Blog Profile / Darwinian Conservatism

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:438
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

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

Was Westermarck a Darwinian Conservative?

Antti Lepisto of the University of Helsinki, Finland, has written a paper--"Darwinian Conservatives and Westermarck's Ethics: A Political Dimension of the Late Twentieth-Century Westermarckian Renaissance"--that has just been published as a book chapter in Evolution, Human Behavior, and Moraltiy: The Legacy of Westermarck, pp. Show More Summary

Donald Trump Now Admits that the Alt-Right is Wrong about Immigration

Recent polling suggests that the great majority of Americans have decided that Donald Trump was wrong in his earlier Alt-Right opposition to immigration. The great majority of Americans believe that immigrants are filling jobs that Americans don't won't to fill. Show More Summary

Darwinian Liberalism Versus Trump's Alt-Right White Supremacism

With Donald Trump's appointment of Stephen Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart Media, to lead his campaign, Trump has openly embraced the white-supremacist racism of the Alternative Right ("Alt-Right"). Bannon has boasted that Breitbart News is "the platform of the alt-right." The term Alternative Right is the name of a blog website. Show More Summary

The Intellectual Virtues of the Philosophic Life in Smith's Commercial Society: Strauss, Cropsey, and McCloskey

Although Joseph Cropsey and Deirdre McCloskey contradict one another in their interpretations of Adam Smith, they apparently agree that there is no place for the intellectual virtues of philosophy in Smith's commercial society. Cropsey...Show More Summary

Does Donald Trump Have Any Bourgeois Virtues?

Donald Trump is a reminder that the most dangerous enemies of capitalism are capitalists like himself.I am surprised, therefore, that Deirdre McCloskey defends Trump. On at least two occasions, she raises the question of whether Donald...Show More Summary

Bourgeois Virtues?

Deirdre McCloskey tells the story of preparing for a lecture at Princeton University. An office secretary at Princeton called her to get the title for the lecture. McCloskey said: "The Bourgeois Virtues." After a long pause on the telephone, the secretary laughed. Show More Summary

Deirdre McCloskey and the Evolutionary Science of Liberalism

The most momentous event in the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens over the past 200,000 years was the emergence of the Bourgeois Era through the Industrial Revolution (beginning around 1800) followed by the Great Enrichment (beginning around 1860). Show More Summary

Donald Trump, ISIS, and Islamic Libertarianism

Donald Trump has said that Barack Obama is the "founder" of ISIS, and Hillary Clinton is the "co-founder." Yesterday, here's what Trump said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt:HEWITT: Last night, you said the president was the founder of ISIS. Show More Summary

Adam Smith's Commentary on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Khizr Khan

If Adam Smith had been a commentator for Laissez Faire News at the Republican and Democratic Party Conventions, what would he have said about the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?That was the question in my mind as I watched large parts of the two conventions on C-Span. Show More Summary

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