Islam, Islamism, and the Crisis of the Political

Is Islam a political threat? That might depend on where you live. Is there a distinction between Islam and Islamism. Some say yes. Others say no. Naive leftists who are anti-political (in the Schmittian sense) believe the universal ark of fraternity triumphs over the tribalisms of politics. The boisterous liberal right, spearheaded by anti-religious libertarians … Continue reading Islam, Islamism, and the Crisis of the Political

Literary Tales Ep. 10: Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra”

In this lecture of literary tales we explore Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, principally in Shakespeare's dialectic of the coldness of politics (embodied by Ocatvian/Augustus Caesar) and the rapturous ecstasy of love (embodied by our titular tragic protagonists Antony and Cleopatra). This lecture explores the theme of love and politics (covered in this lecture) in fuller … Continue reading Literary Tales Ep. 10: Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra”

Hegel and Napoleon: On Heroes and the Sublime in History

There are two great stories concerning Hegel and Napoleon. The first, undeniably fantastical and romantic, is that Hegel was finishing up his draft manuscript of the Phenomenology of Spirit as the Battle of Jena roared behind him as he escaped the hellfire of the morning; the second, true, relates to Hegel’s encounter with Napoleon which … Continue reading Hegel and Napoleon: On Heroes and the Sublime in History

Literary Tales Ep. 7: Gulliver’s Travels and the Art of Philosophical Satire

In this episode of Literary Tales we examine Jonathan Swift's incredible mock and satirical travel work, Gulliver's Travels. In this lecture we explore the work as principally a philosophical satire through Gulliver's journeys leading to his insanity and dehumanization. Ruminations on philosophy, theology, and John Milton are included. This lecture is based off my essay, … Continue reading Literary Tales Ep. 7: Gulliver’s Travels and the Art of Philosophical Satire

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

Virgil’s Use of Consciousness, Memory, and History in “The Aeneid”

The grandest image of Virgil’s Aeneid is the shield forged by the god Vulcan in the eighth book of Aeneas’ adventure to “Lavinian shores and Italian soil.” Virgil pays homage to Homer, his master and mentor, who also describes a grand image on a shield forged by the gods for Achilles. But where Achilles’ shield … Continue reading Virgil’s Use of Consciousness, Memory, and History in “The Aeneid”