Blogging Through Common Sense


Paine begins Common Sense at, well, the beginning. He sets out to explain why we in fact have societies and government.  He states that we need society to positively provide for our wants. Solitary men can not provide the same way they can when joined together. Fair enough, sounds good. But then the trouble starts.
While society provides for our needs in a positive fashion, we need government to provide in a negative fashion. That is, men are not angels and therefore need to be policed. Government provides this function. It is an evil, as it is a limiting force, but it is a necessary evil as that limiting force can protect the liberty of others.
When the government ceases to be a protective force and in fact becomes a self serving entity is when problems arise. The worst part is we often do not even notice it happening until it is too late.

Josef Pieper: Leisure, the Basis of Culture


Josef Pieper (1904-1997) was a German Catholic philosopher, who helped popularize Neo-Thomistic philosophy in the twentieth century. His writings are rooted in the works of Thomas Aquinas as well as Aristotle and Plato. Pieper sought to explain and defend the wisdom tradition of the West and his short and powerful Leisure, the Basis of Culture was one of his most notable works.

Pieper's Definition of Leisure
Pieper attempts to reintroduce the modern reader to the still important Platonic understanding of the value of philosophical work, and the sagacity of the Thomistic understanding of the relationship between philosophy and theology. He does this through two complimentary essays, Leisure and The Philosophical Work. Read together, these works explain that in order for man to reach his full potential, he needs to look beyond the world of servile, or useful, work and include philosophical work, or liberal arts, into his everyday life.