Blog Profile / Darwinian Conservatism

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:456
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Does Ethnic Nationalism Have Greater Genetic Fitness than Classical Liberalism?

Both Friedrich Hayek and Paul Rubin have argued that the liberal social order has emerged through a process of evolution as more adaptive than any other social order. Both Hayek and Rubin have been challenged by some critics who argue...Show More Summary

Biological Historicity and the Gombe Chimpanzee War

Yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of the beginning of the Gombe Chimpanzee War, which began on January 7, 1974, and ended on June 5, 1978. Since 1960, Jane Goodall had been studying the chimpanzees along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania (in what was first called the Gombe Stream Reserve and then later Gombe National Park). Show More Summary

Lecturing on Natural Law at Cambridge University, March 4

On March 4th, I will be at the University of Cambridge to participate in "A Symposium on the Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Law and Justice in Honour of Amanda Perreau-Saussine Ezcurra (1971-2012)." The symposium will be...Show More Summary

The Extinction of the Shakers Vindicates Darwinian Natural Law

The only Shaker community still existing is at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine. The community's website has just announced the death of Sister Frances Carr on Monday, which leaves only two Shakers alive today--Brother Arnold Hadd and Sister June Carpenter. Show More Summary

Lewis's Lockean Liberalism

Dyer and Watson point out that Lewis saw Richard Hooker's Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity as one of the best expressions of the classical natural-law tradition. John Locke appealed to Hooker in explaining how the law of nature arises in the state of nature. Show More Summary

C. S. Lewis's Natural Law of Lockean Liberalism

Did C. S. Lewis show how the ancient idea of natural law could support the modern idea of Lockean liberalism?That he did indeed do that is the provocative claim made by Justin Buckley Dyer and Micah J. Watson in their book C. S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Show More Summary

Ian Vasquez on the Human Freedom Index

Ian Vasquez is the Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. He has supervised the development of the Human Freedom Index. In response to my previous post, he has sent me the following comments: You bring...Show More Summary

Human Progress: (6) Measuring the Evolution of Freedom

Classical liberals argue that human freedom is good, because when human beings are free from coercion, they will voluntarily cooperate in the evolution of spontaneous orders that are more successful in satisfying human desires than any planned order using coercive power to achieve its goals. Show More Summary

Human Progress: (5) Life is More Peaceful

"The Hanging" by Jacques Callot, published in 1633 as the 11th in a series of 18 etchings entitled "The Miseries and Misfortunes of War," depicting the destruction and suffering of civilians in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), often...Show More Summary

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

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