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James Gardner March: I know who I am

H/T Brendan Markey-Towler for bringing this obituary to my attention. His seminal book, Organizations, written jointly with Herbert A. Simon in 1958 . . . In an October 3 memoriam published in Le Monde Thierry Weil asserts that many believe March should have shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for Economics with Herbert Simon for the theories…

Innate: How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are

Published today — this should get some regressive knickers in a twist. In the past century, the tradition of Freudian psychology popularized the idea that our psychological dispositions could be traced to formative childhood experiences. In many areas of modern academic sociology and psychology this belief is still widespread, though it has been extended to…

Robert Musil on stupidity

A recent freely available article by sociologist Bo Isenberg entitled “A modern calamity – Robert Musil on stupidity” in Journal of Classical Sociology. This voluntary subordination might be dispassionate or fanatical and relates to not only collective ideologies, nationalism and totalitarianism but also excessive rationalism. To Musil, nationalism and totalitarianism are manifestations of the most treacherous forms…

Raymond Aron

Born on this day. Below is Daniel J. Mahoney’s entry in the Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought. Raymond Aron (1905–83) was a distinguished French philosopher, political thinker, social scientist, and journalist. He wrote influential columns for Le Figaro (1947–77) and L’Express (1978–83) and played a major role in shaping moderate and conservative opinion in France in…

No Patrimony

Here’s the very excellent Frank Furedi who has this new piece in First Things and who, is of course, a regular contributor to the ecumenical and well-named Spiked. Now what is especially interesting about Frank is that he reminds me a great deal of Paul Hirst and another decent chap, Jerry Cohen. As the Guardian obituary says of Paul, he…

Raymond Aron’s Memoirs

It’s been 34 years since the death of that independent-minded and incredibly lucid writer — Raymond Aron. I chanced upon his Memoirs: Fifty Years of Political Reflection which has been made freely available here. LiberalismMarxismPolitical philosophyraymond aronSociology