Blog Profile / Darwinian Conservatism

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:502
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

The Storytelling Instinct in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"--Christian? Pagan? Wagnerian?

Next week (August 18-20), the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, will have three nights devoted to Peter Jackson's film trilogy of J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The movies will be projected on large screens, and the Academy Award winning music by Howard Shore will be played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with a chorus of singers. Show More Summary

West on the American Founding (5): The Philosophic Life in America

As West indicates, his Straussian colleagues will object to his claim that the American founders wanted government to promote the virtues by arguing that they did not promote the highest virtues, which are the intellectual virtues of...Show More Summary

West on the American Founding (4): Character Formation in Voluntary Associations without Governmental Coercion

I have argued that Martin Diamond's Midwest Straussian interpretation of the American founding is superior to Tom West's interpretation, because Diamond rightly saw that the founders recognized that the virtuous character of the people...Show More Summary

West on the American Founding (3): The Legal Enforcement of Religion?

In 1964, I was a student in Big Spring High School in Big Spring, Texas. At the beginning of each school day, there was a reading of some Bible verses and a prayer over the public address system. The next year, this stopped, because the school district chose to follow the decisions of the U.S. Show More Summary

West on the American Founding (2): Midwest Straussianism

I have written some posts on Midwest Straussianism (here) and on Tom West as a former West Coast Straussian who has become a Midwest Straussian (here). Michael and Catherine Zuckert have pointed to the tension in Leo Strauss's position on American liberal democracy as shown in three propositions:1. Show More Summary

West on the American Founding (1): The State of Nature and the Evolution of Religion

At the next convention of the American Political Science Association in San Francisco (August 31-September 3), I will be on a panel on Thomas West's new book--The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom. Show More Summary

John Mizzoni's Defense of Kantian Ethics as Compatible with Darwinian Evolution

In May of last year, I read a book manuscript for Lexington Books--John Mizzoni's Evolution and the Foundations of Ethics. I recommended that it be published, because no other book has done what this book does in surveying the application...Show More Summary

A Thousand Posts (8)

2016I have often argued for the evolution of a Darwinian liberalism that was first expressed by John Locke and Adam Smith, although there are precursors in the liberal thinkers of ancient Athens and in Lucretius of ancient Rome. ButShow More Summary

A Thousand Posts (7)

2015In the spring semester, I taught my undergraduate course on "Biopolitics and Human Nature." This course was cross-listed in the course schedule at NIU for both the political science and the biology departments. So there were biology majors as well as political science majors in the class. Show More Summary

A Thousand Posts (6)

2014As has often been the case, some of my writing in 2014 reflected the courses I was teaching--in the spring, a course on "Hobbes, Kant, and Pinker: War, Peace, and Declining Violence," and in the fall, a course on Adam Smith. Although...Show More Summary

A Thousand Posts (5)

2013 This was the year of my Darwinian Grand Tour--from Chicago to the Galapagos to Atlanta to Freiburg, and a few places in between. In April, I presented a paper at the Midwest Political Science Convention in Chicago on "Nietzsche's Darwinian Liberalism." In June, I was travelling in Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands. Show More Summary

A Thousand Posts (4)

2012 In the spring semester, I taught a graduate seminar on Leo Strauss. Consequently, I wrote many posts on Strauss from January to June. Much of this writing was incorporated into my chapter on Strauss in Political Questions. Although...Show More Summary

A Thousand Posts (3)

2011 In January and February, my posts on "Darwinian Marriage: A Response to Robert George" initiated a series of posts stretching over the next six years defending a Darwinian view of marriage as open to gay marriage against the argument...Show More Summary

A Thousand Posts (2)

2009In January, my post on "Evolutionary Psychology's Slow Acceptance of Darwinian Morality" pointed to the most important turn in the recent history of evolutionary psychology--the acceptance of Darwin's evolutionary theory of morality in The Descent of Man. Show More Summary

A Thousand Posts

This is my 1,000th post!As suggested by my publisher in England, I began this blog at the end of August in 2005 to promote my book Darwinian Conservatism. I soon realized that I wanted to continue the blog as a way to collect and organize my thoughts about Darwinian evolution and political philosophy. Show More Summary

The Genetics of Flightless Cormorants as Evidence of Evolution

The flightless cormorant is found only in the Galapagos Islands and only on the coastlines of the two most western islands--Fernandina and Isabela--which are also the youngest islands geologically, with the most active volcanoes. Charles...Show More Summary

The Oldest Fossils of Homo Sapiens as Evidence for Evolution

Having debated scientific creationists and intelligent-design proponents who deny the evidence for evolutionary science, I have thought a lot about what counts as evidence for evolution, and about whether any evidence could settle this debate. Show More Summary

The Evolution of Mammalian Leadership

If Aristotle was right in claiming that political animals achieve the coordination and collective action of individuals for shared ends, and that leaders can help them solve coordination and collective action problems, then the comparative...Show More Summary

The Darwinian Critique of Trump's Social Darwinism

As President, Barack Obama often criticized the social policies of the Republican Party as based on what he called "Social Darwinism--every man or woman for him or herself." Now, Obama must see Donald Trump's presidency as continuing in that tradition of Social Darwinism. Show More Summary

Machiavelli's Aristotelian Liberal Republic

As I indicated in my May 19th post, Frans de Waal could not understand the political maneuvering of chimpanzees until he studied them with the help of Machiavelli's book The Prince. In particular, de Waal saw in chimpanzee politics a...Show More Summary

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