Freedom to Pursue the Common Good

Individual freedom is not only compatible with, but necessary for the state’s pursuit of the common good. This statement, however, cannot go without qualification because unlimited individual freedom equates to lawlessness. A lawless state is chaotic, and will inevitably be torn apart by the conflicting desires of its citizens. Eventually, it would cease to be …

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Emotion as a Source of Knowledge in Keats’ “Ode on Melancholy”

In many ways, the Romanticism of the Victorian period was a response to the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers were intensely focused on reason as a means of improving the world and lifting humanity to a new and better existence. Romantic thinkers reacted by highlighting the importance of emotion and intuition in understanding reality. In “Ode on …

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Ideology and Experience in Notes from Underground

Notes from Underground is a notoriously enigmatic novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Written from the perspective of a character known as the “Underground Man,” at first glance the novel seems to function solely as an entertaining peek into the mind of this eccentric character. Though the narrator is portrayed as unreliable and his thoughts …

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Balancing the Tension: Christianity, Paradox, and Pascal

From the top of the walls of Troy, Paris raises his bow and shoots an arrow at the distant figure of Achilles. Before the arrow can hit Achilles’s heel, it must fly half of the distance between Paris and Achilles. In order to travel this half distance, the arrow must first fly a quarter of …

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