Nietzsche, Life, and Nihilism

This will be a far shorter reflection, or exposition, than is usually the case for me here.  However, I want to address one of the paradoxical problems when examining the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.  Nietzsche, as most know, was a famous philosopher for his awkward humanism and relational ties to Nazism (wrongly appropriate but not … Continue reading Nietzsche, Life, and Nihilism

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

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

Marx’s Dialectical Historicism

One of the core elements to Karl Marx’s philosophy was his dialectical materialism and historicism, which come together in his dialectical historicism.  Most people are probably familiar with it.  There are five distinct stages (or epochs) of history: slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and communism.  But the movement of history is not linear-progressive, it is cyclical; … Continue reading Marx’s Dialectical Historicism

Plotinus: On Philosophical Dialectic (Ennead 1.3)

Plotinus is not the first philosopher to concern himself with dialectic but he is among the most famous.  The Platonist tradition with Socrates and Plato already established two important dialectical conceptions: the conversational dialectic (Socratic dialectic) in which opposing parties (or individuals) discuss a matter and arrive at a conclusion from drawing the contrast between … Continue reading Plotinus: On Philosophical Dialectic (Ennead 1.3)

Carl Schmitt: On Human Nature

“[F]or it is a fact that the entire life of a human being is a struggle and every human being symbolically a combatant. The friend, enemy, and combat concepts receive their real meaning precisely because they refer to the real possibility of physical killing. War follows from enmity. War is the existential negation of the … Continue reading Carl Schmitt: On Human Nature