Robert Salvino on entrepreneurship and public policy

Coastal Carolina University economics professor Robert Salvino’s 15-minute video lecture on “Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.” Professor Salvino discusses public policy and its effect on entrepreneurship. He contrasts active public policy methods (e.g., subsidies) and passive public policy methods (e.g., lowering taxes) and hypothesizes that passive approaches to public policy often result in more innovation and entrepreneurship.

Professor Salvino’s lecture is part of the ongoing Entrepreneurship and Values series, recorded and produced by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. Other lecturers in the six-part series include Alexei Marcoux, Stephen Hicks, William Kline, John Chisholm, and Terry Noel.

Free Trade Makes You a Better Person [new The Good Life column]

The opening of my latest column at EveryJoe:

“I am quite the international trader, it turns out.

“Earlier today I put on my made-in-Argentina jacket and my new made-in-India shoes and got into my made-in-Japan truck. I stopped for gas at a British petroleum station and chatted with its owner, a guy from Mexico. To help pay for it all, I taught my first class of the day — on a French philosopher, using a text translated into English by a Polish-American and printed in Canada — to a group of students, one-third of whom are from foreign countries.

“Then it was mid-morning and I needed a coffee break. Italian roast with Arabica beans from Rwanda, thank you very much …” [Read more here.]

the-good-life-free-trade

Previous column in The Good Life series: Sex with Robots? The Ethics.

Jerry Kirkpatrick on Montessori and Dewey — transcript of interview

Interview conducted at Rockford University by Stephen Hicks and sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship.

Hicks: I’m Stephen Hicks. My guest this evening is Professor Jerry Kirkpatrick from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. He is the author of a new book, Montessori, Dewey and Capitalism. Tonight he gave a lecture to the Philosophy of Education class here at Rockford University, sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship on the theme of “Montessori, Dewey, and Capitalism.” jerry-kirkpatrick

Now, Professor Kirkpatrick, both Montessori and Dewey are known properly as modern and very progressive educators — and as two giant names in philosophy of education and education practice in the twentieth century.

What distinguishes them from the long line of traditional educational thinkers and practice over the course of two millennia plus?

Kirkpatrick: Right. The focus is on the child — the whole child, not just communicating a lot of information. They focus on trying to develop the child’s independence, abilities of think for himself or herself and have a good self-directed kind of life.

Montessori uses the term “concentrated attention”, and it’s her primary aim in education to get the child to concentrate for long periods of time. This is something that increases as the years go by to adulthood, which, presumably, would be then a nice, productive career with strong concentration.

John Dewey talks about “undivided interest” in the sense that, first of all, we should have an interest in what we’re studying and be able to choose what we are learning as opposed to the traditional education that has been taught since at least Ancient Greece where, basically, information is drilled into you. Then you must recite it back, and if you make a mistake, you might actually get hit or spanked or whatever. It’s the modern, progressive view of being nice to children and understanding their emotions, their desires, and letting them pursue their own interests.

Hicks: Now, as you say, Montessori and Dewey are drawing on some historical figures in the traditional, not necessarily the dominant figures up until the modern time. Who do you single out as the major figures that both Montessori and Dewey are drawing upon?

Continue reading Jerry Kirkpatrick on Montessori and Dewey — transcript of interview

Stoic Week 2015

[Stoic Week 2015 is from November 2 to 8. In honor of that, here is a revisiting of an earlier post.]

I occasionally teach Epictetus (55-135 CE) or Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE) in my courses. So to prepare for Stoic Week, here are some sample quotations:

epictetus-webEpictetus on philosophy: “If you have an earnest desire toward philosophy, prepare yourself from the very first to have the multitude laugh and sneer.” (Enchiridion, XXII)

On what can be controlled: “There are things which are within our power, and there are things which are beyond our power. Within our power are opinion, aim, desire, aversion, and, in one word, whatever affairs are our own. Beyond our power are body, property, reputation, office, and, in one word, whatever are not properly our own affairs.” (I)

On controlling one’s mind: “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of things.” (V) Also: “As in walking you take care not to tread upon a nail, or turn your foot, so likewise take care not to hurt the ruling faculty of your mind.” (XXXVIII)

Including one’s thoughts on mortality: “If you wish your children and your wife and your friends to live forever, you are foolish, for you wish things to be in your power which are not so, and what belongs to others to be your own. So likewise, if you wish your servant to be without fault, you are foolish, for you wish vice not to be vice but something else.” (XIV)

On worrying about the opinions of others: “If a person had delivered up your body to some passer-by, you would certainly be angry. And do you feel no shame in delivering up your own mind to any reviler, to be disconcerted and confounded?” (XXVIII)

Marcus Aurelius on Man:

* “A little flesh, a little breath, and a Reason to rule all — that is myself.” (Meditations, 2,2)

marcus_aurelius_louvre1* “In the life of man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his senses a dim rushlight, his body a prey of worms, his soul an unquiet eddy, his fortune dark, and his fame doubtful.” (2,17)

* “‘A poor soul burdened with a corpse,’ Epictetus calls you.” (4,41)

* “How small a fraction of all the measureless infinity of time is allotted to each one of us; an instant, and it vanishes into eternity. How puny, too, is your portion of the world’s substance; how puny too, is your portion of all the world’s substance; how insignificant your share of all the world’s soul; on how minute a speck of the whole earth do you creep. As you ponder these things, make up your mind that nothing is of any import save to do what your own nature directs, and to bear what the world’s Nature sends you.” (12,32)

Aurelius on self-mastery: “No one can stop you living according to the laws of your own personal nature, and nothing can happen to you against the laws of the World-Nature.” (6,58)

And on predestination: “Whatever may happen to you was prepared for you in advance from the beginning of time.” (10,5)

One more from Epictetus, quoting Cleanthes on our acceptance or not of destiny:
“Conduct me, Zeus, and thou, O Destiny,
Wherever your decrees have fixed my lot.
I follow cheerfully; and, did I not,
Wicked and wretched, I must follow still.”

Both Enchiridion and Meditations are well worth reading.

(My reading of Dominique Francon in The Fountainhead is that she’s a Stoic in her value philosophy; that is, she is trying to achieve apathia in a morally valueless world. Another compelling Stoic in contemporary literature is Conrad Hensley in Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full.)

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Just how to Write a Research Report

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“What is The Most Important Question for Latin American Intellectuals?” — short video from Buenos Aires

I gave a talk in June at a conference sponsored by Fundación para la Responsabilidad Intelectual (FRI), Junior Achievement Argentina, and the John Templeton Foundation. While in Buenos Aires, FRI also recorded three short videos of me addressing questions.

Here is my six-minute video-response to “What is The Most Important Question for Latin American Intellectuals?”:

More information on Fundación para la Responsabilidad Intelectual can be found at their Facebook page.

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