Carl Schmitt’s two essays on “The Tyranny of Values” (1959 and 1967) are typical of his work. They contain simple and illuminating ideas which are nevertheless quite difficult to piece together because Schmitt presents them only through complex conversations with other thinkers and schools of thought. In “The Tyranny of Values” essays, Schmitt’s target is “moralism,” which boils down to doing evil while one thinks one is doing good. Read more …
Carl Schmitt was born on July 11, 1888 in Plettenberg, Westphalia, Germany–where he died on April 7, 1985, at the age of 96. The son of a Roman Catholic small businessman, Carl Schmitt studied law in Berlin, Munich, and Strasbourg, graduating and taking his state exams in Strasbourg in 1915. In 1916, he earned his habilitation in Strasbourg, qualifying him to be a law professor. He taught at business schools and universities in Munich, Greifswald, Bonn, Berlin, and Cologne.
The following text, which was written in 1967, is one of two essays Carl Schmitt published under the title “The Tyranny of Values.” Both were reprinted in Carl Schmitt, Die Tyrannei der Werte (Hamburg: Lutherisches Verlagshaus, 1979). The translation is from Carl Schmitt, The Tyranny of Values, ed. and trans. Simona Draghici (Washington, D.C.: Plutarch Press, 1996), which is out of print and very hard to find. If anyone knows the translator, please put me in contact.
The following text is an experiment. It is the first of a series of “notes” on select chapters of Jan Assmann’s Moses the Egyptian. My primary aims are to encourage more people to read the book and to shape how they read it.
When I first read Jan Assmann’s Moses the Egyptian in June of 1997, it was a life-changing experience. Moses the Egyptian belongs to the rarest genre of academic books: the bold and exciting ones. Read more …
Socrates in Raphael’s The School of Athens with Hermocrates, Critias, and Timaeus
The following text is based on a transcript by V. S. of Part 2 of my lecture on “The Myths of Plato.” As usual, I have edited his transcript to remove excessive wordiness and corrected small mistakes. To focus this transcript on the Timaeus and Critias, I moved all extraneous material to the transcript of Part 1.