The following essays in political theory were written during my first term at the University of Oxford. I find a few of them to be rough around the edges, (especially the first two) but I feel the topics addressed in them are important enough to share with my comrades and colleagues at Discourses on Liberty. I believe that the work I present will be satisfactorily received by my fellow essayists and liberty-minded contemporaries.
Each essay was written a week apart from each other, usually on a Tuesday afternoon over a cup of tea and a notebook filled with notes and page numbers, usually missing many pages (English refill pads aren’t bound as well as American ones.) After submitting the essay, I would meet with a tutor and defend whatever essay I had just written verbally. Such a method of education is, in my opinion, infinitely rewarding, monumentally challenging, and inherently engaging. The use of language, both verbal and written, is a powerful tool for the advancement of knowledge and the tutorial system employed at the University of Oxford reinforces an idea I have held for years: that philosophy and political theory is not a spectator sport and, moreover, cannot be passively learned via a powerpoint presentation and a droll lecture.
No - philosophy is an action. Discourse is an activity designed in order to bring ideas down from the proverbial heavens and affect the course of our lives, our destinies, and our polis. As Richard Weaver wrote, ideas have consequences. I hope the essays presented to my fellows express this maxim and encourages a robust debate concerning the ideas expressed in them.