Islam, Islamism, and the Crisis of the Political

Is Islam a political threat? That might depend on where you live. Is there a distinction between Islam and Islamism. Some say yes. Others say no. Naive leftists who are anti-political (in the Schmittian sense) believe the universal ark of fraternity triumphs over the tribalisms of politics. The boisterous liberal right, spearheaded by anti-religious libertarians … Continue reading Islam, Islamism, and the Crisis of the Political

Jean Paul Sartre: Being and Nothingness

Jean Paul Sartre was among the most famous of the modern existentialists and phenomenologists, perhaps second only to Martin Heidegger.  Sartre’s great text of fame was his “essay on ontology,” Being and Nothingness.  In typical French fashion, the text is weighty, dense, and draws heavily from the history of philosophy, especially Christianity, Bacon, Descartes, Hegel, Husserl, … Continue reading Jean Paul Sartre: Being and Nothingness

John Locke and the “Law of Nature”

One of the great debates of scholarship surrounding Locke is his “natural law” or law of nature theory. There are those that argue he stands squarely within the Ciceronian-Augustinian-Thomistic tradition wherein the natural law is not only moral, but it will, at end, produce happiness for us. There are others who claim otherwise – that the law … Continue reading John Locke and the “Law of Nature”

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part I: Of Man, Language, and “Morality”

Thomas Hobbes is one of the most consequential and important modern philosophers.  In many ways he helped to shift Western consciousness in philosophy from God, the Transcendentals (the Good, True, and Beautiful), and the soul to materialism, physicalism, and mechanicalism.  This shift is what historian and philosopher Mark Lilla calls “the great separation” in his … Continue reading The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, Part I: Of Man, Language, and “Morality”

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

Are we all Augustinians? A Review of William Connolly’s “The Augustinian Imperative”

William Connolly is one of the great contemporary scholars in Augustinian engagement—that is, he constantly contests, utilizes, or criticizes the philosophy and theology of Saint Augustine in formation of his own work, themes, or beliefs. In The Augustinian Imperative, Connolly engages Augustine in relationship to modern politics. Although Connolly could be seen as an Augustinian … Continue reading Are we all Augustinians? A Review of William Connolly’s “The Augustinian Imperative”

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 (2/4): The Role of Religion and Culture in History

Continuing with Hegel’s philosophy of history we will move into one of the most important, but often neglected, aspects of Hegel’s philosophy: the role of religion as the source of society and culture.  Throughout his works, Hegel comments on religion, the power of religion, and the role of religion in society and shaping national character and spirit.  … Continue reading Hegel’s Philosophy of History (2/4): The Role of Religion and Culture in History