My publications and posts on major figures and movements in the history of ideas.
Jump to: Before Philosophy * Thales * Socrates * Plato * Aristotle * The Stoics * Augustine * Aquinas * The Renaissance * The Reformation * Bacon * Descartes * Locke * The Enlightenment * Hume * Smith * Rousseau * Kant * Herder * Paley * Fichte * Hegel * Schopenhauer * Kierkegaard * Marx * Mill * Nietzsche * Lectures on Western Civ * Sombart * Freud * Dewey * Russell * Heidegger * The Frankfurt School * The Existentialists * Lewis * The Postmodernists * Rand * Miscellany.
Plato on censoring artists — a summary * Why I am not a Platonic philosopher * Plato on education: The Allegory of the Cave (video) * The Myth of Gyges (video) * Elizabeth Warren and the doulos [with connection to Plato’s Crito] * Plato’s Laws on games and educating for rule-following.
Stoic Week (with quotations from Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius).
Galileo and the modern compromise * The Renaissance Context [PowerPoint lecture slides] * How great artists become great [Beethoven and Michelangelo] * The great Renaissance medical bloodletting controversy * Anatomy and philosophy * Iatrochemists: why iron salts cure anemia * Two cautionary tales about cholera, the plague, and politics * Burckhardt quotation on the birth of individualism in the Italian Renaissance.
The Enlightenment Vision flowchart * PowerPoint lecture slides: The Enlightenment; The Enlightenment in France; and The American Enlightenment; Gannibal, “dark star of the Enlightenment” * The Knife Man * What Peter the Great saw * The surprising origin of the dismal science * English liberty and Mozart’s opera * How great artists become great [Beethoven and Michelangelo] and More on how great artists become great [Liszt] * Should We Thank Coffee for Modern Civilization?
David Hume’s current influence.
Rousseau’s Counter-Enlightenment * Rousseau’s collectivism and statism * Rousseau and the French Revolution * Rousseau’s five children and Who is the most loathsome philosopher in history?
Kant’s non-defense of classical liberalism * Kant’s skeptical conclusion * Kant’s problematic from empiricism and rationalism * Kant’s essential argument * Identifying Kant’s key assumptions * Why Kant is the turning point * After Kant: Reality or reason but not both * Kant on collectivism and war * What Kant Wrought [at the TAS site] * Posts: Is commerce rendering war obsolete? Education: Locke versus Kant * Obedience in education in 1700s Germany * Philosophy’s longest sentences, Part 2 * Kleist: How Kant ruined my life * On “giving back” * Kant and modern art * More on Kant and Modern Art * Wendy Steiner on Kant and modernism in art. Is modern art too complicated for us? [with quotations from Kant’s Critique of Judgment] * Heine on Kant: The Department of Great Putdowns * Was Kant really that skeptical? Mussolini and Kant on war and the sacrifice of individuals * Kant and the woman’s way of war * Kant versus racial interbreeding * Was Kant an Enlightenment liberal? Unamuno on Kant on God in the first two Critiques * Immanuel Kant, portraiture, and I * Kant and socialism, according to Cassirer * John Dewey on Kant and the causes of World War I. * Some post-Kantians on Kant, pro and con.
Herder on multicultural relativism.
William Paley and the argument from design (the teleological argument) (video) * Contrast the argument from evil (the theodicy problem).
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Fichte on education as socialization.
Epistemological solutions to Kant: Irrationalism from Kierkegaard to Nietzsche (excerpt from Explaining Postmodernism) * Posts: Philosophical style: Hegel and Kierkegaard * New champion in Philosophy’s Longest Sentences contest — Kierkegaard * Lecture clips : Kierkegaard, Luther, and Tertullian; The story of Abraham; Kierkegaard’s lesson: Abraham as model of faith.
Karl Marx and Marxism
Marx’s three failed predictions * Marx’s philosophy and the *necessity* of violent politics * Friedrich Engels against liberal peace * Mao on selflessness and collectivism * Guzmán’s philosophy and Shining Path terrorism * Eric Hobsbawm is dead * Marxists and violence * Marx’s 10-point plan 50% realized in USA * Kolakowski on Leftist responsibility * Collectivizing sex — Alexandra Kollontai’s communist version * Robert Heilbroner on socialism’s mandatory labor * Lecture clips : Marxist philosophy in historical context * The science in “scientific socialism”: Materialism; Environmental determinism; Economic forces as fundamental; Philosophy, art, politics, and religion as superstructure; Religion as an example * The socialism in “scientific socialism”: Necessary economic developmental stages; Capitalism’s dynamic: “The rich get richer …”; Revolution, not evolution; Religion as the opium of the masses; The role of teachers in developing revolutionaries.
John Stuart Mill
Philosophy’s longest sentences, Part 1 * Haters * John and John on liberal psychology * Am I really a Marxist revolutionary? [with a long quotation from Mill on liberal education] * Audacious historical cause-and-effect claims.
See the Nietzsche and the Nazis page for my book on this subject.
“Egoism in Nietzsche and Rand” [pdf] * Nietzsche at Basel * Nietzsche as public choice theorist * Romantic advice to women — Nietzsche version * Geniuses and their followers * 22 points from Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals * Zarathustra’s predatory collectivism * Heine versus Nietzsche on obscurantism in philosophy * Nietzsche and Rand: 96 Similarities and Differences.
Lectures on Western Civilization III (1600-1900) *
Theme: revolutionary changes in all areas of life—religion, science, philosophy, engineering, economics, politics, and art * Collected Course Readings * PowerPoint files: 1. Introduction * 2. The Renaissance Context * 3. England to the Glorious Revolution * 4. Justice and Modernizing the Law * 5. From Feudal to Modern Business and Economics * 6. The American Enlightenment * 7. The Battle for Women’s Liberty and Equality * 8. The Enlightenment * 9. The Enlightenment in France * 10. The French Revolution * 11. Romanticism * 12. The Battle against Slavery and Serfdom * 13. Human Nature and the New Biology.
Werner Sombart on heroes versus merchants: How “the German way of war will cleanse humanity and raise it to a sacred height.”
Freud and original sin * Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School [on the usefulness of Freud’s theories to the Frankfurt School’s social psychology and politics] * The best footnote ever [on micturation].
John Dewey on education as socialization * Lecture clips : Pragmatic philosophy: Evolution, skepticism, and democracy * John Dewey on education * Related: Jane Addams and the progressive mindset * John Dewey on Kant and the causes of World War I.
Heidegger and postmodernism: Includes “Heidegger’s synthesis of the Continental tradition,” “Setting aside reason and logic,” “Emotions as revelatory,” and “Heidegger and postmodernism” * Cyberseminar notes on Martin Heidegger [at The Atlas Society site] * Heidegger and National Socialism * Heidegger, anti-humanism, and the Left * “Heidegger on the Führer Principle.” Heidegger and World War One — Altman’s book * Heidegger calling for “someone capable of instilling terror”.
The Frankfurt School
Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School: Includes discussion of Marx’s, Horkheimer’s, and Freud’s contributions to Marcuse’s New Left synthesis.
Lecture clips: God is dead * Albert Camus and “The Myth of Sisyphus” * Jean-Paul Sartre and “Existence precedes essence” * Religion and science as dehumanizing * Authentic humanism.
C. S. Lewis
Why C * S * Lewis gives me the creeps * Self-esteem in Walt Whitman and C. S. Lewis * Freud and original sin [includes a comparison of Lewis’s and Freud’s views on human nature] * Pope Francis, C. S. Lewis, and Christian economics.
See the Explaining Postmodernism page for my book on this subject * Claude Lévi-Strauss and postmodernism * Cyberseminar: Discussion notes on Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Richard Rorty [at The Atlas Society site] * Lecture clips
: Introduction to postmodern philosophy * What modernism is * The Enlightenment vision * Post-modernism’s themes * Quotations from Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida * Problems from Marxism * Pomo: skeptical relativistic rhetoric against modern society * Henry Giroux on education * Kostyło on postmodern dialectic of social care.
“Egoism in Nietzsche and Rand”, Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (2009) * “Ayn Rand and Contemporary Business Ethics”, Journal of Accounting, Ethics, and Public Policy (2003) * “Ayn Rand”, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy * Philosopher Paul Kidder on Rand * Nietzsche and Rand: 96 Similarities and Differences * The fiction: Roark and Keating: First meetings * Toohey’s five strategies of altruism * Gail Wynand’s power strategy: Part 1, Part 2 * Gordon Prescott: Heidegger’s disciple? Marcel Duchamp and Lillian Rearden * Letters from Mises and Rothbard to Rand * Frederick Douglass and Ayn Rand * Objectivism and philosophy of education.
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