John Locke: From Self-Preservation to Private 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).  I have a comprehensive summary of Locke’s Second Treatise which you can … Continue reading John Locke: From Self-Preservation to Private Property

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

Karl Marx’s Dialectical Historicism

One of the core elements to Karl Marx’s philosophy was his dialectical materialism and historicism, which come together in his dialectical historicism.  Most people are probably familiar with it.  There are five distinct stages (or epochs) of history: slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and communism.  But the movement of history is not linear-progressive, it is cyclical; … Continue reading Karl Marx’s Dialectical Historicism

The Suicide of Conservatism: Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West”

Jonah Goldberg is the most recent of a cadre of popular writers and academics, all of a decisively neo-Whig orientation and consciousness, who has written a defense of the greatest myth ever told since the publication of Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum. Goldberg’s tale of the “suicide of the West” is nothing new. It is just … Continue reading The Suicide of Conservatism: Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West”

Giambattista Vico and the Conceit of “History”

Giambattista Vico was a 17th and 18th century Italian lawyer and philosopher. He produced the work The New Science in 1725, one of the most influential and important works of philosophy in the modern Western tradition. In his work, Vico lays out a comprehensive rebuke of Enlightenment philosophy and historicism, and his commentary on psychological, … Continue reading Giambattista Vico and the Conceit of “History”

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

Game Theory 101: Dominant Strategy and Choice Conflict

Game theory is choice-theory in economics. We did a basic introduction to game theory by looking at one of the most common introductory games in Game Theory, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, here. In that introduction we briefly touched on dominant, or strong, strategy and non-dominant, or weak strategy. Now we’re continuing our understanding of economic theory … Continue reading Game Theory 101: Dominant Strategy and Choice Conflict

The Tragedy of Civilization: Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah

Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah is the “introduction” to his seven-volume history of the Arab and Berber people, and history of the world (up to his time and from what he knew of the world via sources and travelling). The Kitab Al-‘Ibar is the full text name, but it is his lengthy introduction (the Muqaddimah) that is … Continue reading The Tragedy of Civilization: Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah

Economics 101: Game Theory, Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the Myth of “Rational Man”

Game Theory is a specific subset of economics that deals with strategic decision-making and seeks to understand decision-making in decision-making animals under the presumption of man being a rational economic agent. In economics, at least classical economic theory, homo economicus is the presuppositional starting anthropology. Homo economicus, derived from Locke, Smith, and Ricardo, is the … Continue reading Economics 101: Game Theory, Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the Myth of “Rational Man”

Liberalism and the Economic Man

What is liberalism?  What is the relationship between liberalism and economism?  Why did the Second International condemn social democracy and social liberalism, those philosophies that are often publicly proclaimed as “radical” and “socialist” by philosophical dilettantes, though not having any relationship to actual socialism?  Also, is liberalism about “natural rights” or is it actually a … Continue reading Liberalism and the Economic Man