John Locke on “The Reasonableness of Christianity”

By |2019-03-15T20:59:46-05:00March 14th, 2019|

A primary theme that runs throughout The Reasonableness of Christianity is John Locke’s belief that men who attempt to understand natural law and morality through their faculty of reason alone often fail at their task. But why is it that reason alone, also according to Locke, can explain Revelation? The question this essay poses might seem somewhat [...]

Understanding Voegelin’s Critique of Locke

By |2018-11-30T21:59:17-05:00November 30th, 2018|

Eric Voegelin No matter how conservative intellectuals try, they just do not seem able to escape John Locke. Jonah Goldberg’s well-received Suicide of the West proudly called America’s Declaration of Independence “echoes of” the great English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, saying U.S. history was “more Locke than anything Locke imagined.”  He inspired “a government but not [...]

Romano Guardini & the Dissolution of Western Culture

By |2018-03-01T16:16:20-05:00August 27th, 2017|

The Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers hollowed Western culture out of the very spiritual body that held it together: the mystical body of Christ… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Wayne Allen as he explores Romano Guardini’s understanding of the dissolution of Western culture via the de-spiritualization of the [...]

John Locke: The Harmony of Liberty & Virtue

By |2019-03-07T10:25:16-05:00February 15th, 2017|

Government remains limited in civil society because God gave man the ability, through work and reason, to subdue the earth and thereby improve his life by the use of pri­vate property... Understanding Locke John Locke is one of the few major philoso­phers who can be used to provide a theoret­ical and moral foundation for American [...]

Edmund Burke on Constitutions & Natural Law

By |2016-12-29T19:15:45-05:00September 20th, 2016|

The real goal of political society, Edmund Burke claimed in his arguments against the French Revolutionaries, is not to create new laws or new rules, but “to secure the religion, laws, and liberties, that had been long possessed.” If one creates a law out of theory, he will explain much later in his Reflections on [...]

Justice: An Art Form?

By |2019-03-07T11:20:33-05:00September 3rd, 2016|

Calls for “social justice” have a bad habit of appearing in caricature: the throwback hippiedom of Occupy Wall Street, the race-baiting rallies of Al Sharpton and other hucksters, the abortion proponents who think the First Amendment was written to protect their “right” to dress up as genitalia. If ever “social justice” was a content-rich [...]

“Republican Government” According to John Adams

By |2018-10-23T13:07:00-05:00August 31st, 2016|

As elaborated thus far, natural law teaches that legitimate government is circumscribed by liberty in a dual sense: It derives from the consent of equally free individuals, and it aims at securing the natural rights which comprise the independence of the individuals. But while natural law circumscribes legitimate government, it does not indicate the [...]

What “The Federalist” Really Says

By |2019-03-16T10:18:31-05:00June 13th, 2016|

III In his analysis of the Socrates of the Apology, Willmoore Kendall was hinting strongly at the probability that the contemporary John Stuart Mill-Karl Popper school in the United States is using the argument of the purist open society as an instrument or weapon to unhinge the existing orthodoxy, not for the alleged purpose [...]

Determinism: Science Commits Suicide

By |2018-10-30T14:31:44-05:00June 10th, 2016|

Despite the advent of relativity, quantum physics, and chaos theory, most scientists, including most physicists, intellectually inhabit the Newtonian Cosmos. In stark contrast to the Aristotelian Cosmos, where plants and animals possess an inner agency that causes them to emulate the Prime Mover, the Newtonian Cosmos is mechanical, where lifeless matter as well as [...]

The Lie of the Open Society

By |2019-03-16T10:19:41-05:00June 6th, 2016|

II John Locke The related problems of “the public orthodoxy” and “the open society” were major concerns of  Willmoore Kendall throughout his professional career. In his reappraisal of John Locke in 1941, Kendall’s Locke emerged as an exponent of the public orthodoxy as expressed through the majority. As Kendall sees it, in Lockean thought, “In [...]

What John Locke Really Said

By |2016-06-07T15:49:41-05:00May 30th, 2016|

By any reasonable standard of measurement, Willmoore Kendall would have to be included in a list of the most important political scientists of the post-World War II era. Moreover, as regards the American political tradition, it is easily argued that Kendall is the most original, innovative, and challenging interpreter of any period. I believe these [...]

Leo Strauss: Escaping the Stifling Clutches of Historicism

By |2017-12-20T00:17:36-05:00April 7th, 2016|

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was a native of Germany. "I was," he reported near the end of his life, "brought up in a conservative, even orthodox Jewish home some­where in a rural district of Germany."[1] Strauss received his doctorate from Hamburg University in 1921. In 1938, he emigrated to the United States and commenced teaching political [...]

The Future of the Tradition of Liberty

By |2018-11-16T15:20:20-05:00November 3rd, 2014|

So there’s a lot more I could say about the ISI Conference. But because I have to give some wrap-up comments on the future of the tradition of liberty tomorrow, I’m going to limit myself to some stuff I learned (or remembered) about liberty over the week. 1. The singular (classic) Greek contribution to [...]

John Locke and the Dark Side of Toleration

By |2017-06-09T09:23:52-05:00October 9th, 2014|

A Church then I take to be a voluntary Society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord, in order to the publick worshipping of God, in such a manner as they judge acceptable to him, and effectual to the Salvation of their Souls. —John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration Religious Toleration-Edwin [...]