Category Archives: Academia

Self-refuting scholarship

[NB: this piece has been updated to incorporate links to further relevant scholarship.] One of the signs of the increasing intellectual conformity of the academy, particularly the social science and (even more) the humanities, is the rise of scholarship that treats voting the “wrong” way as a pathology, to be explained pathologically. In the US, […]

Save us from historically tone deaf academics living in intellectual bubbles

The Evolution Institute wants to apply up to date Darwinism to politics. In their own words: The Federalist Papers sought to convince the citizens of New York to adopt the newly written American Constitution. This would create a UNION (a word that they capitalized) capable of accomplishing more than any state alone and would showcase […]

How to play intersectionality

I recently read, in quick succession, “Whiteness as Property” published in 1993 by Cheryl L. Harris and Kimberle Crenshaw’s 1991 essay “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color” and her 1989 “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics”. The […]

Whiteness is not property: deconstructing critical race theory

This is a long post, in part because I do not have time to write a short one. It is a response to a 1993 Harvard Law Review essay by Cheryl L. Harris arguing for the notion of whiteness as property. I not only critique that claim, doing so gives me an opportunity to demonstrate […]

Piety display not virtue signalling

I have an essay in Areo Magazine arguing that piety display is often a more accurate term than virtue signalling for what people are typically referring to. The piece then examines the dynamics of, and the reasons for, political correctness. Read it here.

Marx at 200 Robespierre at 260

This year is the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx (1818-1883). A recent biography of Marx (reviewed here) places him very much as a man of his time. It is a sign of the success of Marx that his legacy is still so debated; it is a sign of his failure that defending Marx involves separating him, and […]

A misconceived attack on libertarianism

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay have produced a Manifesto Against the Enemies of Modernity. There is much to agree with in it but at least one part is thoroughly misconceived, which is the attack on libertarianism. Such an attack is a strange thing to read in such a manifesto, for if any ideology seems a product […]

The dissident right and the race thing

The blogger Zman provides a very useful summary of the dissident right: If you were trying to reduce the main points of the Dissident Right with a few bullet points, it would be: The people in charge have dangerous fantasies about the future of society and the nature of man The mass media is just propaganda for those fantasies […]

The founding falsities of postcolonialism

In his discussion with anthropologist Philip Carl Salzman, evolutionary psychologist and YouTuber Gad Saad offers (at 8.48) the following: By the way, in terms of generative grammar, whenever when I see the word ‘post’ before anything then that raises a flag that it’s bullshit. So post = bullshit; postmodernism, postcolonialism, post-structuralism. So, maybe Chomsky can one day weigh in on why the introduction of post implies that we are […]

Islam as philosophical dead end

Classical (622 to c.940) and early medieval Islam was a civilisation and period with a rich philosophical tradition. Yet Islam became a philosophical dead end, an example of how societies, indeed, an entire civilisation, can stop supporting philosophy as a significant autonomous realm of enquiry. Islam is a civilisation where religion swallowed philosophy, with consequences we are still […]