Plato’s “Phaedo”: The Battle over the Soul and the Polis

The Phaedo is one of the more famous of the Platonic dialogues.  The dialogue concerns itself with the nature of the human soul and the afterlife. The dialogue contains the famous Affinity Argument, and Simmias’ response, in which the soul and body are linked together in a harmony like a Lyre.  We will explore the four … Continue reading Plato’s “Phaedo”: The Battle over the Soul and the Polis

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

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

Postmodernism and Liberal Accompaniment: A Review of David North’s “The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique”

It is commonplace for many to associate postmodernism with being far-left, and, indeed, part of the Marxist and socialist tradition. We have already explored how social democracy and even democratic socialism are not, by classical and orthodox Marxist standards, part of the Marxist or socialist tradition. Rather, the Second International condemned social democracy and democratic … Continue reading Postmodernism and Liberal Accompaniment: A Review of David North’s “The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique”

Game Theory 101: Dominant Strategy and Choice Conflict

Game theory is choice-theory in economics. We did a basic introduction to game theory by looking at one of the most common introductory games in Game Theory, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, here. In that introduction we briefly touched on dominant, or strong, strategy and non-dominant, or weak strategy. Now we’re continuing our understanding of economic theory … Continue reading Game Theory 101: Dominant Strategy and Choice Conflict

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

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

Augustine’s City of God, III: What was the Cause of Rome’s “Greatness” (Part II)

The Roman philosopher Cicero was the Plato and Aristotle of Rome.  He was the foremost orator of his day and an important political philosopher who was cherished among Christians (and Augustine).  Augustine even credits the writings of Cicero to helping him believe in God in Confessions.  However, the warm remarks he gives to Cicero in … Continue reading Augustine’s City of God, III: What was the Cause of Rome’s “Greatness” (Part II)

Athens, Jerusalem, and Leftwing Politics

Leo Strauss was famous for his reading of Western culture, history, and politics as a division between Athens and Jerusalem. Borrowing from the Christian philosopher and theologian Tertullian, who famously bemused “What has Athens got to do with Jerusalem?”, Strauss recontextualized the question and thesis of Tertullian as one of oppositional antagonism which, nevertheless, is … Continue reading Athens, Jerusalem, and Leftwing Politics