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  • Concepts of Nature: Ancient and Modern

    September 21, 2017

    Concepts of Nature: Ancient and Modern. R.J. Snell and Steven F. McGuire, eds.. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016.   The word, “nature,” is a broad term, often used ambiguously due to the long history of debate over its possible meanings.  The ambiguous use of the term derives, too, from…

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  • The Political Discourse of Carl Schmitt: A Mystic of Order

    September 20, 2017

    The Political Discourse of Carl Schmitt: A Mystic of Order. Montserrat Herrero. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.   Montserrat Herrero is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Navarra, Spain. In the vast and growing scholarship about Carl Schmitt, Herrero’s book provides a new and insightful interpretation…

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  • René Guénon and Eric Voegelin on the Degeneration of Right Order (Part II)

    September 19, 2017

    I. Guénon, Voegelin, and the Modern Crisis The concupiscent subject’s response to the Siren Song of the ecumene, to conquer and possess it, qualifies as Voegelin’s privative exodus in at least two senses. Pragmatically, the conqueror in going forth leaves home; he generally leaves it, moreover, with the cream…

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  • René Guénon and Eric Voegelin on the Degeneration of Right Order (Part I)

    September 18, 2017

    I. Introduction: The Diadochic Kingdoms No area of Western history is quite as recondite as that of the Diadochic empires, the successor-kingdoms that sprang up in the wake of Alexander the Great’s meteoric campaigns (334 – 323 BC) to subdue Asia under militaristic Hellenism.  Educated people know that the…

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  • From the Multiversity Cave: Aristotle and Phronesis

    September 15, 2017

    This is the second of a series of essays that will explore what prominent thinkers and philosophers can teach us about today’s public multiversity, the modern university with its many colleges, departments, and other administrative units that play multiple functions and roles in our society. This essay was originally…

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  • Eric Voegelin As Master Teacher

    September 14, 2017

    Tilo Schabert’s wonderfully vivid description of Eric Voegelin’s work habits and his life in Palo Alto brings back many memories of my own during the years when I lived in Plato Alto, 1975-76, and the years following that initial time, when I was either spending my summers there or…

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  • Voegelin’s Soteriology and Ours

    September 13, 2017

    Every religious tradition offers a soteriology – its own version of salvation called by whatever name – perhaps spiritual liberation as in the Hindu moksha or enlightenment as in the Buddhist samadhi. It claims to have exclusive possession of the one true “solution” to the human predicament, with the…

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  • God: An Autobiography as Told to a Philosopher

    September 12, 2017

    God: An Autobiography as Told to a Philosopher.  Jerry L. Martin.  Doylestown, PA: Caladium Publishing Co., 2016.   God an Autobiography is a book of 360 pages divided into eleven chapters. It is prefaced by a four page account of “The Beginning” in which Jerry Martin (hereafter, JM) tells…

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  • Does God Have a History?

    September 11, 2017

    Let us begin our inquiry with the following datum: The human experience of the Divine Reality has often, though not always, been an encounter with a personal God, a God who is a Person. – Yahweh speaks directly to Abraham and Moses, Samuel and Jeremiah and others. – Jesus…

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The Philosopher’s English King: Shakespeare’s Henriad as Political Philosophy. Leon Harold Craig. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2015.
 
Anyone interested in studying Shakespeare as a philosopher-poet who addresses perennial questions about human existence through his plays will benefit from reading Leon Craig’s excellent book. Like his previous work, Philosophy and the Puzzles of Hamlet: A Study of Shakespeare’s Method, Craig’s latest…

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According to Nobel Prize Winner, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jorge Luis Borges is “the most important thing that happened to Spanish literature in modern times, and one of the most memorable artists of our time.”[1] I had not fully realized the unique stature that Borges reached abroad until fifteen years ago, when as an Argentine often travelling in the United States…

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Liberty, Individuality, and Democracy in Jorge Luis Borges. Alejandra Salinas. Lanham MD, Lexington Books: 2017.
 
This volume explores the writings of Jorge Luis Borges in respect to the appearance of "the political" in his work, arguing that Borges' fiction discloses an admiration for individuality, liberal anarchism, and a tempered democracy. Salinas discusses twenty short stories and several essays in detail. Another…

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Norman Maclean was not my best teacher, but he was certainly the most memorable. And he taught truths not usually found in texts. Without talking much about his own life, he taught life-truths. Maclean revealed little more than bare facts: that he grew up in Montana, that he was the son of a Presbyterian minister, and that he had lapsed…

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Behind the renowned artistic and literary production of Aldous Huxley[i] is a political thinking that proves decisive for a full analysis of the entire intellectual career of one of the most important figures of twentieth-century English literature.
After his encounter with Vilfredo Pareto’s Trattato di Sociologia Generale, his early interest in human nature, his search for a true moral foundation, soon…

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Aldous Huxley: The Political Thought of a Man of Letters. Alessandro Maurini. Lexington Books, 2017.
Few books bridge the divide between serious literature and popular entertainment as successfully as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Huxley’s dystopian vision of the dangers of materialism, social engineering, and omnipresent government regulation brings to life some of the most powerful, enduring ideas in modern political…

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Sinclair Lewis had an ambivalent relationship with America. His Midwestern upbringing perfectly situated him to understand the American experiment, but he found it wanting in many ways. His take on the United States was captured during a 1930 radio interview he gave while in Berlin: “Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than…

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Sinclair Lewis and American Democracy. Steven Michels. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017.
In his 1922 travelogue What I Saw in America, G.K. Chesterton comments briefly on the most popular book of the day, Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street.  Chesterton finds it ironic that denizens of Main Streets all over America were reading and praising Lewis’s relentless attack on the mediocrity and stultifying…

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The Politics of Perfection: Technology and Creation in Literature and Film. Kimberly Hurd Hale. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016.
 
It is a nearly universally acknowledged fact that technology carries the potential for both great benefits and great dangers to human beings. Few question the assumption that science and technology, in themselves, are mere tools in the hands of human beings capable…

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The Politics of Perfection: Technology and Creation in Literature and Film. Kimberly Hurd Hale. Lexington Books, 2016.
 
In The Politics of Perfection:  Technology and Creation in Literature and Film, Kimberly Hurd Hale confronts one of the most serious political issues facing humanity in the 21st century.  Technology, increasing at an exponential rate, offers unique challenges and opportunities.  While most people have…

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