143. Solitude and Education, Part 5: Thoreau on Nature and Virtue


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), in his book Daybreak (1881), wrote: “On Education. – I have gradually seen the light as to the most universal deficiency in our kind of cultivation and education: no one learns, no one strives after, no one Read more ›

118. Trump and Nietzsche: Alternative Facts, Power, and Tyranny


Sometime between 1883 and 1888 the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche made a startling observation: “No, facts is precisely what there is not, only interpretations.” This view, which Nietzsche called perspectivism, has recently found an unparalleled analogue in American politics. For example, Read more ›

112. Some Thoughts on John Locke’s Theory of Mind and Education


John Locke (1632-1704), in Book II of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) writes: “Our observation employed either about external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds perceived and reflected upon by ourselves, is that which supplies our Read more ›

101. Mill’s Worst Polemical Offense and the 2016 Election


In his classic work On Liberty (1859), John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) claimed that the freedom of thought and discussion was indispensable to a free society. Mill’s argument in defense of this freedom revolves around fallibilism or the view that no Read more ›

85. Thoughts on Richard III, Part 2: Forms of Evil


In the last post, I considered how Shakespeare’s Richard III can be used to illustrate five stages of tyranny in politics. Now let’s look at how the play, on the one hand, illustrates four forms of evil, namely, demonic, instrumental, Read more ›