Immanuel Kant: On Perpetual Peace

Among Immanuel Kant’s famous essays is his essay “To Eternal Peace” (alternatively titled “On Perpetual Peace”).  In this essay, published in 1795 right at the onset of the French Revolutionary Wars, Kant follows up on his philosophy of history by offering deep contemplation on the nature of unfolding history and constitutions to peace among nations.  … Continue reading Immanuel Kant: On Perpetual Peace

Immanuel Kant: “History with Cosmopolitan Intent”

Immanuel Kant wrote many important books, but he was also an important essayist—and some of his most important philosophical reflections, with longstanding and consequential legacies, were written as essays.  One of his most famous essays, with a rich consequential legacy, was “Idea of Universal History with Cosmopolitan Intent.”  One of the first elaborations on the … Continue reading Immanuel Kant: “History with Cosmopolitan Intent”

Against Politicized Aesthetics: A Review of “Baudelaire Contra Benjamin” by Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo

Walter Benjamin was one of the most important literary and critical theorists of the 20th century, or so the narrative goes. Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo, at a very informative moment in their work, mention how the “authorities” of the human condition are no longer the great writers and philosophers of the past—like Homer, Plato, Augustine, … Continue reading Against Politicized Aesthetics: A Review of “Baudelaire Contra Benjamin” by Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo

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

Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Human Nature and the Purpose of Politics

“[F]or it is a fact that the entire life of a human being is a struggle and every human being symbolically a combatant. The friend, enemy, and combat concepts receive their real meaning precisely because they refer to the real possibility of physical killing. War follows from enmity. War is the existential negation of the … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Human Nature and the Purpose of Politics

Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Understanding Liberalism

In continuing an examination of Carl Schmitt’s Concept of the Political, we turn to focus in one his widely influential and much debated understanding and critique of liberalism.  Schmitt’s critique of liberalism has been influential to those on the New Left (post-Marxist Left) as well as those on the political Right (conservatives proper) who share an … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Understanding Liberalism

Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: The Friend-Enemy Distinction

In one of his early and most well-known works, the Concept of the Political, Carl Schmitt endeavors to explore what the political is and is not.  There are multiple layers to Schmitt’s thinking and his criticism of liberalism, in particular, and where he sees himself in the grand scheme of Hegelian epochal historicism and the broader … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: The Friend-Enemy Distinction

Carl Schmitt’s “Political Theology”

Carl Schmitt is one of the most controversial and influential political philosophers and political jurists of the 20th century.  His works have influenced everyone from the New Left, including the likes of Derrida and Foucault, and those on the Right, most notably Leo Strauss.  Schmitt, among other things, is generally credited with establishing the sub-discipline of … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Political Theology”