Category Archives: Philosophy

David L. Norton on emulating worthy men

“To emulate a worthy man is not to re-live his individual life, but to utilize the principle of worthy living, exemplified by him, toward the qualitative improvement of our individual life.” Source: David L. Norton, Personal Destinies: A Philosophy of … Continue reading

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Entrepreneurship and Virtue Ethics

In this 21-minute video lecture, Entrepreneurship and Virtue Ethics, I connect the success traits of entrepreneurs (e.g., initiative, guts, win-win trade, and so on) with moral virtues (e.g., integrity, courage, justice, and so on). My thesis is that what is … Continue reading

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Kipling on the individual and the tribe

I like this new-to-me quotation from Rudyard Kipling, and I’ve added it to my Quotations page: “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. … Continue reading

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Galileo, free speech & censorship

This week in my Free Speech and Censorship course, we are focused on Galileo’s 1615 “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina,” which is his defense of free inquiry in the sciences and its compatibility with religion rightly understood. Here is … Continue reading

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How to talk with your children about Kant

Michael Onfray has this amusing photo of a copy of Kant’s Critiques with a disclaimer stamped on its title sheet: “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it … Continue reading

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A postmodern timepiece

Design idea for a watch: It has no numbers or hands. It has only text saying Time has no meaning. It is sold in both jewel-encrusted and cheap knock-off versions. I do not make them myself. I license manufacturers in … Continue reading

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Individualism and economic growth — Gorodnichenko and Roland

In an NBER paper, “Culture, Institutions and the Wealth of Nations,” Yuriy Gorodnichenko and Gerard Roland compare the growth gains that individualist ethics generate compared to those of collectivist ethics. The first sentences of their abstract: “We construct an endogenous … Continue reading

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Creative geniuses as selfish — Nietzsche version

From The Gay Science (1.3): “What distinguishes the common nature is that it unflinchingly keeps sight of its advantage, and that this thought of purpose and advantage is even stronger than its strongest drives; not to allow these drives to … Continue reading

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