Aristotle’s Dialectical Politics: The Struggle for Virtue

Aristotle’s political theory is grounded in two principal cornerstones: that man is a political (or social) animal, and that the end of human existence is happiness.   Thus, humanity’s essential social character cannot be separated from his existential character.  The separation of humanity from society will not produce the happiness he seeks.  Likewise, a politics that … Continue reading Aristotle’s Dialectical Politics: The Struggle for Virtue

Aristotle’s “Political Animal”

Aristotle famously said in Politics that “man is, by nature, a political animal.”  What did he mean by that?  Why is it important?  Aristotle’s political philosophy is dependent upon his understanding of human anthropology and ontology, as well as teleology.  Unlike today, Aristotle’s statement is not meant to signify that humans should be “politically active” … Continue reading Aristotle’s “Political Animal”

Aristotle’s Political Theory (The Politics)

Aristotle is remembered as one of the greatest of the classical philosophers, metaphysicians, and epistemologists, but he was equally the most important political philosopher of the ancient world.  Aristotle’s Politics and Ethics are fundamental in political philosophy studies, and his ideas were largely incorporated into Christian political theory through the rise of Catholicism. Many of the ideas of Aristotle’s … Continue reading Aristotle’s Political Theory (The Politics)

Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics (Nicomachean Ethics)

In his famous Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that ethics aims at the achievement of excellent because this excellence produces happiness to the human soul and this is fundamentally good because happiness is our end and the goal that all human actions attempt to embody through the action itself (however flawed or whether it achieves an enduring … Continue reading Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics (Nicomachean Ethics)

Cicero’s Republic: Patriotism and the Common Good

Cicero is perhaps the most famous of the Roman Stoic philosophers.  He wrote many philosophical works, the two most famous being On the Republic/Commonwealth and The Laws.  We will begin to look at Cicero’s anthropology, and how it influences his views of political philosophy beginning in The Republic.  (It should be noted that the work is in poor condition, … Continue reading Cicero’s Republic: Patriotism and the Common Good

Are we all Augustinians? A Review of William Connolly’s “The Augustinian Imperative”

William Connolly is one of the great contemporary scholars in Augustinian engagement—that is, he constantly contests, utilizes, or criticizes the philosophy and theology of Saint Augustine in formation of his own work, themes, or beliefs. In The Augustinian Imperative, Connolly engages Augustine in relationship to modern politics. Although Connolly could be seen as an Augustinian … Continue reading Are we all Augustinians? A Review of William Connolly’s “The Augustinian Imperative”

Hegel’s Philosophy of History (4/4): The Age of Liberty and Moral Love

We last left off with Hegel’s philosophy of history with the failure of the Aristocratic Age to produce universal freedom.  If we recall, the Aristocratic Age, that age of great movement, creativity, and the arts, and the dialectic between the aristocrats and plebeians, failed because there was no notion that all men were equal.  This … Continue reading Hegel’s Philosophy of History (4/4): The Age of Liberty and Moral Love

Hegel’s Philosophy of History (3/4): The Age of Aristocracy and the Struggle for Freedom

We last left off examining Hegel’s philosophy of history with the Hero, Orient, and religion.  Now we move into the heart of Hegel’s Historicism: the movement from the orient to aristocracy.  The movement to aristocratic governance is the next great moment in historical unfolding, but also posed many problems as Hegel makes clear in his … Continue reading Hegel’s Philosophy of History (3/4): The Age of Aristocracy and the Struggle for Freedom