Consulting Cicero on Steadfast Moral Fortitude

Cicero’s life was marked by a tension between the life of a politician and that of a philosopher. I’m often impressed by the fortitude displayed by some of the philosophers and statesmen of the Classical world. Socrates,Musonius Rufus, Seneca, Cato, and many others faced incredible challenges. The magnitude of the events they experienced – war, imprisonment,[…]

The Science and Biology of Aristotle

Aristotle studied developing organisms, among other things, in ancient Greece, and his writings shaped Western philosophy and natural science for greater than two thousand years. By Dorothy Regan Haskett, Valerie Racine, and Joanna Yang Aristotle spent much of his life in Greece and studied with Plato at Plato’s Academy in Athens, where he later established[…]

A History of Virtue as a Philosophy since the Ancient World

In philosophy, the notion of virtue played a central role in ethical theory up until the Enlightenment. Introduction A virtue is a trait or disposition of character that leads to good behavior, for example, wisdom, courage, modesty, generosity, and self-control. There are also public virtues that characterize the spirit of a nation, such as justice, honor, and peace. Every culture has[…]

The Lyceum: Aristotle and Beyond

The Lyceum had been used for philosophical debate long before Aristotle and stood long after. Introduction The Lyceum (Ancient Greek: Λύκειον, Lykeion) or Lycaeum was a temple dedicated to Apollo Lyceus (“Apollo the wolf-god”[1]). It was best known for the Peripatetic school of philosophy founded there by Aristotle in 334 / 335 BCE. Aristotle fled Athens in 323 BCE, but the school[…]

Plato and Liberal Education

Plato conceived education as an art of perfecting human beings. By Br. Francis Maluf What Is Education? Plato conceived education as an art of perfecting man. According to this view, education is possible because man is a perfectible being. Nobody ever talks about perfecting God, because God is not perfectible, but perfect; nor do we[…]

How ‘The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám’ Inspired Victorian Hedonists

There began a cult of Khayyám that lasted at least until the First World War. By Roman KrznaricPublic Philosopher How did a 400-line poem based on the writings of a Persian sage and advocating seize-the-day hedonism achieve widespread popularity in Victorian England? The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám was written by the eccentric English scholar Edward FitzGerald, drawing[…]

Marcus Aurelius: Philosopher Emperor or Philosopher-King?

Marcus’ goal was to become the best – most virtuous – person that he was able to become. Introduction It is very common to hear in both academic circles, as well as more close-knit Stoic circles, Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 CE) being referred to as the philosopher king. This is not an idea that is heavily[…]

Culture War and the Völkischer Beobachter: How the Nazi Party Recast Nietzsche

High culture played an important political role in Hitler’s Germany. References to music, history, philosophy, and art formed a key part of Nazi strategy. High culture played an important political role in Hitler’s Germany. References to music, history, philosophy, and art formed a key part of the Nazi strategy to reverse the symptoms of decline[…]

Machiavelli Wasn’t Machiavellian: Nuances between Compromise and Contradiction

Machiavelli’s earlier book, Discourses on Livy, displayed strong support for free speech, a republican form of government, and compromise. By Paul MeanyStudent of Ancient and Medieval History and CultureTrinity College Dublin If you have ever studied Shakespeare, you might have heard your teacher use the word “Machiavellian” to describe amoral characters such as Iago from Othello or[…]

The Quest for a Poetics of Goodness in Plato and Aristotle

Comparing the different approaches towards artistic activity of Plato and Aristotle. By David OrozcoProfessor of PhilosophyPontificia Universidad Javeriana, Columbia Abstract The paper, which compares Plato and Aristotle’s different approaches towards artistic activity, is divided into three parts. The first part discusses Plato’s Ion on mimesis and technē, as well as the role that poetry plays[…]

A History of Substance in Philosophy

For anything to exist, it must serve as a missing connection to reality. By Dr. Bassey Samuel Akpan and Dr. Charles Clement OdohoediAkpan: Professor of Philosophy, University of CalabarOdohoedi: Professor of Philosophy, University of Ibadan Abstract A lot of words investigated by philosophers get their inception for conventional or extra-philosophical dialect. Yet the idea of[…]

Thomas Jefferson’s Fear of Monarchism (and Hume)

Thomas Jefferson was deeply distrustful of the potential abuses of monarchy. By Dr. M. Andrew Holowchak To Benjamin Hawkins (4 Aug. 1787), Jefferson derides monarchy by relating Aesop’s tale of frogs who wished for a king. Zeus sent them a large block of wood that floated in their pond. At first placated, they grew angry and[…]

Freedom and Destiny in Ancient Greek Thought

Examining the ancient Greek interpretation of freedom and its collateral of responsibility. Scientific Deliberation and Practical Wisdom―Exclusive Skills? In the history of ancient Greek thought the question of how to live a livable life is the principal arouser of those who dedicate time to think about the meaning and sense of the human being and[…]

On G.H. Lewes’s ‘Problems of Mind’, 1874-1879

Positioning Problems Problems into its nineteenth-century psychological and philosophical tradition, as understood by Lewes. By Scott C. ThompsonPhD Student in LiteratureTemple University Abstract In Problems of Life and Mind (1874—79), George Henry Lewes posits his theory of “Scientific psychology,” which is founded on a synthesis between the objective study of the mind practiced in physiology[…]

Denis Diderot and Science: Enlightenment to Modernity

Diderot was not a practicing scientist, but was as close to one as he could be. A key Enlightenment figure, many of Diderot’s ideas were avant-garde and foreshadowed many concepts in modern science. Diderot was not a practising scientist, but was as close to one as he could be. His first major publication was a[…]

Obligation to Society, Loyalty to Community

Exploring the distinction between a found community and a community of choice. By Dr. John RiserFormer Professor of Philosophy in the U.S., Canada, and Rusia Abstract Obligation is displayed toward rules or requirements of formalized roles stemming from membership in society, whereas loyalty is shown to persons and is founded upon communal commitment to them.[…]

The Dialectic of Community in Plato’s ‘Republic’

The dialectic of Plato’s civic architecture is centered on an account of justice as geometrical equality. Abstract Some scholars maintain that there is no logical progression between the first three cities constructed in Plato’s Republic. In this paper I show that they are wrong. On the view I defend, the dialectic of Plato’s civic architecture[…]

From the “National” to the Political Consciousness in 6th Century BCE Athens

Constructing a “national” identity of the Athenian inhabitants during the tyrannical governance of Peisistratos and his sons. This paper addresses the construction of a “national” identity of the Athenian inhabitants during the tyrannical governance of Peisistratos and his sons (561/0-511/0 BCE)[1] mainly through a series of religious practices, such as the transfer of cults from[…]

Linguistic Understanding and the Philosophy of Language

What is it to understand a language, hence others? By Dr. Paul TomassiFormer Professor of PhilosophyUniversity of Aberdeen Introduction Current understanding of the nature of language[1] owes much to two authors: Noam Chomsky and the later Wittgenstein. What is interesting is that the conceptions of language proposed by each appear to conflict. The key question[…]

Martin Heidegger’s Anti-Semitism: Philosophy of Technology and the Media in the Light of the ‘Black Notebooks’

What are and should be the implications of the publication of the Black Notebooks for the reception of Heidegger in the study, theory, and philosophy of media, communication, and technology? By Dr. Christian FuchsProfessor of Communication and Media ResearchUniversity of Westminster Abstract In spring 2014, three volumes of the Schwarze Hefte (Black Notebooks), Heidegger’s philosophical notebooks, were published in[…]

Thomas Aquinas and the Shape of Law

Recovering a more capacious social topology from the Thomist theology that modern Western philosophy supplanted. Titled Declarations of Dependence: Money, Aesthetics, and the Politics of Care(University of Nebraska Press, July 2018) my recent book develops the insights of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) for critical theory and aesthetics. While the modern Liberal imagination treats money as a finite, private and[…]

The Genesis of Secular Politics in Medieval Philosophy: The King of Averroes and the Emperor of Dante

By Dr. Sabeen AhmedPhD Candidate, Department of PhilosophyVanderbilt University Poi ch’innalzai un poco piu’le ciglia,vidi ‘l maestro di color che sannoseder tra filosofica famigliaEuclide geometrae Tolomeo,Ipocrate, Avicenna e GalienoAverois, che ‘l gran comento feo. Dante Alighieri[1] Abstract In contemporary political discourse, the “clash of civilizations” rhetoric often undergirds philosophical analyses of “democracy” both at home[…]