Blog Profile / Darwinian Conservatism

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:447
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Human Progress: (4) Life Shows More Equality of Opportunity

Five years ago, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement began when protesters settled into Zuccotti Park in New York City's Wall Street financial district. Their slogan was "We Are the 99%"--to indicate their protest against the economic inequality that allows too much wealth to be concentrated in the top 1% of society. Show More Summary

Human Progress: (3) Life is Richer and Less Impoverished

In considering the empirical data for human progress through the Liberal Enlightenment, we tend to look for statistical data. But statistical data often does not convey any clear image of how people live--of how, for example, the lives of poor people differ from the lives of rich people around the world. Show More Summary

Human Progress: (2) Life is Healthier

Good health is a precondition for a good life. If we are crushed by disease, injury, or undernourishment, we cannot live a happy and flourishing life. Throughout most of human history, most human beings were disabled in their lives or died prematurely from poor health. Show More Summary

Human Progress: (1) More Lives and Longer Lives

If evolutionary success is measured by high rates of survival and reproduction, leading to a growing population, then the human species has been amazingly successful over the last two hundred years. (See Max Roser's article on "World Population Growth.")Some historians have estimated that in 10,000 BCE, the world population was 2.4 million. Show More Summary

The Empirical Data for Human Progress through the Liberal Enlightenment

Human life today is better than it has ever been in human history, because we enjoy the benefits of two centuries of human progress through the Liberal Enlightenment. Our time is the best of all times that human beings have ever known.And yet most human beings around the world deny this. Show More Summary

The Paleolithic Origin of Science and Philosophy in the Art of Tracking

This is a video from 2001 of Karoha Langwane, a /Gwi tracker from Lone Tree in the central Kalahari, Botswana, running an eight-hour-long persistence hunt of a kudu bull (a species of antelope), which requires the cognitive skill for tracking animals. Show More Summary

Budziszewski's Critique of Darwinian Natural Law

J. Budziszewski (pronounced "Boojee-shef-skee") is a professor in the Departments of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas. He is a prolific author best known for his writings on his Christian interpretation of natural moral law, which he finds in the work of Thomas Aquinas. Show More Summary

The Evolution of War and Lethal Violence

Over the years, I have written a long series of posts on whether evolutionary science can adjudicate the debate between Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau over whether our earliest human ancestors were naturally violent (as Hobbes argued) or naturally peaceful (as Rousseau argued). Show More Summary

Socialism and Human Nature: Cosmides, Tooby, Haidt, and Hayek

For the classical liberal proponents of capitalism, who point to the long history of socialism's moral and economic failures, it's hard to understand the continuing popular appeal of socialism, as illustrated most recently by the popularity of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. Show More Summary

Debating Hayek's Atavism Thesis at George Mason University

I recently participated in the Invisible Hand Seminar at George Mason University, which is directed by Daniel Klein of the Economics Department. The Economics Department at GMU is one of the best places for studying Austrian School Economics. Show More Summary

How Classical Liberalism Has Shaped the Evolution of the Modern Family: Hayek and Horwitz

The title of Steven Horwitz's new book is surprising: Hayek's Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). This is surprising because Friedrich Hayek and other classical liberal...Show More Summary

Do We Naturally Desire Eternal Life? Or Is the Natural Limit of 115 Years Enough?

Is it natural for us to want to live forever? If that is so, is there any way to satisfy that natural desire--perhaps through a scientific conquest of nature or through a religious transition into an immortal afterlife?Or should we see,...Show More Summary

"The Evolution of Liberalism" at George Mason University, October 15

On October 15th, I will be at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. I will be leading a discussion for the "Hidden Hand Seminar" of the "Adam Smith Program" directed by Daniel Klein.The title for my comments is "The Evolutionary Science of Smithian and Hayekian Liberalism."The seminar will meet at 4:00-5:45 pm in Mason Hall D180. Show More Summary

The Chimpanzee Politics of the Debate--Hillary Clinton, Bonobo Alpha Female

So what really happened in the Presidential Debate Monday night? The previously alpha male chimpanzee was defeated by the alpha female bonobo. Everyone who watched the debate knew this as soon as they saw Clinton's shimmy.After a lengthy comment, Trump concluded: "I have much better judgment than she has. Show More Summary

Smith and Strauss on Bourgeois Liberalism and the Philosophic Life

Steven Smith's Modernity and Its Discontents elaborates the argument of Leo Strauss and the Straussians for the "crisis of liberalism" as showing "the problem of the bourgeois." This suggests the question of whether Strauss and the Straussians are proposing some illiberal alternative to the bourgeois liberal order. Show More Summary

Steven Smith's Straussian Scorn for the Bourgeois

Although the Bourgeois Era has brought the Great Enrichment--the unprecedented increase in human prosperity and population over the past two hundred years--critics have scorned the Bourgeois Era for promoting proletarian poverty, economic...Show More Summary

Does the Variability of Hunter-Gatherer Societies Deny Human Nature? A Response to Robert Kelly

Most of my thinking on this blog turns on the idea of human nature as shaped by human evolutionary history, and on the argument that this evolutionary understanding of human nature allows us to adjudicate debates in the history of political philosophy. Show More Summary

New Evidence of Good Inequality in the United States

The United States Census Bureau has just released a new report on income and poverty in the United States in 2015. An article in The New York Times summarizes the report.In this report, I see evidence for what I have called "good inequality"...Show More Summary

Athens in the Evolution of Liberalism

To ask about the place of ancient Athens in the evolution of liberalism must seem to many people to make no sense. If liberalism is a distinctively modern way of thinking about social order, and if truly liberal societies have appeared...Show More Summary

The Origin of Life (and Morality) 3.7 Billion Years Ago?

A 3.7-billion-year-old rock from the Isua Greenstone Belt in Greenland showing conical stromatolite-like structures that could be fossil evidence of bacterial activity, and thus the earliest signs of life on Earth.One of the greatest unresolved mysteries in science is the origin of life. Show More Summary

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