Robert Nozick On The Relationship Between Parents and Children

December 1, 2018

The late and great philosopher Robert Nozick published The Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations in 1989.  The book is full great philosophical meditations and took four years to write. The chapter that resonated most with me is the chapter titled Parents and Children. In the chapter, Nozick lamented on the relationship between the two. The part that really hit home for me was when he wrote about the changing dynamic of the relationship when children grow older. I’ve always intuitively known what he wrote but was never able to put into words nearly as well as Nozick did. He wrote the following:Continue reading

Richard Dawkins Books: Summaries, Ratings, and Rankings

Richard Dawkins, one of the Four Horsemen of  New Atheism along with fellow members Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris. He is also a very popular science writer, having written over 10 books, starting with the seminal The Selfish Gene in 1976. Dawkins has a way of explaining the marvel of life to non-scientists, which is why his books are so well-received. The following is a summary of his books, as well as ratings from Amazon (am) and Goodreads (gr).Continue reading

Thomas Sowell On Immigrants from Asia

November 11, 2018

A quote from Thomas Sowell, from chapter 12 of his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals

Immigrants from Asia to various countries around the world have been prominent from groups that have risen from poverty to prosperity, often in the face of racial discrimination. One of the remarkable things about people from China and India has long been that they have prospered in countries around the world, except in their own homelands. Even with all due allowance for selective migration, the immigrants including more than their share of able and ambitious people, there has still been a striking contrast in [income]

Why Hate Speech Law Is So Problematic by Nadine Strossen

Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen recently released a book titled Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship. In the book, she expounds on the virtue of free speech and why we must protect it at cost. Several highly visible democracies around the world have legal definitions of “hate speech”—Germany, United Kingdom, and Canada to name a few. However, there is no legal definition for “hate speech” in the United States. Nadine thinks United State’s approach is the correct approach to speech deemed hateful by some. In chapter 5 of the book, she attempts to differentiate between “hate speech” and “hate crime”—and goes to show why “hate speech” is such a problematic legal concept when contrasted with “hate crime” vis-a-vis physical violence. She writes:Continue reading

What Does Intertemporal Abstractions Mean

October 31, 2018

The term intertemporal abstractions was coined by Thomas Sowell. I first heard the term in his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Sowell summarized it best in his interview with The Spectatoras follows:

I use the term “intertemporal abstractions” by which I mean abstractions going back over the centuries. For example, prior to World War I, Germans living in what would become Czechoslovakia were better off than the Czechs and had been for centuries. When Czechoslovakia was carved out of the Hapsburg Empire after World War I, one of the things Czech officials, supported by Czech intellectuals, set out to do was correct the injustices of the 17th century. Of course, nobody from the 17th century was alive. But only if you think of Czechs and Germans as part of some intertemporal abstraction does such a goal have any meaning much less justification. And when you realize how hard it is for contemporaries to get along, the thought that you are going to redress the wrongs of past centuries is staggering. Ultimately, what buying into that means is that a baby born into the world comes with pre-packaged grievances against another baby born the same day. You’re setting them up for all kinds of strife to correct things they have no capacity to correct. The 17th century is going to remain what it was for all time. At the same time you can set in motion a series of polarizations which in the case of Czechoslovakia brought tragedy to both the Germans and the Czechs.

In essence, intertemporal abstractions are ideas and concepts that span over centuries. This is common when talking about reparations, where injustices of one generation carry over and becomes the burden of another generation (rightly or wrongly). Victimhood or injustices of current black or indigenous people suffered at the hands of the colonies is an example of intertemporal abstractions.

Black Rednecks and White Liberals is a really good book and was an eye-opener for me. It is a book with a lot of depth and breathe but you can definitely consume it via audiobook because there are so many nuggets of knowledge in there that can stand by itself without you having to intently listen the whole time.

Favorite Book Written by an Intellectual Dark Weber

So what is your favorite book written by an IDWer? Vote for them here.
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18
Votes
1
12 Rules of Life by Jordan Peterson
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9
Votes
2
Maps of Meaning by Jordan Peterson
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7
Votes
3
The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray
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3
Votes
4
Waking Up by Sam Harris
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2
Votes
5
The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt
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2
Votes
6
Islam and the Future of Tolerance by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz
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2
Votes
7
Bullies by Ben Shapiro
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2
Votes
8
Brainwashed by Ben Shapiro
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1
Votes
9
The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris