Sartre: Vertigo (On the Fragility of Freedom)

One of the most famous sections in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness is his commentary over the moment of vertigo—dramatized with a person on the edge of cliffside looking down to his death below or his freedom above.  One of the easiest, and shortest, sections of his work, the “moment of vertigo” is really the realization … Continue reading Sartre: Vertigo (On the Fragility of Freedom)

Heidegger: Being-the-World as Being-With

The opening chapters of Heidegger’s Being and Time establishes the structural reality of existential being.  Again, Heidegger is attempting several things in his great treatise, but the boiled down “to the point” project is that Heidegger is attempting to recover the philosophy of metaphysical ontology (being) and, by this recovery, avoid the problems of nihilism, … Continue reading Heidegger: Being-the-World as Being-With

Jean Paul Sartre: Bad Faith

The one theme from Sartre’s magnum opus, Being and Nothingness, that stuck was his commentary on “Bad Faith.”  Ignorant atheists who have never read Sartre have employed Sartrean language to refer to religious faith as the bad faith that Sartre is discussing even though it is not.  Furthermore, the concept of bad faith is included … Continue reading Jean Paul Sartre: Bad Faith

Jean Paul Sartre: On Nothingness

Jean Paul Sartre was among the most famous of the modern existentialists and phenomenologists, perhaps second only to Martin Heidegger.  Sartre’s great text of fame was his “essay on ontology,” Being and Nothingness.  In typical French fashion, the text is weighty, dense, and draws heavily from the history of philosophy, especially Christianity, Bacon, Descartes, Hegel, … Continue reading Jean Paul Sartre: On Nothingness

Hobbes’s Leviathan: Part I

Thomas Hobbes is one of the most consequential and important modern philosophers.  In many ways he helped to shift Western consciousness in philosophy from God, the Transcendentals (the Good, True, and Beautiful), and the soul to materialism, physicalism, and mechanicalism.  This shift is what historian and philosopher Mark Lilla calls “the great separation” in his … Continue reading Hobbes’s Leviathan: Part I

Plato’s Phaedo

Phaedo is one of the more famous of the Platonic dialogues not named Republic.  The dialogue concerns itself with the nature of the human soul and the afterlife, but also implies the contention of “world flight” within non-Christianized Platonic philosophy (e.g. the view that Plato’s philosophy ultimately regards the material world as a hindrance that … Continue reading Plato’s Phaedo

Augustine: Being in Time

Martin Heidegger’s most famous work was Being and Time.  Heidegger’s relationship to Christianity, and especially Christian neo-Platonism, has always been a major point of contention in philosophical scholarship.  More recently, Dr. Ryan Coyne’s book Heidegger’s Confessions highlights what most readers of Heidegger have always known – there is a major debt to Heidegger’s philosophy owed to St. Paul … Continue reading Augustine: Being in Time