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 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”

John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” Part II: Anthropology & Theory of Labor

The fifth chapter of the Second Treatise is arguably the most influential writing ever penned by John Locke.  Chapter 5 deals with his anthropology, along with his defense of property and labor – and how “divine workmanship” led to property and how property and labor is leading us out of the state of nature and toward civil … Continue reading John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” Part II: Anthropology & Theory of Labor

John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” Part I: State of Nature & State of War

John Locke is commonly thought of as the “father of limited government” and the progenitor of the rights-based tradition of political philosophy called “liberalism.”  He is often contrasted with the absolutism of Hobbes: Locke’s government is minimal where Hobbes’s government is all-powerful, Locke’s State of Nature is good and benign where Hobbes’s state of nature … Continue reading John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” Part I: State of Nature & State of War

Rousseau: The Second Discourse on Inequality

Rousseau’s second discourse on inequality builds from his first.  The second discourse contains his famous depiction of the noble savage, how man loses his freedom and equality through the establishment of property and society, and his ruminations about how reason corrupts human living and how knowledge is used as a tool of oppression and violence.  … Continue reading Rousseau: The Second Discourse on Inequality

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