Scott Segrest

Written by Scott Segrest

Scott Segrest is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Citadel. He is author of America and the Political Philosophy of Common Sense (Missouri, 2009).

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The foundation for a Voegelinian understanding of 21st-century jihadism has been laid by Michael Franz and Barry Cooper, Franz’s work in relation to modern ideology in general, and Cooper’s in relation to ideologically-motivated modern terrorism, and modern jihadism in particular.[1] What follows is a brief recap of the Voegelinian framework as Franz [has] presented it and a too-brief comment on…

Common Sense: A Political History. Sophia Rosenfeld. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.
 
Sophia Rosenfeld’s Common Sense aims to show the crucial but heretofore little noticed role of appeals to “the people’s common sense” in the development of modern democracy and democratic populism.  The evolution from monarchism or from mixed government of the British type to modern democratic politics of the…


Our subject of “Common Sense Philosophy and Politics in America” suggests a number of important questions about the rational basis of society, the practical role of philosophy in politics, and American identity and order. Here are the key relevant questions as I see them, in what strikes me as their natural logical sequence:

What is common sense?
What is common…

LDS in the USA: Mormonism and the Making of American Culture. Lee Trepanier and Lynita K. Newswander. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2012.

 
There is a very good chance that within a few months' time our president will be a practicing Mormon. This book, then, could not be timelier, because it clarifies both what Mormonism is and its historical and…


The Religious Character of American Progressivism
The analysis of progressivism given by Eric Voegelin six decades ago in his New Science of Politics remains illuminating even today.  The animating center of progressivism, he said, is the Christian idea of history gutted of spiritual substance and turned from its original destination. The original idea, classically articulated by St. Augustine, was that the…


The philosophical and political import of common sense is strikingly suggested in a passage from Eric Voegelin's Autobiographical Reflections. The passage has the additional merit of highlighting the surprising philosophic richness of American culture and outlook. As a young German scholar studying in America at Columbia University around 1922, Voegelin found himself "overwhelmed by a new [cultural and intellectual] world…