous commentary on the state of nature, wherein we are burdened by the “war of every man against everyman” or “war of all against all” (from the Latin edition: Bellum omnium contra omnes) and his bleak assessment that life in this state … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part IV: War and the State of Nature

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part III: On Freedom

The eighth chapter of Leviathan is one of the most important of the entire book, and it is one with profound implications concerning the political, even if the exoteric discussion is about intellectual virtues arising from passions and the motions of the passions.  If we recall back to Chapter 3, Hobbes defined “rational” as the regulations on … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part III: On Freedom

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part II: Of Man, Knowledge, and “Science”

As we continue to read through Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, an actual reading of the text again causes much confusion to readers who have swallowed the false pill of the myth of the “Enlightenment” and the “Age of Reason.”  In this post we will examine two crucial chapters, 6 and 7, and what the implications are for … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part II: Of Man, Knowledge, and “Science”

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part I: Of Man, Language, and “Morality”

Thomas Hobbes is one of the most consequential and important modern philosophers.  In many ways he helped to shift Western consciousness in philosophy from God, the Transcendentals (the Good, True, and Beautiful), and the soul to materialism, physicalism, and mechanicalism.  This shift is what historian and philosopher Mark Lilla calls “the great separation” in his … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part I: Of Man, Language, and “Morality”