Hegel: Dialectical Self-Consciousness (Lordship-Bondsman, sec. 178-196 Phenomenology of Spirit)

Apart from the preface, and other famous sections within the Phenomenology of Spirit, the most famous section of Hegel’s Phenomenology is his commentary of lordship and bondage in self-consciousness.  For Hegel, self-consciousness is in itself for itself.  However, the consummation of self-consciousness—that is, self-understanding—depends on the other.  Hegel’s ontology is necessarily dialectic insofar that it … Continue reading Hegel: Dialectical Self-Consciousness (Lordship-Bondsman, sec. 178-196 Phenomenology of Spirit)

Hegel on History, IV: The Age of Freedom and End of History

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 on History, IV: The Age of Freedom and End of History

Old Right, New Right, and Alt-Right

On the so-called left-right spectrum, which is horribly outdated and misleading as it negates the philosophical foundations for political philosophy and ideology, there are three important “rightwing” traditions, or movements.  The “Old Right,” the “New Right,” and the “Alt-Right.”  Let’s look at these three schools as they emerged. THE OLD RIGHT The “Old Right” was … Continue reading Old Right, New Right, and Alt-Right

Antonio Gramsci: The Role of Intellectuals

Antonio Gramsci was an early 20th century Italian Marxist philosopher and writer.  Imprisoned, he wrote much of his work from the jail cell (Prison Notebooks).  His theory of the intellectual and of cultural hegemony are among his two most notable ideas.  Cutting through all the Gramscian verboseness, we’ll examine Gramsci’s understanding of the intellectual and … Continue reading Antonio Gramsci: The Role of Intellectuals

Plato’s Myth of Er

The conclusion of Plato’s Republic is the Myth of Er.  What are we to make of the Myth of Er and why is it important?  Why does it come at the very end of the work and not earlier?  It is important to remember that – as I’ve said before in other explanatory summaries of … Continue reading Plato’s Myth of Er

Plato’s Noble Lie

In The Republic, Socrates famously discusses the idea of the “noble lie.”  The noble lie has been an issue of tremendous interest to scholars and political and sociological theorists.  But is it the case that Plato endorses the noble lie, as some suggest and as the cursory reading seems to equally suggest? We must remember … Continue reading Plato’s Noble Lie

What is Platonic Irony?

What is Platonic irony?  When reading Plato’s dialogues philosophers are often keen to highlight irony within his texts.  Irony, however, is not necessarily what we think of it today.  Rather, Platonic irony is carefully constructed and inserted into the text by Plato himself.  Platonic irony is deeply dialectical in the Socratic sense, since Plato’s literary … Continue reading What is Platonic Irony?