Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Philosophy

Pragmatic Liabilities

by Henry Oliner The reason ideology is relevant in the health care debate is that at the core of the difficulty is the separation of pragmatic solutions from sound ideological support. Our health care problem is an accumulation of short…

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Why the Working Class Rejected Marx

from Sarah Hoyt, Poor Darlings: So the bright men and women who embraced Marxism for all things, particularly as a cure-all to the “greed” and “hatred” that had led to world war one were destined to be disappointed.  The working class…

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Addicted to the Devil

from Thomas Donlan at Barron’s, What Went Wrong in Kansas Americans want government like they want services generally: “faster, better, and cheaper.” But economists know there’s a problem: The optimistic ones say, “Pick any two”; the pessimists say, “Choose one.”…

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Government and Society

from The Georgia Public Policy Foundation Friday Facts 7/7/17 “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists…

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Paglia on Trump Pt. I

from The Weekly Standard,  Camille Paglia: On Trump, Democrats, Transgenderism, and Islamist Terror by Jonathan Last After Trump’s victory (for which there were abundant signs in the preceding months), both the Democratic party and the big-city media urgently needed to…

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Enlightened Tyranny

from the FEE, Foundation for Economic Education, Be Wary of the Orwellian “Enlightened” Classby Robin Koerner Scientism is science stripped of its epistemological core, which is the knowledge that we don’t know. Those who practice it think they are “being scientific”…

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A Post Economic World

by Henry Oliner The concept of a guaranteed income resurfaces, most recently in the face of recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning and the approaching horizon of an economy that can advance without the need of human input.…

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The Danger of Scientism

from the FEE, Foundation for Economic Education, Be Wary of the Orwellian “Enlightened” Classby Robin Koerner Science and scientism are superficially similar but epistemic opposites. A true scientist remains doxastically open. That means that she works always on the assumption that…

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Righteous Orthodoxy

from the FEE, Foundation for Economic Education, Be Wary of the Orwellian “Enlightened” Class by Robin Koerner He understood that the morality of a political ideology in practice cannot be determined from its theoretical exposition – but only from the actual experiences of…

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Collective Delusion

from Let’s Get Metaphysical About Trump and the ‘Post-Truth Era’ by Crispin Sartwell Likewise, truth cannot be a matter of social consensus. That groups are in agreement has no tendency to show that what they believe is true, or else…

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Metaphysical Rights

from Kevin Williamson at National Review, The ‘Right’ to Health Care, Declaring a right in a scarce good is meaningless. It is a rhetorical gesture without any application to the events and conundrums of the real world. If the Dalai…

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Undemocratic Liberalism

from “Populism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)” by Cas Mudde, Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser “In fact, elites have used the growing influence of unelected bodies and technocratic institutions to depoliticize contested political issues, like austerity and immigration, and so…

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A Response to Undemocratic Liberalism

from “Populism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)” by Cas Mudde, Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser “Populism is part of democracy. Rather than the mirror image of democracy, however, populism is the (bad) conscience of liberal democracy. In a world that…

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Mock Liberalism

From Shelby Steele in the WSJ, The Exhaustion of American Liberalism White guilt is not actual guilt. Surely most whites are not assailed in the night by feelings of responsibility for America’s historical mistreatment of minorities. Moreover, all the actual…

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Fragile Miracles

In National Review George Will reviews the new dystopian novel, The Mandibles: A Family, 2029–2047, by Lionel Shriver Florence learns to appreciate “the miracle of civilization.” It is miraculous because “failure and decay were the world’s natural state. What was astonishing was…

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A New Unfairness

In National Review George Will reviews the new dystopian novel, The Mandibles: A Family, 2029–2047, by Lionel Shriver from the novel: “The state starts moving money around. A little fairness here, little more fairness there. . . . Eventually social democracies all arrive at the…

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Liberalism Abandoned

From Robert Zubrin at Richochet, America Needs a Liberal Party: America needs a new Liberal Party because both major parties have abandoned liberalism. Neither adequately supports international free trade or the defense of the West — the two pillars of…

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When Debate is Worthless

from Declination: Do You Want to be Right, or True? Something changed over time. Call it maturity, or wisdom, or understanding of self. Or call it, as I do, a certain intellectual exhaustion. Whatever it is, I just stopped caring about…

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Beware Intellectuals

from the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Johnson’s review of the book, Public Intellectuals in the Public Arena. On a personal note: In the introduction to this book my father, Paul Johnson, is quoted warning in 1988, “One of the principal…

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Pragmatism and Morals

from an interview with Penn Jillete in the January Reason Magazine When I talk about the death penalty to people, there are a zillion pragmatic arguments to make that the death penalty is more expensive, that you could make mistakes…

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