Monday, August 12, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

James Q. Wilson and the Defense of Moral Judgment


Sally Satel:

"Twenty years ago, James Q. Wilson powerfully articulated the idea that humans’ moral sense is innate, not learned.
The American Enterprise Institute celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. To commemorate the occasion, The American will periodically revisit some of its scholars’ books and republish some of their best essays as “AEI Classics.”  James Q. Wilson joined AEI’s Council of Academic Advisers in 1976. Here, Sally Satel discusses his great book The Moral Sense, published 20 years ago.
- The Editors

This summer marks the twentieth anniversary of James Q. Wilson’s The Moral Sense. Written in a time of creeping moral relativism, Wilson wrote in defense of judgment — and, in particular, of humans’ natural predisposition to form moral assessments..."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Explorations of the Mind with Daniel Kahneman

8/7/13. On intuition and the limits of our minds.

Randy Pausch: The Last Lecture

8/7/13. Randy Pausch, was a professor at Carnegie Mellon, gave this last lecture before he died from pancreatic cancer. In his lecture Professor Pausch spoke about the importance of childhood wonder.

Jonathan Haidt: Liberals, Conservatives, and Morality

8/7/13. A social psychologist who understands the development of morality ---- and the morality matrix for liberals and conservatives.



Theodore Dalrymple:

Polyamorist Michael Philpott killed his children in pursuit of welfare benefits.
Philpott and his wife, Mairead, gave a tearful but misleading press conference after their children died--in a fire that they had set.
"Philpott and his wife, Mairead, gave a tearful but misleading press conference after their children died—in a fire that they had set.
A recent case in Derby, an industrial city in the English Midlands, has ignited controversy. An unemployed man, Michael Philpott (now 56), fathered 17 children by four women, all of whom he treated violently. For ten years, he lived in one house with two of these women: his wife, Mairead, with whom he had six children; and his concubine, Lisa Willis, with whom he had four. Tired of Philpott’s abuse, Willis left him in 2012 and took her children with her. Philpott, furious at this insubordination, wanted the children back. He, his wife, and a friend hatched a plot: they would set fire to the house in which his six children by his wife were asleep; Philpott would rush in and save them, showing himself to be a heroic and devoted father. He would then blame the departed Willis for setting the fire, which would result in her going to prison and his winning custody of her children. But the plan went catastrophically wrong: the fire got out of hand, and all six children died, five by asphyxiation and one by burns..."

Science is Not Your Enemy

8/7/13. Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, defends science.