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March 31, 2018

A while ago I took some notes on Gabriel Kolko’s classic The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History 1900–1916 (1963). It's a far more profound book than the vast majority of scholarship on the Progressive Era. So here they are...

One point I have to quibble with in the beginning is that he does the typical historian thing of arguing that the triumph of con...

March 23, 2018

Just a quick note: I recently posted a long summary of and commentary on Georg Lukacs' masterpiece The Destruction of Reason, which has been absurdly--though not surprisingly, given the quality of the West's intellectual culture--neglected and virtually forgotten by everyone except Lukacs scholars. It describes the path to Hitler in the realm of culture, particularly philosophy,...

March 21, 2018

(Also see these notes.)

Reading Maurice Cornforth’s Marxism and the Linguistic Philosophy (1965). A good book, not dogmatic or closed-minded in the old Marxist way. It starts off with a historical overview of philosophical empiricism (which, as you probably know, eventually led into the “linguistic philosophy” of the mid-twentieth century). Summaries of Francis Bacon, Hobbes, Lock...

March 3, 2018

Sometimes I like to read about contemporary philosophy and science, to escape the dreariness and intellectual semi-sterility of writings on politics. I'll link here to some notes I've taken recently on cognitive science, and other notes on contemporary pragmatism and also the philosopher Wilfrid Sellars' famous analysis of the "Myth of the Given." Here's the first set of notes. A...

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