Justice is an integral theme in Augustine’s political theology, and justice is directly correlated and contingent upon his theology of love. True justice, for Augustine, begins with the love of God (and thereby extending to love of others since the love of others is the ultimate expression of love of God; the two commandments that … Continue reading St. Augustine’s Theology of Love and Justice
Metaphysical necessity, or foundationalism, is one of the central questions of philosophy and the most important concept in Platonism. Metaphysical necessity asserts that everything that exists, to avoid epistemological nihilism, must have a foundation. Plato asserted that this foundation is the realm of the forms, or ideas. From Plato to Hegel, metaphysical necessity has been … Continue reading Metaphysical Necessity: Or Metaphysical Platonism
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?
Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was one of the most important historians of political philosophy in the 20th century. A Jewish emigre to America in the 1930s, Strauss made his name as an exegete of the classics (Plato, Aristotle, and Thucydides especially; Al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Maimonides among Arab-Islamic and Jewish medieval philosophers, and Sts. Augustine and Thomas … Continue reading Leo Strauss: The Three Waves of Modernity
The topic of the general will is always a topic of Rousseauian studies. It is central to his political theory. It is the bedrock which unites the first two books of the Social Contract, conflating the social contract to be the general will itself. So what is Rousseau’s general will? The general will is the … Continue reading Rousseau’s General Will
Beyond philosophical anthropology and philosophical theology, St. Augustine was a political philosopher and his political thoughts have been an interest of many political theorists for some time, especially in the 20th century. Augustine’s political thoughts, as contained primarily in Book XIX of City of God (but elsewhere as well within City of God), and also … Continue reading Augustine and the Saeculum
Having examined Cicero’s Republic (or On the Commonwealth), we turn to his sequel which has been widely influential in the development of natural law theory, humanism, and enshrined Cicero as one of the “righteous pagans” in Catholic history, The Laws. The Laws, though independent of the Republic, was meant to be read as a compendium … Continue reading Cicero: The Laws, Book I