Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (3/5): Libido Dominandi, Individualism, and Greatness

One of the peculiar twists of Machiavelli is how he inverts the Augustinian worldview. Saint Augustine of Hippo famously said that man, in his fallenness, lusted for domination. Man, in his estrangement and depravity, lusted to control others. Fallen man lives in conflict. Machiavelli inherits this anthropological truth but turns it on its head. It … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (3/5): Libido Dominandi, Individualism, and Greatness

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, IV: Nazism

Of all the fascist movements, German fascism (or “National Socialism”) is probably the most famous and least understood.  Fascism in Germany was the epicenter of the brief life of fascism, produced a number of intellectuals – serious and forgotten – from which we are able to derive a lineage of fascist philosophy.  While antecedent roots … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, IV: Nazism

The Roman Stoics: Cato and Seneca

Cato and Seneca (the Youngers) are two of the most important pre-Christian Roman philosophers.  While Cicero is the most famous of the Stoic philosophers, the issue of them being “stoic” philosophers is a matter of strong contention since they’re not fully “stoic” in the original Greek sense.  Stoicism is another classical rationalist school of thought.  … Continue reading The Roman Stoics: Cato and Seneca

Friedrich Schelling’s Philosophy of Mythology

In his series of lectures on the philosophy of mythology, published as the Historical Critical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology, Friedrich Schelling achieves a paradigmatic revolution in German Romantic and idealistic thought that would be influential for later German philosophy and influential upon the psychologist Carl Jung.  Schelling, a student and pupil of Fichte and Hegel, … Continue reading Friedrich Schelling’s Philosophy of Mythology

Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

Avicenna is one of the most important Islamic philosophers of all time.  He is also the most famous of the Islamic Neoplatonists.  He is, like Augustine to the Christian tradition, sometimes considered the “philosopher of love” because of the importance of love in his thought.  We will unpack the basic philosophy of love from his … Continue reading Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

Plato’s “Phaedrus”: The Cosmic Drama of the Soul

Plato was a master story-teller, perhaps that is why Christians took so fondly to him as Jesus was also a master story-teller. While most of Plato’s famous allegories are contained in The Republic, one of the most famous of Plato’s allegories that escaped the confines of The Republic is the Allegory of the Chariot (or … Continue reading Plato’s “Phaedrus”: The Cosmic Drama of the Soul

Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Tale of Two Analyses

Human Action, originally published in 1949, is regarded as Ludwig von Mises’s magnum opus. The work is gripping and engaging, and its commentary is wide reaching. Mises intersplices his famous work of political economy and action theory (praxeology), where he considers economics as a sub-discipline of praxeology), with evolutionary science, philosophy, political commentary, and literature. … Continue reading Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Tale of Two Analyses

Johann Hamann: Poetry, Language, and Human Nature

Johann Hamann is one of the most understudied and unknown philosophers, especially in the English-speaking world.  A figure of tremendous importance to history, who was called the “brightest star” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Hamann came to be an influential father of the Sturm und Drang  movement in Germany, a key father figure in the litany … Continue reading Johann Hamann: Poetry, Language, and Human Nature