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Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted?

Interesting — I hadn’t come across this paper before. (H/T Steve Stewart Williams). I need to assimilate the implications for a chapter I’ve been working on entitled “Pathologizing Ideology, Epistemic Modesty and Instrumental Rationality.” [T]he substantive findings we present here offer a direct challenge to common assumptions and interpretations that political attitudes and behavioral tendencies are shaped…

Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome

Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome, (OPS), (os’trich [-trij] par’a-sīt’ik sin’drō-mē) n. a malaise manifest as (1) conceptual- myopia/dissonance/creep and moral impairment; (2) attenuated morality of misplaced solidarité commune; (3) ossified/closed system, fundamentalist and authoritarian in character with nihilistic inclinations; (4) resentment, malevolence, ignorance, cowardice, jointly and severally, tacitly or explicitly, in the service of dissimulation (تقیة‎‎); (5) variation of “useful idiot” (Lenin), proclivity…

Lost Tribes of Israel, Blood and History

I’ve been fascinated by Tudor Parfitt’s work for some thirty years. If ever there were someone whose life as an academic had any genuine appeal to me, it would be his. In his pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake he has had a profound effect on the understanding of that paradigm puzzle case of social…

How Biology Shapes Philosophy

My chum David Livingstone Smith’s long awaited edited collection of essays by a top-notch lineup is now available. To get a better sense of the scope of the project check out the book’s homepage as well as David’s other writings here. For the past thirty years I been of the view that though Hume did not have…

Race Pimping

Race pimping is more than a cottage industry and goes hand-in-hand with conceptual creep. Here is the ever insightful John McWhorter on the topic, well called by Booker T. Washington a long time ago. McWhorter grasps the idea of the imperfectability of mankind, something that rationalists (perhaps necessarily) delude themselves about. The way we use the…

Meaningful Diversity

Is a group a bland puree unless it includes a “critical mass” of the targeted minorities? Peter Minowitz’ newly published and freely available paper in Perspectives on Political Science. . . . as if colorful skin guarantees colorful thinking and white skin precludes it . . . Identity politics and affirmative action may well have met a…