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Why It Took Social Science Years to Correct a Simple Error About ‘Psychoticism’

Causality questions aside, you’re still arguing that according to your data impulsive people who dislike rules are more conservative. Full write up here. (An aside: when the target article was first published, so many of my “sophisticate and rational” friends and academic colleagues predictably revealed their crude confirmation biases via their social media virtue-signaling). confirmation…

Sociology and Classical Liberalism

We venture to say that self-reinforcing sorting mechanisms now make the discipline unapproachable by anyone who is unabashedly classically liberal. — full article. This was all true (and patently obviously so) even thirty years ago. I, however, got very lucky — I had the amazing Paul Hirst as a tutor. Almost ten years ago I…

What scares the new atheists

Article by John Gray from a few weeks back (and surprisingly in The Guardian). It’s a reassuringly simple equation. In fact there are no reliable connections – whether in logic or history – between atheism, science and liberal values. When organised as a movement and backed by the power of the state, atheist ideologies have…

Oakeshott’s concept of ideology

A new paper from the very excellent David Corey. Abstract Michael Oakeshott’s critique of ‘political rationalism’ is often regarded as a unique contribution to the study of 20th-century ‘ideologies.’ But, in fact, Oakeshott understood rationalism and ideology as distinct phenomena. This article exposes the essence of each in Oakeshott’s writings, analyses their complex relationship and…

Neuroscience Is Ruining the Humanities

This in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Is there a novelist today of whom we can we say, as someone said of Dostoevsky, he “felt thought”? To read Dostoevsky, as Michael Dirda pointed out, is to encounter “souls chafed and lacerated by theories.” Yes, Walker Percy Recent arguments about God or creationism are old hat, despite…

Political Diversity Will Improve Social Psychological Science

Here’s an interesting paper co-authored by Jonathan Haidt. Also, here is a good accompanying article in The New Yorker. The problem though with all the discussion is that the terms “conservative” and “liberal” and their supposed practical politics correlates “Republican” and “Democrat” are meaningless. When push comes to shove, self-ascribed or pejorative usage of these terms,…

Camus and Sartre

Marking the Camus centenary. Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, two of the most important minds of the 20th century, were closely entwined throughout their careers. On the centenary of Camus’ birth, SPIEGEL looks back at their famous friendship and the ideological feud that ultimately unraveled it. Albert CamusexistentialismideologyJean-Paul SartreMarxismNobel Prize in Literaturephilosophical literaturePhilosophySimone de BeauvoirSPIEGELStranger