Tag Archives: academia

On scientism

Those of you who read what I scribble here and elsewhere know I nurse a few curious theories about science, like that it ought to remain distinct from scientism, and that the scientific process taught in schools is hokum, and that reductionism is just as nonsensical when it comes to dominate the physical sciences as …

Professorial logic

There are many plausible explanations for why men commit nearly all murders and start most wars. It could be that we’re just hard-wired to smash skulls. Or perhaps it’s that we’ve learned how much chicks dig a man in uniform. Or maybe, according to Jesse Prinz, philosophy professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, it’s because …

On the Virtue of Hemlock

In his recent Boston Review essay, philosophy professor Carlos Fraenkel manages the neat trick of advocating a sensible position — that high-school students should be taught philosophy — so ineptly that he ends up proving the opposite, namely, that while it may be the case that students should learn philosophy, this is quite independent from …

On the conservative as warmonger

The problem with political science professor Corey Robin’s claim that warmongering is woven into the DNA of conservatives is that he can’t seem to define his subject. One minute a conservative is a Burkean, the next he’s a tea-partier, then a neocon, then a Republican politico. Richer still, Robin represents these British-American country-clubbing anti-marxist quasi-literate …

Breathe easier?

I’m always leery of research by people who desperately, desperately want a certain answer. So when I hear shouts of joy over a new study running counter to previous studies in its conclusion that putting small children in daycare has no adverse effects, I develop a more skeptical eye than usual. Which I know is …