Economist Steven Horwitz, author of Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions, offers a classical liberal theory of the family grounded in the works of Friedrich Hayek. Unlike conservatives, who tend to glorify a tradition-bound model of the family, and Progressives, who sometimes denigrate the family, Horwitz offers a vision of the family as a dynamic and evolving social institution that plays a crucial role in people’s lives.Continue reading “Steven Horwitz on Hayek and the Family: Self in Society #12”
Pamela Clare is a gun-toting Rush fan—and Boulder Progressive Democrat—who writes romantic fiction. She almost died in a mountain fall and had to be helicoptered out. She got death threats while working as an investigative journalist and had to tell one gun-waving disgruntled reader to get the f*** out of her office. She put her degree in classics to use in her historical romance novels before going on to write about rangers, firefighters, rock climbers, journalists, and other spirited characters.
Pamela and I sat down to discuss her writing, the genre, problems within Romance Writers of America, the business side of fiction, her experiences as a journalist, the allure of Colorado’s wilderness, her views on firearms, and the music that inspires her.
See Pamela Clare’s web site for a list of her novels.Continue reading “Pamela Clare on Romance Fiction: Self in Society #11”
Anthropologist Melvin Konner explains the persistence of religious belief in the face of atheistic criticisms. Konner discusses his religious background and his path to a study of biological anthropology, including his work with the !Kung people in Botswana. Konner also challenges the New Atheists’ insistence that humanity can and should do away with religion.
Buy Melvin Konner’s book via Amazon (paid link): Believers: Faith in Human NatureContinue reading “Melvin Konner on Religious Belief: Self in Society #10”
Kevin Currie-Knight—professor of education at East Carolina University, author of Education in the Marketplace, and president of the board of New Pathfinder Community School—discusses self-directed education and answers various objections to it.Continue reading “Kevin Currie-Knight on Self-Directed Education: Self in Society #9”
Jason Crawford, entrepreneur and author of the Roots of Progress blog, discusses what progress is, where it comes from, and how it vastly betters our lives. In the process, he highlights key industrial and technological innovations, explains the errors of Malthus, and discusses how we can keep progress alive.Continue reading “Jason Crawford on the Roots of Progress: Self in Society #8”
Historian John Coffey discusses his book, Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England 1558–1689, and its lessons for today. Coffey reviews the establishment of the Anglican church and the tensions between that church and both the Catholics and the Puritans, tensions that often erupted into state-sponsored violence. Coffee also discusses the theological and political disputes over toleration in this era.
Buy Coffey’s book via Amazon (paid link): Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England 1588-1689: Study in Modern History SeriesContinue reading “John Coffey on Religious Toleration: Self in Society #7”
Last year I released my book, What’s Wrong with Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Ethics, in which I criticize Rand’s formal metaethical theory (and defend various aspects of Rand’s broader moral theory), and I have written several essays on the topic since.
In his July 21, 2019, review (“Atlas Neutered: Ari Armstrong’s Straw Man Attack on Objectivism“), Don Watkins ignores almost all of the substance of my book, grossly distorts what he does address, and descends into juvenile name-calling, assuring his readers that I wrote my book in “bad faith” and that I am guilty of intellectual “theft” (my exhaustive citations notwithstanding).Continue reading “Rand’s Metaethics: A Reply to Don Watkins’s Nonobjective Review”
In Out of the Flames, Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone recount the remarkable life and shocking death of Michael Servetus, theologian, editor, physician, and heretic. Lawrence discusses Servetus’s religious views and his lifelong rivalry with John Calvin, who eventually had him tried for heresy and burned at the stake in Geneva in 1553. But Servetus’s work escaped the flames to inspire generations of scientists, religious reformers, and advocates of liberty of conscience.
Buy the Goldstones’ book via Amazon (paid link): Out of the Flames: The Remarkable Story of a Fearless Scholar, a Fatal Heresy, and One of the Rarest Books in the WorldContinue reading “Lawrence Goldstone on the Death and Legacy of Michael Servetus: Self in Society #6”
Timothy Sandefur discusses the remarkable life and thought of science educator Jacob Bronowski, creator of the landmark documentary series The Ascent of Man. Sandefur’s The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski is the first book-length biography of this fascinating figure.
Buy Sandefur’s book via Amazon (paid link): The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski: The Life and Ideas of a Popular Science Icon
Buy Bronowski’s book via Amazon (paid link): The Ascent of ManContinue reading “Timothy Sandefur on the Ascent of Jacob Bronowski: Self in Society #5”
James Valliant discusses his book, Creating Christ, in which he and his coauthor Warren Fahy argue that the Roman emperors Nero, Vespasian, and Titus played an active role in the development of early Christianity. Valliant discusses the broader context of the Jewish-Roman conflict of the First Century, the themes of the Gospels, and the remarkable parallels between the Flavian emperors and the Christian story.
Listen to the episode via iTunes.
Buy Valliant’s book via Amazon (paid link): Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented ChristianityContinue reading “James Valliant on Rome and Christianity: Self in Society #4”