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

Rousseau: The Second Discourse on Inequality

Rousseau’s second discourse on inequality builds from his first.  The second discourse contains his famous depiction of the noble savage, how man loses his freedom and equality through the establishment of property and society, and his ruminations about how reason corrupts human living and how knowledge is used as a tool of oppression and violence.  … Continue reading Rousseau: The Second Discourse on Inequality

Group Feeling and Intimacy in Ibn Khaldun

One of the major concepts that Ibn Khaldun discusses, besides the role of environment and geography upon people and shaping the human condition, is the notion of group feeling and its role in history, the formation of societies, and how this too is shaped by the environment.  One could say that Ibn Khaldun is the … Continue reading Group Feeling and Intimacy in Ibn Khaldun

Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, Part VII

In continuing our reading and examination of Ibn Khaldun, we pivot in Chapter III to a crucial section of remarks concerning the nature of the life stages of sedentary civilization.  Rather than explore each remark alone, just as I did for Part IV I am going to examining these sections (remarks 13-18 in the Rosenthal … Continue reading Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, Part VII

Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, Part VI

One of the recurrent themes in Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah is how human civilization follows nature life cycle patterns.  This leads a cyclical view of history that is both tragic and filled with tragedy, irony, and one in which death is inescapable.  In our sixth post reviewing the content of The Muqaddimah, we now turn to … Continue reading Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, Part VI

Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, Part IV

As we continue onward in Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, we turn to the final third of the second chapter we he continues to elaborate on asabiyyah, Bedouin life, and what the role of asabiyyah is in relationship to the formation of “royal authority” (or the state in more modern language).  Continuing with the theme of geo-history … Continue reading Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, Part IV

Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah: Part II

Ibn Khaldun’s landmark work Muqaddimah really begins at Chapter II of Book I.  Here he begins his analysis of civilization, its character and nature, and the contrast between sedentary (urban) life over and against Bedouin (rural or nomadic) civilization.  Before we begin I must address a glaring elephant in the room by what Ibn Khaldun … Continue reading Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah: Part II