Simone de Beauvoir: “The Woman Destroyed”

The third story of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Woman Destroyed, aptly titled “The Woman Destroyed,” puts to poetic-diary story the essence of Beauvoir’s existential and Marxian feminism.  Through the course of the entries we learn that the narrator, Monique, is trapped madly in love with a bourgeois careerist man – “the serious man” – Maurice.  Their relationship, if … Continue reading Simone de Beauvoir: “The Woman Destroyed”

Simone de Beauvoir: The Second Sex (Introduction)

Simone de Beauvoir stands alongside Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus as the trinity of French existentialist writers that most people will encounter in their dealings with modern 20th century existentialism after Heidegger.  Influenced by philosophers like Augustine, Hegel, Marx, and Heidegger, the French existentialists took their intellectual forebears and turned them in new directions.  Simone … Continue reading Simone de Beauvoir: The Second Sex (Introduction)

Hegel’s Social and Political Theory

Hegel’s social and political philosophy was of profound importance in mid nineteenth century Germany, especially within the Kingdom of Prussia where he spent his latter days.  It is sometimes said that Hegel believed Prussia was the end of history, that Prussia was the fulfillment of the socio-political, constitutional, and ethical progression of the Spirit in … Continue reading Hegel’s Social and Political Theory

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (3/5): Libido Dominandi, Individualism, and Greatness

One of the peculiar twists of Machiavelli is how he inverts the Augustinian worldview. Saint Augustine of Hippo famously said that man, in his fallenness, lusted for domination. Man, in his estrangement and depravity, lusted to control others. Fallen man lives in conflict. Machiavelli inherits this anthropological truth but turns it on its head. It … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (3/5): Libido Dominandi, Individualism, and Greatness

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)