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.


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.

Why Philosophy Begins with Thales * Related: Medical politics in ancient Greece * Kuhn on the Greeks and scientific culture.

Socrates’ two bad arguments for not escaping.
Quotations from Apology and Crito on reason and character.

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.

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).

Augustine on why babies are evil.
St. Augustine on “Righteous Persecution.”

St. Thomas Aquinas on whether sinners should be killed or heretics tolerated

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.

francis-baconFrancis Bacon
Who is the real father of modern philosophy?
Anatomy and philosophy.

descartes-50x63René Descartes
Who is the real father of modern philosophy?
A stolen Descartes manuscript * Descartes’ reaction to Galileo’s conviction.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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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