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”

Homer’s “Iliad”: From Strife to Love

Homer’s Iliad is the defining epic of Western literature. Its heroes live on in lure and our collective and individual consciousness. Most of Greek—and Roman literature—is indebted to the epic and its characters. Even modern English literature owes much to Homer’s monumental and heroic poem. Indeed, all Western literature owes to the wellspring of Homer. Even literary … Continue reading Homer’s “Iliad”: From Strife to Love

Plato’s “Symposium”: The Dramatic Trial of Love

Plato was a moralist. An ethicist. He was concerned with the primacy of action, of engagement, in a world that was deeply iconoclastic, barbarous, and savage. Love of wisdom allows for the creation of that space where ethical and loving life is possible. This means that eros must remain to any understanding of the self, world, and politeia. … Continue reading Plato’s “Symposium”: The Dramatic Trial of Love

Catholicism and the Gothic Psyche, (2/3): Sex, Violence, and the Origins of the Sacred

Gothic horror often deals with sexuality, sexual torment, and graphic violence. One of the common polemical retorts against Catholicism is that it is obsessed with sexuality, sexual violence, and blood imagery. But how did Catholicism arrive at this nexus of the intersectionality of sex, violence, and the sacred? The Biblical account is unclear whether Adam … Continue reading Catholicism and the Gothic Psyche, (2/3): Sex, Violence, and the Origins of the Sacred

Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

Avicenna is one of the most important Islamic philosophers of all time.  He is also the most famous of the Islamic Neoplatonists.  He is, like Augustine to the Christian tradition, sometimes considered the “philosopher of love” because of the importance of love in his thought.  We will unpack the basic philosophy of love from his … Continue reading Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

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

John Keats’ “Lamia”: The Banishing of Love, Or Aristophanes vs. Socrates

John Keats’ “Lamia” was the last of his four grand poetic romances. The poem tells the story of the tragic woman Lamia, who in Greek mythology had been transformed into a serpent-like creature who devours children after the goddess Hera—oh those trouble-making Greek gods again—destroyed her children. Hera punished Lamia further by making her sleepless … Continue reading John Keats’ “Lamia”: The Banishing of Love, Or Aristophanes vs. Socrates