Francis Bacon’s Philosophy of Scientific Conquest

Sir Francis Bacon is the father of modern philosophy. He has been described as the “greatest philosopher” by John Dewey and was considered one of the three greatest men by Thomas Jefferson (alongside Newton and Locke). Bacon’s Novum Organum (or Instrument of the New Science, or just New Science) was a momentous change in the history of philosophy of the philosophy … Continue reading Francis Bacon’s Philosophy of Scientific Conquest

Theodor Adorno and Our Enslavement to Commodity Fetishism

Theodor Adorno is probably the most important 20th century Marxist philosopher, sociologist, and social critic.  The fundamental crux of Adorno is his critique of the Enlightenment and mass culture—typified by places like Hollywood—as a form of self-enslavement and bourgeois imperialism.  But instead of the superstructure directly engaging in clamping its controls over people, Adorno argued that … Continue reading Theodor Adorno and Our Enslavement to Commodity Fetishism

Leo Strauss on the Three Waves of Modernity

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was one of the most important historians of political philosophy in the 20th century.  A Jewish emigre to America in the 1930s, Strauss made his name as an exegete of the classics (Plato, Aristotle, and Thucydides especially; Al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Maimonides among Arab-Islamic and Jewish medieval philosophers, and Sts. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas … Continue reading Leo Strauss on the Three Waves of Modernity

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (5/5): Why Does Machiavelli Favor Republicanism?

The Discourses of Livy shows that Machiavelli favors a republic over all other forms of government—even though the real political dialectic is between republics and non-republics (i.e. tyrannies). Machiavelli prefers republican governance mostly for state and practical purposes. While Machiavelli certainly is a fan of liberty and order, he does not believe people are naturally … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (5/5): Why Does Machiavelli Favor Republicanism?

The Myth and Lies of Steven Pinker’s “Enlightenment Now!”

Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology. ~ Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, p. xviii.   Steven Pinker is the public face of contemporary neo-Whiggism. In the midst of turbulent transformations and discontents, rather than try to understand the predicament of modernity and its possibility crisis brought forth by the … Continue reading The Myth and Lies of Steven Pinker’s “Enlightenment Now!”

Liberalism: Freedom from Harm as Freedom from Responsibility

Liberal society—if we can call it a society—is stagnating. Moreover, it should be obvious to any observer over the “whimpification” of liberal society: liberals are weak; liberals are cowards; liberals capitulate to extremist forces; liberals are unwilling to employ the effective use of power; liberals blame other people for their problems; liberals do not take … Continue reading Liberalism: Freedom from Harm as Freedom from Responsibility