Blog Profile / Darwinian Conservatism

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:405
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

The Johnson/Weld Ticket: Four Principles of Classical Liberalism in the Libertarian Moment

"We have been given the gift of Trump and Clinton." That was the comment of Larry Sharpe, who was a candidate for the Libertarian Party vice-presidential nomination. That's why this convention of the Libertarian Party in Orlando, Florida,...Show More Summary

Evolution and Ethics: The Humean Sentimentalists Are Right. The Kantian Rationalists Are Wrong

As a graduate student in political science at the University of Chicago in the 1970s, I began to think about how a Darwinian science of human nature could be applied to the study of moral and political philosophy. I was writing a dissertation...Show More Summary

The Evolution of Christian Schools in a Liberal Society

On this blog, I have defended a Darwinian classical liberalism in which social order arises best through a largely spontaneous evolution in which individuals are free to pursue the satisfaction of their natural desires. Adam Smith described...Show More Summary

The Alternative to Trump and Clinton--Libertarian Gary Johnson

This could be the year for the Libertarian Party to seriously compete for the American Presidency with Gary Johnson as their candidate.There are lots of reasons for this. The first is that this must be one of the few times in American...Show More Summary

A Natural Desire for Ethnic Identity?

In Human Nature and the Evolution of Society, Stephen Sanderson has suggested that my list of twenty natural desires should be altered to include the natural desire for ethnic identity. I am not persuaded by his argument, which he derives...Show More Summary

The Desire for Sexual Identity--One of the "Very Widespread Regularities" of Human Nature

When I first began studying political philosophy in the late 1960s as an undergraduate student at the University of Dallas, it seemed to me that political philosophy was the study of human nature as universal human propensities diversely expressed in the variable historical circumstances of human individuals and human societies. Show More Summary

The Natural Desire for a Complete and Healthy Life

Human beings generally desire to live out a complete and healthy life. Like other animals, they pass through a life cycle from birth to maturity to death. Every human society is organized to manage the changing desires associated with...Show More Summary

The Meaning and Purpose of Life in Twenty Natural Desires

To the question of the meaning and purpose of human life, the best answer--the answer we all give by the way we live our lives--is that we find the meaning and purpose of our lives in striving for the fullest satisfaction of our natural desires. Show More Summary

Stephen Sanderson and the Twenty Natural Desires of Evolved Human Nature

If the good is the desirable, then human ethics is natural insofar as it satisfies natural human desires that naturally win social approval as useful or agreeable to oneself or to others. The satisfaction of these natural desires constitutes...Show More Summary

The Embodied Capital Theory of Life History Supports Locke on Parental Care in the State of Nature

Leo Strauss taught his students at the University of Chicago that any serious student of the history of political philosophy must assume the possibility that what the great philosophers have taught might be true. Writers of the textbooks...Show More Summary

Is the Demographic Transition the "Central Theoretical Problem of Sociobiology"?

If human beings have evolved to have a natural desire to care for children, as I have argued, it might seem strange that in modern industrialized societies, people tend to have small families. One might expect that the increasing economic resources in such societies would allow people to satisfy their desire for children by having large families. Show More Summary

The Big History of Morality: The Pursuit of Happiness from Stromatolite Cooperation to the Global Morality of Sustainability

Lower Proterozoic Stromatolite Fossil from Bolivia Stromatolites at Shark Bay, Western Australia "Big history" is the term coined by David Christian for the history of everything in the universe from the Big Bang to the present, andShow More Summary

Did Abraham Lincoln Claim the Lockean Prerogative Powers of a Dictator?

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was denounced as a dictator because many of his war measures seemed to be clearly unconstitutional violations of individual rights. His suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, for example, was effectively...Show More Summary

Donald Trump's Chimpanzee Politics

Political commentators cannot explain the surprising success of Donald Trump in advancing towards the Republican nomination for President. But those of you who have followed this blog over the years will recognize Trump's behavior as showing the chimpanzee politics of an ambitious male seeking alpha dominance. Show More Summary

Correcting the Bible on Slavery

Pointing to the Bible, Marco Rubio has said: "You'll find all the answers in that book." That's his way of appealing to evangelical Christian voters who believe that a literal reading of the Bible as God's inerrant revelation does indeed...Show More Summary

The Human Nature of Genetic Engineering: A Realistic Assessment of CRISPR

For over fifty years, some people have been predicting that someday genetic engineering will radically transform, perhaps even abolish, human nature, and thus lead us to what Francis Fukuyama has called "our posthuman future." The transhumanist...Show More Summary

Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln

Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on February 12, 1809. Beyond the coincidence of their being born on the same day, there were many points of connection in their lives and thought.I have written a series of posts on this, some of which can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Is Big History Science or Myth? Or Both?

In 1978, Edward O. Wilson, in On Human Nature, warned that the naturalistic explanation of human nature as a product of natural evolution rather than divine creation created a spiritual dilemma: as products of a purposeless evolutionary...Show More Summary

Cosmic Evolution: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable

In many of my posts over the years, I have defended an evolutionary classical liberalism, which I see as a tradition of thought that stretches from David Hume and Adam Smith to Herbert Spencer and Charles Darwin and to Friedrich Hayek and Matt Ridley. Show More Summary

A Prehistoric Massacre in Africa Suggests that the State of Nature was a State of War

Skeletal Remains of Early Holocene Hunter-Gatherers Killed in a Massacre at the Site of Nataruk, West of Lake Turkana, KenyaOne of the fundamental debates in the history of political philosophy is over whether the state of nature was a state of peace or a state of war. Show More Summary

Copyright © 2015 Regator, LLC