Ibn Khaldun: Geopolitics, Geo-Dialectics, and Environmental Conditioning

Ibn Khaldun was a son of modest aristocratic family that, through merit, had risen to prominent positions within the Hasfid Dynasty in Tunisia.  His actual family roots go further back into Islamic Spain but, as the Reconquista gained steamed his family left for North Africa and this set Ibn Khaldun off on a travelling adventure … Continue reading Ibn Khaldun: Geopolitics, Geo-Dialectics, and Environmental Conditioning

German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 5: Hegel

While Johann Fichte and Friedrich Schelling were luminaries of German idealism in their time, the most famous son of German Idealism known to posterity is Georg W.F. Hegel. Hegel did not share the same early fame as Fichte and Schelling and only became a major figure in German philosophy with the publication of his famous … Continue reading German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 5: Hegel

Introduction to Political Aesthetics

Political aesthetics has been an important topic of political philosophy ever since the publication of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. For Burke’s critics, his sudden criticism of the French Revolution was shocking if not an act of apostasy given his previous support for the American Revolution. For Burke and his defenders, both … Continue reading Introduction to Political Aesthetics

The Tragedy of Civilization: Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah

Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah is the “introduction” to his seven-volume history of the Arab and Berber people, and history of the world (up to his time and from what he knew of the world via sources and travelling). The Kitab Al-‘Ibar is the full text name, but it is his lengthy introduction (the Muqaddimah) that is … Continue reading The Tragedy of Civilization: Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah

Augustine’s City of God, VII: The City of Man

The second half of City of God (Books XI through XXII) deal with the origins and ends of the two cities.  Here Augustine shifts from his cultural criticism to a more exegetical, historical, and political focus.  Augustine begins to develop his allegorical hermeneutic of the church in these chapters, reflects on human history as contained … Continue reading Augustine’s City of God, VII: The City of Man

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)

Geopolitics and the Melian Dialogue

In sticking with the theme of geopolitics which I have already discussed, I wish to segway into the Melian Dialogue by way of geopolitics. Alongside Pericles’ “Funeral Oration,” the Melian Dialogue is the most famous of dialogues (or orations) in Thucydides’ masterpiece. Most people who have never read the entirety of Thucydides have probably read … Continue reading Geopolitics and the Melian Dialogue