How much should a philosopher be blamed for the consequences of his beliefs

Marxist Origins of Communism, I Communism is, he explains, “the positive transcendence of private property, or human self-estrangement, and therefore the real appropriation of the human essence by and for man… the complete return of man to himself as a social being…” (Economic and Philosophical…

Why Stoicism

From Medium: The Inadequacies of the Invincible–On the Failure of Stoic Ethics Stoicism is not perfect–no philosophy is–but it works because it’s practical and realistic (wouldn’t it be awesome if one could make society conform to their own expectations, at whim–oh wait, Stalin tried that–apparently,…

Postmodernism: not just for liberals

This article went viral: Don’t Major in Literature The author, Max Diamond, although mostly correct, despite the pretense of intellectualism, offers a reductionist conclusion: that postmodernism and nihilism are leftist constructs and are always wrong. I don’t think it’s that simple. Foucault, an exponent of…

Notes on Philosophy versus Politics

Why are philosophical opinions and philosophers more complicated than political opinions and politicians? Seems like a rhetorical question–philosophy is ‘smarter’ than politics. But what do we mean by smarter? My take is, philosophical positions, unlike political ones, don’t really ‘oppose’ each other. Philosophy is much…

The Philosophy-STEM alliance

As the Cowen vs. Rationalism spat shows, the harshest critics of rationalism are rationalists. Cowen, Noah, and Wilkinson, all of whom are smart, empirically minded, and Platonists, meet the criteria of being rationalists, and the Rationality community holds them in high regard. That’s part of…

Saving consequentialism and utilitarianism from the trolley car

From Bryan Caplan What’s Wrong With the Rationality Community,in which he criticizes utilitarianism and consequentialism: The first is consequentialist (or more specifically utilitarian) ethics. This view is vulnerable to many well-known, devastating counter-examples. But most people in the rationality community hastily and dogmatically reject them….

The Tyler Cowen-Rationality feud is getting out of hand

A brouhaha has erupted between Tyler Cowen and the Rationality community over comments made in an interview with Ezra Klein, in in which Tyler Cowen, in an uncharacteristic outburst of candidness, lambasted the Rationality community for what he perceives as religiosity and homogeneity: But I…

Reactionary Future, MacIntyre, and Communitarianism

This is many months old but deserves mentioning; in his penultimate post, Reactionary Future (RF) retires from bogging, expressing frustration with what he perceives as NRx decaying into just another derivative form of Protestantism/Calvinism in the tradition of Mises, Hume, Adam Smith etc. Here are…

Guided by the ‘correctness’ of our opinions

Scott’s article GUIDED BY THE BEAUTY OF OUR WEAPONS is going viral. He writes: Yet I have the opposite impression. Somehow a sharply polarized country went through a historically divisive election with essentially no debate taking place. As shown below, going as far back as…

Materialism and Empircisim are Easy; Idealism is Hard

Empiricism vs Idealism: Empiricism begins with the hypothesis that there is an objective reality independent of humanity and we may use inductive logic to learn about this reality through our senses. We can experiment and test the validity of our ideas. The scientific method is…