Francis Bacon: The Idol of the Tribe and Market

In his Novum Organum Francis Bacon outlines the four most dangerous idols of the human mind: Tribe, Market, Den, and Theater.  The emphasis on these idols are Bacon’s attempt to analyze current problems that humans suffer from and how to respond.  The names can be somewhat misleading unless one has read Bacon and understood him; … Continue reading Francis Bacon: The Idol of the Tribe and Market

Immanuel Kant: Preface to Critique of Pure Reason

Immanuel Kant is a philosopher with a divisive history.  In the English speaking world, he is generally passed over as an inaugurator of the “irrationalist” tradition of Continental Philosophy.  Bertrand Russell, for instance, regarded Kant as a second rate philosopher whose more important contributions to philosophy was ethics rather than what he is most remembered … Continue reading Immanuel Kant: Preface to Critique of Pure Reason

Hegel’s Phenomenology: Preface, I (1-23)

Georg W.F. Hegel stands alongside the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes as one of the most consequential philosophers who ever lived. Nineteenth century philosopher, especially nineteenth century continental (non-British) philosophy is largely indebted to him (though he, in turn, is indebted to Plato, Plotinus, and Augustine).  The Phenomenology of Spirit … Continue reading Hegel’s Phenomenology: Preface, I (1-23)

Friedrich Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, Part I

Friedrich Schelling was one of the late German Idealists and Romantics.  Though he was a contemporary of many greats like Johann Fichte, Johann Herder (briefly), Hegel, and others, Schelling’s philosophy blossomed in the later period of German philosophy after Hegel.  Although influenced by Kant and Fichte, he also attempted to shed the solipsism of Fichte … Continue reading Friedrich Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, Part I

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

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”