Voltaire: Candide – Analysis of the Enlightenment

“Let’s work without speculating; it’s the only way of making life bearable.” This sentence is found at the end of Voltaire’s novel, Candide. Written during the Enlightenment, the book is a scathing criticism of the most cherished ideal of the period – that the power of reason will lead humanity to happiness. In this video, we will discuss Voltaire’s attack on philosophical speculation, and his support for a life based on practical concerns. Continue reading

Nietzsche: The Modern State and The Last Man

In his magnum opus, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche comments upon the insidious nature of modern political communities, “The State is where slow universal suicide is called Life.” In this video, we will explore Nietzsche’s criticism of the modern State and of the State’s ultimate goal – the creation of the Last Man. Continue reading

LUDOVICI: Superiority of Art over Science

Science has bestowed many benefits on mankind; and therefore, there are a large number of people who revere and glorify it. An article posted on science.ie in June of 2014 expresses the sentiments of these admirers of Science. “Science empowers us to shape every aspect of our world. Thanks to the power of science we can improve our health and wellbeing, explore new worlds, and make our world a better place; the only limits are those we imagine!” Continue reading

NIETZSCHE: Guilty Conscience

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the pangs of a guilty conscience drive Lady Macbeth to madness. Her doctor remarks that medicine cannot cure a sense of guilt. “More needs she the divine than the physician.” Guilt overwhelms Lady Macbeth until she finally commits suicide at the end of the play. Continue reading

Nietzsche: Promethean Übermensch

Prometheus is a Titan of Greek mythology who stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind, defying the decree of Zeus. As punishment, Zeus ordered Prometheus to be chained to a rock where an eagle daily tore at his entrails. In this video, we will discuss the myth of Prometheus and its relevance to Nietzsche’s idea of the Superman. Continue reading

NIETZSCHE: On Suffering – Analysis

Many of the wisest men have regarded pain and suffering as objections to life itself. Socrates, for example, railed against life, and he urged his followers to practice death. Many religious leaders promise to the faithful an eternal afterlife free from pain – rendering this earthly existence as an evil that must be endured. But Nietzsche is different. “I do not point to the evil and pain of existence with the finger of reproach, but rather entertain the hope that life may one day become more evil and more full of suffering than it has ever been.” In this video we will explain why Nietzsche valued suffering and why he desired more of it. Continue reading