Since the birth of Greek philosophy twenty-five centuries ago, along with Cyrus the Great’s introduction of religious toleration in Persia and his rebuilding of Jerusalem, the Western world has been engaged in a vast dialogue, across both space and time. Some call this the Great Conversation, and when it touches on eternal themes, it is called Philosophy.
For anyone who has read and been personally touched by the classics, modern ignorance of this conversation is heart-breaking to behold.
I write this blog in the hope that I can contribute, in some small way, to the revival and continuance of this twenty-five-century-old conversation.
Do not expect a dry survey of the history of philosophy here. I mean to do philosophy. I mean to carry on the conversation. I mean to challenge the way we think, the way we live.
Modern Western civilization, far from being the peak of enlightenment it pretends to be, has declined into ideological barbarity. Scientism. Progressivism. Materialism. But also: Populism. Anti-intellectualism. Reactionism.
We know this well. Satirists, cultural critics, and angry pedants abound, all attacking our failing culture. But unless we can do something positive to contribute to its health, even the truest, most relevant criticism is futile.
The Great Conversation is Western culture. To forget it is to destroy our identity. So our first and most important task is: to remember.
Each essay will attempt to reconstruct a portion of this Conversation stretching back to Socrates, and to bit-by-bit help us to remember who we are, and why.