Shortly after the French Revolution began, and not far removed from the adoption of the American constitution, there appeared a pamphlet by the title Reflections on the Revolution in France. Edmund Burke’s publication inaugurated the pamphlet wars in Britain. It also established his reputation as the father of “modern conservatism”—though he is certainly not the first … Continue reading Edmund Burke and Constitutional Historicity
Carl von Clausewitz is regarded as one of the foremost philosophers of war to have ever lived. A Prussian army officer and veteran of the Napoleonic Wars—including Prussia’s darkest hours during the 1806 Campaign, he lived through exciting military and intellectual times. He lived through the Prussian army reforms after their disastrous defeats at the … Continue reading Clausewitz: The Trinity of War
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
In beginning a series of explanatory overviews of various schools of political philosophy, I have started to decide with the most ancient of the schools of thought: Conservatism. For English-speaking people, conservatism is a term that has infiltrated public consciousness but few seem to understand it. In particular the two greatest groups of offenders of … Continue reading Political Philosophy: What is Conservatism?
Edmund Burke looms large in the history of political philosophy and the philosophy of critique for a divided legacy of either being the first modern conservative or a very moderate liberal. Likewise, he offered up one of the first systematic critiques of the French Revolution which began the “Pamphlet Wars” in England which divided the … Continue reading Edmund Burke’s Critique of the French Revolution
Plotinus’s second tractate of the first Ennead is a commentary over the division of virtues. This is commonplace in ancient philosophy and theology. For instance, Christianity divides the cardinal virtues (justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance) and theological virtues (faith, hope, and love). Plotinus, in this section of his Enneads, separates the “civic virtues” with the … Continue reading Plotinus: The Virtues (Ennead 1.2)
Among Immanuel Kant’s famous essays is his essay “To Eternal Peace” (alternatively titled “On Perpetual Peace”). In this essay, published in 1795 right at the onset of the French Revolutionary Wars, Kant follows up on his philosophy of history by offering deep contemplation on the nature of unfolding history and constitutions to peace among nations. … Continue reading Kant: On Perpetual Peace