Intellectual History

My publications and posts on major figures and movements in the history of ideas.

thinker-3d-model-cropJump 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.

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homer_british_museum-50x63Before Philosophy
Homer’s world * Greek money and philosophy * Anacreon and Simonides * Archilochus * John Hale on Themistocles and the Athenian navy * The Ancient Olympics.
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thales-bust-50x60Thales
Why Philosophy Begins with Thales * Related: Medical politics in ancient Greece * Kuhn on the Greeks and scientific culture.

socrates-50x80Socrates
Socrates’ two bad arguments for not escaping.
Quotations from Apology and Crito on reason and character.
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plato-50x67Plato
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.

aristotleAristotle
The scientific mind, according to Aristotle.
Philosophy’s longest sentences, Part 3.
Populists and tyrants.
Aristotle at Pixar Animation Studios.

epictetus-web-50pxThe Stoics
Stoic Week (with quotations from Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius).
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augustine-50pxAugustine
Augustine on why babies are evil.
St. Augustine on “Righteous Persecution.”
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aquinas50x69
Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas on whether sinners should be killed or heretics tolerated
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galileo-leoni-portrait-50pxThe Renaissance
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.

calvin-john-50pxThe Reformation
Reformation-era extremes, Alexander VI version.
What’s new in witchcraft (includes the 1587 judgment of Walpurga Hausmännin for witchcraft) * John Calvin’s Geneva.
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francis-baconFrancis Bacon
Who is the real father of modern philosophy?
Anatomy and philosophy.
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descartes-50x63René Descartes
Who is the real father of modern philosophy?
A stolen Descartes manuscript * Descartes’ reaction to Galileo’s conviction.
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johnlockeJohn Locke
Education: Locke versus Kant.
Philosophy’s longest sentences, Part 4.
John Locke on education.

hickss-enlightenment-vision-flowchart-50The Enlightenment
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?

hume-50x65David Hume
David Hume’s current influence.
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adam-smith-50pxAdam Smith
Adam Smith on slaves to fashion * From Feudal to Modern Business and Economics (PowerPoint lecture slides).
Frederick Douglass and Adam Smith.
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rousseau-j-j-50x74Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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?
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kant_50x64Immanuel Kant
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.

herder-50x61Johann Herder
Herder on multicultural relativism.
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paleywilliam-50pxWilliam Paley
William Paley and the argument from design (the teleological argument) (video) * Contrast the argument from evil (the theodicy problem).

fichte-50x71Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Fichte on education as socialization.
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hegel-50x60Georg W. F. Hegel
Metaphysical solutions to Kant: from Hegel to Nietzsche.
Hegel on dialectic and saving religion.
Hegel on worshipping the state.
Interview on Hegel for Culture Today magazine, Iran.

schopenhauer-blue-50x67Arthur Schopenhauer
Pessimism [in connection with contemporary anti-humanism].
Schopenhauer’s sense of humor.
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kierkegaard-50x64Søren Kierkegaard
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.

marx-50x61Karl 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.

millJohn 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.
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nietzsche_50x57Friedrich Nietzsche
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.

delacroix-liberty-50pxLectures 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.

sombart-50pxWerner Sombart
Werner Sombart on heroes versus merchants: How “the German way of war will cleanse humanity and raise it to a sacred height.”
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freudsigmund-50x68Sigmund Freud
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].

deweyjohn-50x71John Dewey
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.

russellbertrand-50pxBertrand Russell
Why did Bertrand Russell blame German fascism on German philosophy?
Bertrand Russell’s pacifism in the face of Nazism.

heidegger-50x69Martin Heidegger
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”.

marcuse-58x50The 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.

sartre-j-p-50pxThe Existentialists
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.
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lewis-cs-50x69C. 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.

foucault-m-50pxThe Postmodernists
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.

rand_50x66Ayn Rand
“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.

miscellaneous-icon-50pxMiscellany
Philosophy and a century of war * What I Have Learned about the History of Philosophy from My Students * Facial hair and philosophers * Who is the most loathsome philosopher in history?
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