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)

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)

The Roman Stoics: Cato and Seneca

Cato and Seneca (the Youngers) are two of the most important pre-Christian Roman philosophers.  While Cicero is the most famous of the Stoic philosophers, the issue of them being “stoic” philosophers is a matter of strong contention since they’re not fully “stoic” in the original Greek sense.  Stoicism is another classical rationalist school of thought.  … Continue reading The Roman Stoics: Cato and Seneca

Cicero’s Republic: Education and Humanism

Besides political commentary, although Cicero’s ruminations about education and philosophy are still tied to his political philosophy, Cicero’s other great undercurrent of thought in the Republic is the relationship between philosophy and education with the health of one’s soul and how this pursuit of wisdom impacts how one acts and engages in the world.  Naturally this does … Continue reading Cicero’s Republic: Education and Humanism

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

Graham Harman: Repackaging Dilettante

Graham Harman is hot stuff and the latest pathetic fad in the sinking ship of academic philosophy. The popsicle licking radical likes to present himself as offering something new. He is tired, and mainstream philosophy is tired, with materialist reductionism. Harman, nevertheless, ends up in the same anti-humanist camp that all handmaidens of the empty … Continue reading Graham Harman: Repackaging Dilettante