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The Art of Thinking Well

The Art of Thinking Well

Richard Thaler has just won an extremely well deserved Nobel Prize in economics. Thaler took an obvious point, that people don’t always behave rationally, and showed the ways we are systematically irrational. Thanks to his work and others’, we know a lot more about...
Is Radicalism Possible Today?

Is Radicalism Possible Today?

Are you feeling radical? Do you think that the status quo is fundamentally broken and we have to start thinking about radical change? If so, I’d like to go back a century so that we might learn how radicalism is done. The years around 1917 were a great period of...
The Crisis of Western Civ

The Crisis of Western Civ

Between 1935 and 1975, Will and Ariel Durant published a series of volumes that together were known as “The Story of Civilization.” They basically told human history (mostly Western history) as an accumulation of great ideas and innovations, from the Egyptians,...
The Strange Persistence of Guilt

The Strange Persistence of Guilt

In 1981 the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre opened his book “After Virtue” with a passage that is now famous. Imagine if we lost the theoretical coherence of science. Imagine if we still used scientific words like neutrino and atomic weight, but had no overall...
The Enlightenment Project

The Enlightenment Project

Being around a college classroom can really expand your perspective. For example, last week we were finishing off a seminar in grand strategy when one of my Yale colleagues, Charles Hill, drew a diagram on the board that put today’s events in a sweeping historical...