Tag Archives | Immanuel Kant

New Kantian Man

Under the “Family” heading, The Atlantic recently carried a cheerful little piece titled, “How Well-Intentioned White Families Can Perpetuate Racism.” How is it that we are doing this horrible thing? The problem, it seems, is that we love our kids and want them to do well in life. Which is just the worst, right? From […]

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What Does It Mean to Be a Parrott?

Five Things You Need to Read Today August 30, 2018 1. Overhanging Existential Dread A while back, I described the dominant mood of the Trump presidency as one of “overhanging existential dread.” For every good thing we get out of this administration–say, a reasonably good Supreme Court appointment or two–there is always the question looming […]

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How to Defend the Enlightenment Without Really Trying

The Trump era—which has been characterized by a rise of anti-intellectualism, the ideological muddling of the right, and a swerve toward illiberalism on both sides of the political debate—has, by way of compensation, also produced a mini-revival of interest and debate about the philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment. One of the most prominent entries in […]

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Progressives Against Enlightenment

One of my concerns about the Trump era is that it signals a wave of anti-intellectualism on the right, a collapse in concern for basic ideas. It has also triggered something of an anti-intellectual response on the left, because Trump is the bogeyman who justifies blind, frenetic “resistance” in place of thoughtful criticism and reasoned […]

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Laurel and Yanny and Manny and Ayn

Every once in a while a new puzzle or paradox sweeps the Internet. A while ago it was the optical illusion of a dress that was either blue and black or gold and white, depending on who you asked. Now it’s the auditory illusion of Laurel Versus Yanny. This is a sound clip that originated […]

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Communism Is Idealist

I’ve been puzzling for some time over the continuing hold of Communism on the minds of America’s intellectuals. How could a system fail so completely for so long, in so many different variations, leaving a trail of death and suffering in its wake—and still be regarded as “idealistic”? The answer is that Communism is “idealist” […]

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The Operation of the Moral Law

 A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 11 Spoiler Alert: You do not need a reader’s guide to Atlas Shrugged—at least not for your first reading. Ayn Rand’s novel is clear, compelling, eminently readable, and perfectly comprehensible on its own terms. Yet Atlas is also a rich and complex novel, with an intricate plot in […]

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The Anti-Climax of Kantianism

I just came across such a comically grotesque philosophical expression of everything that’s wrong with our culture that I had to write a piece on it for The Federalist. I’m going to include that piece here, but afterwards I have some additional comments I want to make, just for this newsletter, that take it down […]

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Blame the Philosophers

After this week’s debate, Marco Rubio unveiled his newest attack ad. This video is, of course, an old philosophy joke that’s been floating around the Web for years. But it just may have a point. It turns out that the nineteenth-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant really is wrong for America (and wrong on all those […]

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The Virtue of Liberty

One of the big stories of the Obama era is the rise of a more stridently individualistic and “libertarian” (for lack of a better word) wing of the right—the Ayn-Rand-influenced, Tea Party wing. As a certified graduate of both of these camps—the Ayn Rand fans and the Tea Partiers—I’m pretty happy about this. But it […]

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