Engels – Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Unless you have read Marx and/or Engels before, forget everything you think you know about Marxism. While there are many valid criticisms to make of Marx, they are probably not the criticisms with which you are familiar. Marx was an important influence in the history of the USSR and Mao’s China, but Marx and “actually… Continue reading Engels – Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Hegel – Democracy as its Opposite (the French Revolution)

What do we mean when we say “freedom?” Do we mean freedom to live in peace and quiet? Freedom to live under a government with checks and balances? Or do we mean free to participate in the decision-making processes of our government? Hobbes and Hume were concerned with the Utility of government. As long as… Continue reading Hegel – Democracy as its Opposite (the French Revolution)

Robespierre & the French Revolution

WARNING: I am not a historian, and barely know what I’m talking about. I’d love for someone to do some fact checking for me.  Background In the 1780s France was well out of the Middle Ages, but there were many, many aspects of society that retained the “irrational” history of feudalism. For example, laws legitimized… Continue reading Robespierre & the French Revolution

Schelling – Predestination and Freedom (in the Matrix)

Schelling received lots of attention for his exceptional talents as a philosopher, publishing his first essay at 20 years old. At one point he was roommates with Hegel. You could say Schelling was the hare, and Hegel was the tortoise. Schelling’s ideas evolved radically throughout his career, and his popularity wavered throughout his life. Although… Continue reading Schelling – Predestination and Freedom (in the Matrix)

Žižek – An Attempted Introduction

DISCLAIMER: It is my opinion that Žižek presents himself as more radical than he actually is because you have to be willing to imagine the impossible in order to challenge ideology. Like all major philosophers, Žižek’s popularity strips him of his historical roots. The first categorization of Žižek I came across said he was a… Continue reading Žižek – An Attempted Introduction

Hegel – Ethical Life

This essay presupposes familiarity with my previous essays on Hegel: Master/Slave (Phenomenology of Spirit) Property and Self-consciousness (Philosophy of Right) I. Right A. Property Taking possession Use Alienation B.Contract C.Wrong II. Morality A.Purpose B.Intention C.Good & Conscience III. Ethical Life A.Family B.Civil Society System of Needs Administration of Justice Police & the Public Authority C.the… Continue reading Hegel – Ethical Life

Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit – Master / Slave

I decided to write my own “translation” of Hegel for this reading because Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is one of the most difficult philosophical works ever written. It is one of the most important philosophical works ever written, so it is worth struggling through in one form or another. Phenomenology of Spirit is a weird… Continue reading Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit – Master / Slave