Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Posts Tagged ‘Plato

On Human Reason and its Evolution

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A new theory of cognitive and behavioral science, called the argumentative theory of reasoning, asserts that discourse and discursive reason evolved in human beings for no other purpose than to win debates.  “It [reason] was a purely social phenomenon.  It evolved to help us convince others and to be careful when others try to convince us.”  The argumentative theory is the brainchild of French cognitive social scientists, stirring intriguing discussion and abhorred dissent among academics of all stripes—philosophers, political scientists, educators, and psychologists alike. Read the rest of this entry »


“A Republic, Madam…If You Can Keep It”

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As it usually does, David Brooks’ column caught my attention this week.  Examining the nature of democracy, Brooks concludes that the most recent battles over the debt and deficit in Washington will not yield fruitful outcomes absent a reversion to republican (small-r) politics. Brooks expounds upon this by labeling our current democracy the “politics of solipsism.” “The [current] political culture encourages politicians and activists to imagine that the country’s problems would be solved if other people’s interests and values magically disappeared.” Instead, he says, we need a true leadership class, of the kind that existed “as late as the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations,” to balance interests and passions. Read the rest of this entry »

2010 Book List

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Before we completely leave 2010 behind, I wanted to take a retrospective look at my year in reading. I started tracking the books I read in 2009, after reading Louis L’Amour’s Education of a Wandering Man. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

January 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Posted in Education

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Plato’s Warnings to Modern Business Orators

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Father Schall, a professor at Georgetown University, tells his classes, “If you’ve read Plato just once, you haven’t really read Plato.” Keeping that in mind, I decided to pick up Plato again, and re-read the Gorgias. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

November 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Leo Strauss and the Basis of Our Political Understanding

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From Guest Blogger Ryan Berg

I posted recently about ancient political philosophy and its relevance in the debate raging about “fairness” in the Bush tax cuts.  An article about Leo Strauss, renowned University of Chicago political theorist, in the Wall Street Journal stroked my curiosity on this topic.  The article chronicles recent attempts to catalogue Strauss’ lectures, his relationship with his students, and his love of political philosophy.  This is a refreshing view, given that most people specialize, in school and otherwise, in current events.  However, enthusiasm for current affairs can be as narrowing as it can be invigorating. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

August 27, 2010 at 8:08 pm

“Fairness” and the Bush Tax Cuts — An Appeal to Political Philosophy

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By Guest Blogger Ryan Berg

Yesterday, I posted on the policy-side of the Bush tax cuts.  Today, let’s examine the philosophical issues involved with them—to wit, the idea of “fairness” and what constitutes the government’s definition of “rich.” Read the rest of this entry »

Philosopher of Management

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While most management gurus trowel out sludge worth more in paper weight than in business insight, one man – often referred to as a guru – has claimed my respect and admiration, as he has those of many leaders, managers and businesspeople worldwide. Peter Drucker died four years ago, and his writings seem just as relevant today as when he wrote them. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

November 22, 2009 at 10:53 pm