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

Aesthetics, Morality, Spirituality and the Ecological Crisis

Conservation is at the heart of conservatism. And the root of our contemporary ecological crisis is a careless, profligate mode of relating to the world; Francis Bacon would be proud of our current disposition as tormentors of nature. Conservatism’s stance toward the natural world, and the ecological crisis, sets it apart from the other philosophies … Continue reading Aesthetics, Morality, Spirituality and the Ecological Crisis

German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 2: Johann Fichte

Johann Fichte was a student of Kant’s philosophy. Although little known in the English-speaking world, Fichte was one of the most important philosophers in 1790s and early 1800s until his death in 1814. If English-speakers have any awareness of Fichte, it will likely be through his “Address to the German Nation,” given during the Napoleonic … Continue reading German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 2: Johann Fichte

Cicero’s On Obligations (Di Officiis)

Cicero, perhaps the most famous of the Roman philosophers, wrote an influential treatise on duties and obligations published after his death.  De Officiis, along with his Republic/Commonwealth and Laws, serve as Cicero’s longstanding political legacy to the West.  In fact, On Obligations was widely influential in that it influenced St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, becoming an integral part of the … Continue reading Cicero’s On Obligations (Di Officiis)

Corruption of Language and Morality in History of the Peloponnesian War

In a celebrated analysis of the corruption of language and its relationship with deteriorated character, Thucydides reflects on the symbiotic relationship of language with moral character. Language is clear, meaningful, and understandable when there is moral clarity, meaning, and understanding in the human animal. That is, the clarity of language ebbs and flows with the … Continue reading Corruption of Language and Morality in History of the Peloponnesian War

Cicero and the Foundations of Natural Law

Cicero is the most important of the Roman philosophers; a Roman Platonist and Stoic, he is responsible for attempting to synthesize strands of Platonic and Stoic thought into a coherent body of mostly political philosophy. It may not be farfetched to assert that Cicero is the first synthetic political philosopher and the second systematic political … Continue reading Cicero and the Foundations of Natural Law