Monthly Archives: August 2017

Summary of Cicero, “On Old Age”

  

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC) was a Roman politician and lawyer who is considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. “On Old Age” is an essay written on the subject of aging and death. It has remained popular because of its profound subject matter as well as its clear and beautiful language. Continue reading Summary of Cicero, “On Old Age”

Modern Philosophers on Human Nature

The Reformation: Where Lies the Authority for Faith? – Christianity dominated the social, political, and religious life of Europe for more than a 1000 years, from the fall of Rome till at least the 17th century. The first major division of Christianity occurred with the schism of 1054 when the Eastern Orthodox Church broke from the western Catholic Church. But four successive cultural movements slowly unraveled the hegemony of the Catholic Church in Europe: the Renaissance, the Reformation, the 17th century scientific revolution, and the Enlightenment. Continue reading Modern Philosophers on Human Nature

Summary of Medieval Philosophers on Human Nature

(This is my summary of a chapter in a book I often used in university classes: Twelve Theories of Human Nature, by Stevenson, Haberman, and Wright, Oxford Univ. Press)

Our discussion of theories of human nature will now move from the ancient worlds to the 18th century with Immanuel Kant. Needless to say, a lot happened in the interim. In order to make the transition of almost 2000 years, here is a brief description of a few of the major thinkers during this long period including: Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, and Rousseau. Continue reading Summary of Medieval Philosophers on Human Nature

Review of Andrew Stark’s, “The Consolations of Mortality: Making Sense of Death”

Andrew Stark’s new book, The Consolations of Mortality: Making Sense of Death, addresses those who disavow belief in an afterlife. So what consolation might these non-believers find when confronting death? Continue reading Review of Andrew Stark’s, “The Consolations of Mortality: Making Sense of Death”