Rousseau: The First Discourse on Inequality

Rousseau begins his Discourses on Inequality by stating he is examining the question of man – quid sit homo – that eternal question that is at the bedrock of philosophy.  Chronologically, Rousseau wrote the Discourses before the Social Contract, but the two works complement one another and should be read together.  Within the Discourses Rousseau’s attacks include Aristotle, natural philosophy, Grotius, Hobbes, and … Continue reading Rousseau: The First Discourse on Inequality

God, Humanism, and the Wilderness

In this essay of mine, published at Front Porch Republic (where I occasionally write), I reflect on the role of the Wilderness in inculcating a spirit of humanism, humbleness, and fruitio Dei and the Wilderness' relationship to proper philosophical conservatism (spiritualism, naturalism, and communitarianism). What makes the Wilderness a conservative value is what it represents … Continue reading God, Humanism, and the Wilderness

Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” Part III

In finishing the last chapters of Machiavelli’s most famous work, The Prince, we will tie up loose ends and come to an understanding of what Machiavelli was saying in his work and what Machiavelli was not saying in his work.  To review, up to this point Machiavelli’s Prince is about “practical advice” on new princes who have risen … Continue reading Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” Part III

Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” Part I

Niccolò Machiavelli is a pivotal transitional figure in the history of Western philosophy and political thought.  His most famous work is The Prince, but his more important work in the Discourses on Livy.  Both are meant to be read together and together The Prince and Discourses are a full treatise on Machiavelli’s theory of the State.  The Prince, however, has had a … Continue reading Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” Part I

Simone de Beauvoir: “The Woman Destroyed”

The third story of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Woman Destroyed, aptly titled “The Woman Destroyed,” puts to poetic-diary story the essence of Beauvoir’s existential and Marxian feminism.  Through the course of the entries we learn that the narrator, Monique, is trapped madly in love with a bourgeois careerist man – “the serious man” – Maurice.  Their relationship, if … Continue reading Simone de Beauvoir: “The Woman Destroyed”