The end of time: The Heidegger-Cassirer debate and the passage from trade to war

Philosopher Immanuel Kant is often referred to as the god of modern philosophy. A recent work of intellectual history by Professor Michael Rosen, entitled The Shadow of God: Kant, Hegel, and the passage from heaven to history, considers the end of Christendom and the replacement of its accompanying hegemony of faith with the Enlightenment philosophy … Continue reading The end of time: The Heidegger-Cassirer debate and the passage from trade to war

Grounding for the metaphysics of politics and morals

Written in summer 2020. In 1785, Immanuel Kant wrote a treatise entitled Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, wherein Kant made the case for an ethic of "autonomy", or the individual's responsibility for their own actions as the ultimate moral good. Kant didn't think the physical separation between individuals in the world of experiences, or … Continue reading Grounding for the metaphysics of politics and morals

Students of Socrates

The Socratic method is renowned as the foundation of western philosophy. Through asking questions and critiquing implicit assumptions, Socrates destroys the value foundation of Homeric Athens, bringing about a new age of ideas. This age, German philosopher Hegel argued, paved the way for our own time, free from felt values or thought ideas. ‘The debate … Continue reading Students of Socrates

Plato, Rousseau, and the politics of philosophy

A recent book by Cambridge intellectual historian Christopher Brooke traces Philosophic Pride not to its usual imagined source, a utopian faith in abstractions, but to Stoicism, which places faith in the concrete world around us. Philosophers’ inflated sense of self comes out of, well, the self, as physically instantiated in our biological constitution. Eventually, Stoicism … Continue reading Plato, Rousseau, and the politics of philosophy

The realist manifesto

What is reality? This question is of great importance for all areas of life — including three I take great interest in: philosophy, history, and politics. I’d like to consider each area of study in turn, considering how what we consider to be ‘real’ is influenced by our vantage point, before bringing these perspectives together. … Continue reading The realist manifesto

The realist school: An emerging paradigm

Sometimes, intellectual thought undergoes a rupture that cannot be stopped. It does not matter how much you resist the conceptual tsunami, or how far you run. It will tear down what you know, and force any remaining ideas to cluster around the victorious Noah’s ark of the God-given intellectual inundation. ‘Après moi, le deluge’, said … Continue reading The realist school: An emerging paradigm

The politics of truth: A manifesto

We live in undeniably dark times. News headlines of death and despair abound. In such a climate, politics is hardly seen as our salvation. Indeed, politics is seen by many as the problem. One reason given for the decay of our political institutions is that politicians lie. The phrase ‘fake news’ also abounds news headlines … Continue reading The politics of truth: A manifesto

Harry Potter and the return of the repressed

There is a moment in The Deathly Hallows, the final book and film duo of the Harry Potter series, when leading characters Harry and Hermione encounter a church. On this detail, the book and film versions differ. Author J. K. Rowling writes: “Harry, I think it's Christmas Eve!" said Hermione."Is it?"He had lost track of … Continue reading Harry Potter and the return of the repressed

The foundational contradictions of liberalism

Liberalism is an ideology—a system of thought. It has a centrepiece: the individual, defined by liberalism as a free-floating unit, separate from other units. It has two basic contradictions: The politico-moral contradiction; and The public-private contradiction. Meet Immanuel Kant: A founding liberal. These contradictions arise from two factors. Liberalism: Accepts the early-modern separation between politics … Continue reading The foundational contradictions of liberalism