John Locke: From Self-Preservation to Private Property

John Locke is one of the most important modern philosophers.  He contributed, most famously – though often misunderstood by people who name-drop him – to political philosophy; but Locke also made important contributions to philosophy more broadly (including epistemology, theology, and labor theory in economics).  I have a comprehensive summary of Locke’s Second Treatise which you can … Continue reading John Locke: From Self-Preservation to Private Property

John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” Part III: The Origins of Political Society

The sixth Chapter of the Second Treatise is one of Locke’s more self-explanatory chapters.  The exoteric reading is very straightforward: the naturality of parental authority is a precursor to civil authority.  As Locke writes at the end of the chapter, “it be a sufficient proof of the natural right of fathers to political authority, because … Continue reading John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” Part III: The Origins of Political Society

John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” Part II: Anthropology & Theory of Labor

The fifth chapter of the Second Treatise is arguably the most influential writing ever penned by John Locke.  Chapter 5 deals with his anthropology, along with his defense of property and labor – and how “divine workmanship” led to property and how property and labor is leading us out of the state of nature and toward civil … Continue reading John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” Part II: Anthropology & Theory of Labor

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

Hegel’s Philosophy of History (1/4): The Age of Heroes and the Orient

Hegel is considered the father of History in some circles, or the father of Historicism.  By History, rather than history, scholars and philosophers refer to History as Historicism – the notion that History is unfolding in its particular epoch toward an ultimate goal.  History has a telos, it is moved by dialectical advance to its … Continue reading Hegel’s Philosophy of History (1/4): The Age of Heroes and the Orient

Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Tale of Two Analyses

Human Action, originally published in 1949, is regarded as Ludwig von Mises’s magnum opus. The work is gripping and engaging, and its commentary is wide reaching. Mises intersplices his famous work of political economy and action theory (praxeology), where he considers economics as a sub-discipline of praxeology), with evolutionary science, philosophy, political commentary, and literature. … Continue reading Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Tale of Two Analyses

Why Conflict and Division is Good for Politics

Everyone seems to preach of the need of unity and “coming together.”  In troubled times, in times of increased anxiety—sometimes spilling over into violence—the prophets of unity appear as a voice of “moderation.”  Unity is, of course, a code-word for establishment power politics; for it is the existing status-quo which always loses its grip on … Continue reading Why Conflict and Division is Good for Politics