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The Centrality of Dasein: From Ontology to Existentialism

The early twentieth century can be viewed as a troubling time in philosophy. With the World Wars and global economic depression, it is not surprising that existentialism became a prominent school of philosophy: its interest in death, anxiety, and human authenticity certainly resonated with individuals who experienced all of these things regularly. Many popular existentialists—e.g., …

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Edmund Burke’s Whig Sensibilities

The career of Edmund Burke spanned many years and many controversies in Parliament. Burke was a bulwark of the Rockingham Whigs, a faction of mostly aristocratic parliamentarians whose tenures as both government and opposition were largely motivated by a particular goal: the prevention of the royal aggregation of power.  The history of Whiggism has been …

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Freedom to Pursue the Good Life 

  It  seems paradoxical to argue that Plato has a doctrine of freedom. After all, Plato repeatedly attacks democracy for its freedom. He even argues that the ideal city has very little room for the kind of freedom that is valued by the twenty-first century neo-liberalists, who view tradition, convention, and all forms of constricting …

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The Nature of Providence

In his book Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks makes the case that, in the Old Testament, tragedy is not possible. Sacks emphasizes this point by making numerous distinctions between the stories in Genesis and Oedipus Rex, a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. He especially contrasts the terms “fate” and “providence.” …

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