Cultural Cognition is Not a Bias

Some recent posts by Dan Kahan on the subject of “cultural cognition” deserve attention: (Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that… Continue reading Cultural Cognition is Not a Bias

The Progressive Paradox

At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a broad consensus among reformers in the United States regarding the perniciousness of economic monopolies and winner-take-all politics. After that period of rampant growth and cronyism known as the Gilded Age, groups who had been disproportionately disadvantaged by political patronage and voter fraud began to organize… Continue reading The Progressive Paradox

Arendt, Antisemitism, and the Chicago Teachers’ Union Strike

I am one of those ideologically-impure liberals that worries a lot about public sector unions. On the one hand, I favor workplace democracy and collaboration; on the other hand, I worry about the fact that as union membership has declined, the majority of remaining union members haved tended to be at the top of the… Continue reading Arendt, Antisemitism, and the Chicago Teachers’ Union Strike

Typologies of Philosophical Personalities

There’s a somewhat disused trend of identifying philosophical methods or schools by the personalities required for them. I associate this with Karl Jaspers’s Psychology of Worldviews and Simone de Beauvoir’s Ethics of Ambiguity, but there are precursor typologies in Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and William James. It largely fell by the wayside in the second half of the twentieth… Continue reading Typologies of Philosophical Personalities

The Teleological Paradox in Utilitarianism and Education

In my brief response to Community College Dean a few weeks back, I said something that I think is pretty obvious, but that is often ignored: humanities advocates spend so much time fighting the instrumental approach to education [because] you’ve got to pretend like time doesn’t matter, or else the education won’t work. Consider the classic… Continue reading The Teleological Paradox in Utilitarianism and Education