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

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”

Napoleon’s Last Thunder: A Review of John Gill’s “1809: Thunder on the Danube”

Mr. Gill's three volume history of the War of the Fifth Coalition, 1809: Thunder on the Danube is the academic resource on the War of 1809. It is accessible to laypersons and academics alike, with very fluid and detailed writing with a great wealth of resources. Filled with maps and names, this seemingly academic history … Continue reading Napoleon’s Last Thunder: A Review of John Gill’s “1809: Thunder on the Danube”

The Many Faces of Napoleon: A Review of Three Napoleon Books

In 1841, Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle penned On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History. One of the first histories to bring forth the "Great Man" tradition of history--the view that certain individuals are driving forces of history, and simply knowing about such individuals would give one a good command of the history of that era, … Continue reading The Many Faces of Napoleon: A Review of Three Napoleon Books