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In the Gorgias, like the Protagoras, Socrates must confront one of the great figures of his time, Gorgias of Leontini, who is not merely a rhetorician, but an innovator of rhetorical approaches and an accomplished teacher. Werner Jaeger describes Gorgias as the man who “set the tone for the last thirty years of the fifth century” and as “the embodiment…



Harvard Abigail Adams Institute is hosting a weekend seminar on the thought of Eric Voegelin on September 27-28, 2019.

Eric Voegelin (1901–1985) was a German-American political scientist who created a comprehensive theory of human nature, society, and history. Although his writing is difficult to understand and categorize, Voegelin remains one of the most important contemporary political philosophers whose interdisciplinary approach…

Timelessness of Proust: Reflections on In Search of Lost Time. Charles R. Embry and Glenn Hughes, eds. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2019.
 
This volume offers a philosophical-spiritual viewpoint that complements with its insights the masses of literary studies published on the work of Marcel Proust for over at least a hundred years. Much of it focuses on the narrator…

The Crisis of the West That Shaped His Life
Eric Voegelin lived in age of unusually disruptive wars, economic collapse, political strife, and social disruption. While there are few times in human history when a mix of all of these ills has not been present, the twentieth century brought a scale of violence, social dislocation, economic disruption, and suffering to a…

A Guide to Understanding Eric Voegelin’s Political Reality. Montgomery C. Erfourth. South Bend, Indiana: St. Augustine’s Press, 2019.
 
A Guide to Understanding Eric Voegelin’s Political Reality is a short book (three chapters and a conclusion) that focuses on an epistemological question: How do human beings know what is real? Because Voegelin was particularly concerned with political philosophy, his conception of political…

Eric Voegelin’s essay “On Classical Studies” is, among the late published essays included in Volume 12 of his Collected Works, both the shortest piece, in terms of length, and the one that has been referenced in Voegelin scholarship on fewer occasions than the other Volume 12 pieces.[1]  Nevertheless, it is a pithy work that is attractive for its clarity, its…

A reflection on classical studies, their purpose and prospects, will properly start from Wolf’s definition of classic philology as the study of man’s nature as it has become manifest in the Greeks.[1]
The conception sounds strangely anachronistic today because it has been overtaken by the two closely related processes of the fragmentation of science through specialization and the deculturation of Western…

In Eric Voegelin: Philosopher of History Webb comments, of liberal conceptions of order in history, that they “overlook the transcendent dimension of the human project, but they notice the immanent one. They overlook the helkein, but they notice the reality and importance of zetesis” (Webb, 1981, 248). Yet I suspect that either liberal thinking is virtually pervasive in the West…

The Eric Voegelin Reader: Politics, History, Consciousness. Charles R. Embry, Glenn Hughes, eds. (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2017)
 
Eric Voegelin is one of the most insightful and prolific philosophers of the twentieth century. His life (1901-85) spanned two world wars, the rise of totalitarianism, and the spread of modern ideologies that undermined the philosophical foundations of the Western political…

1. Voegelin presented himself as someone who knew his business and based on a solid conviction that Greek philosophy is the foundation of political science: the lecture materials were presented from this coherent starting point.
2. Devotion to truth as a desire to communicate it to students illumined every lecture and discussion, with the exploration of questions constantly reflecting the tension…