Tuesday, March 24, 2020

38. Review: The Genealogy of Morals

In this episode I explore the 'master' and 'slave' morality proposed by Friedrich Nietzsche in The Genealogy of Morals, with a particular focus of how the master morality may relate to Aristotle and the ancient Greeks, and how it relates to modern conservatism and progressivism.



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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

37. Review: The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

In this episode I explore Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. I look at eudaimonia and the mean between defect and excess in virtuous behavior. I also examine Aristotle's work on courage and pride, two natural virtues he describes.



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Sunday, January 26, 2020

36. Review: The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

In this episode I continue the exploration of the evolutionary roots of morality with Jonathan Haidt's fantastic book, The Righteous Mind.  In this book, Haidt delivers the killing blow to the rationalist delusion that I've been discussing since the early episodes. In addition, I examine the broad array of virtues encompassed by Haidt's moral foundations theory. This theory, and its political ramifications, continue to draw together evolutionary psychology, conservatism, and the golden mean proposed by Aristotle.



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Find The Righteous Mind at Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

35. Review: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

In this episode, we explore Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow, in which he explains his research in the two modes of thought: System 1, the fast, intuitive, unconscious thought of associations and heuristics, and System 2, the slow, deliberate, calculative, resource-depleting conscious thought.



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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

34. Review: The Origins of Virtue by Matt Ridley

In this episode I look at Matt Ridley's The Origins of Virtue. In particular I look at the prisoner's dilemna and potential strategies to achieve cooperation and reciprocity among evolving selfish genes. I also examine the sexual division of labor in early humans, with males doing most of the hunting and women doing most of the gathering.



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Saturday, December 7, 2019

33. Review: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins' best-selling book, The Selfish Gene, examines the fundamental nature of the replicating gene in a competitive environment, and all of the consequences thereof. I look specifically at the origins of life and DNA, and the evolutionarily stable strategy of behavior development in a game theory context.



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Find The Selfish Gene at Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

32. Review: Suicide by Emile Durkheim

In Suicide, Emile Durkheim explores the sociological factors that lead a society toward greater or lesser rates of suicide. I specifically explore his analysis of egoistic suicide, or suicide driven by the breakdown of integrated social institutions and the dominance of individualism in a culture. I also touch on anomie, the disappearance of social norms that, in a healthy society, provide the structure of culture that help provide people with a sense of social stability.


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