Cicero: The Laws, Book I

Having examined Cicero’s Republic (or On the Commonwealth), we turn to his sequel which has been widely influential in the development of natural law theory, humanism, and enshrined Cicero as one of the “righteous pagans” in Catholic history, The Laws. The Laws, though independent of the Republic, was meant to be read as a compendium … Continue reading Cicero: The Laws, Book I

Reading Locke’s Two Treatises: Ch. 5

Chapter 5 of the Second Treatise is arguably the most influential writing ever penned by John Locke.  Chapter 5 deals with his anthropology, along with his defense of property and labor – and how “divine workmanship” led to property and how property and labor is leading us out of the state of nature and toward … Continue reading Reading Locke’s Two Treatises: Ch. 5

The German Romantics, Fichte II

Having explored the background to Fichte, we revisit - in more depth - Fichte's philosophy of the I is and its roots in Hebraic and Christian thought, and how this, combined with Fichte's synthesize of Kant, produced his thoughts on political economy. Fichte, II: Fichte on Consciousness and Political Economy

Hegel and “Death of God” Theology

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is probably the most important and influential philosopher of the last 200 years.  It is Hegel who articulated concepts that we have all inherited in the present: “death of God,” the dialectic as unfolding history which leads to the “end of history,” the idea of Absolute Spirit or the Absolute Idea … Continue reading Hegel and “Death of God” Theology

Immanuel Kant’s Transcendental Realism

Immanuel Kant is an important late modern thinker and the precursor to the romantic movement, even though romantic philosophers like Johann Hamann and Johann Herder were already at work before Kant rose to prominence.  Kant was a late bloomer, only becoming notable in the his mid-50s when he published The Critique of Pure Reason, which … Continue reading Immanuel Kant’s Transcendental Realism

Reading Locke’s Two Treatises: Chapters 1-4

John Locke is commonly thought of as the “father of limited government” and the progenitor of the rights-based tradition of political philosophy called “liberalism.”  He is often contrasted with the absolutism of Hobbes: Locke’s government is minimal where Hobbes’s government is all-powerful, Locke’s State of Nature is good and benign where Hobbes’s state of nature … Continue reading Reading Locke’s Two Treatises: Chapters 1-4

Johann Hamann’s “Higher Reason”

Johann Hamann, like most of the Romantic and Counter-Enlightenment figures, is little known to the public today despite his tremendous influence and importance during his lifetime and immediately after.  It is safe to say that without Hamann, there would be no Johann Herder, and without Hamann and Herder, German Romanticism would have sung a different … Continue reading Johann Hamann’s “Higher Reason”