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Books

Didn’t get it right

Suppose you’re a high school senior who has never read any philosophy. You come across Ayn Rand’s non-fiction works. You start reading. Holy crap, you think, the history of Western thought is mystical, evasive misology and nonsense. Thank God  Galt that Rand has come along to save us. The only thing keeping us from falling into the Abyss is Rand’s stunning defense of reason and rights. I’d better donate some money to the Ayn Rand Institute and save Western civilization from imploding!

But now suppose you’re a college senior majoring in philosophy. You’ve read the history of philosophy and surveyed the contemporary academic landscape. Then you come across Rand. You start reading. Holy crap, you think, she has no idea what she’s talking about. She appears to misunderstand every major debate. Her way of describing other philosophers is almost entirely wrong. (A Randian reading this might respond, “Brennan, you aren’t proving to us that she’s wrong about philosophers. Where’s your argument? Well, yeah, you’re right that I didn’t insert here all my lecture notes about the history of Western philosophy.)

Via Ayn Rand’s “Philosophy: Who Needs It?” Is Bullshit @ BHL.

New book

“For those joining the conversation mid-stream, this is the third in a series of posts introducing some themes of “The Constitution: An Introduction,” my new book co-authored with my son, Luke Paulsen. Eugene Volokh has graciously invited me to guest-blog this week to introduce the book.” Via The constitutional case for interposition and nullification @…

Crony Capitalism in America

According to this provocative book, the US economy is morphing into crony capitalism, a system in which business success is fostered by relationships between business and government. To gain a competitive edge or to limit competition, business interests lobby the government to tilt — rather than level — the playing field by granting their particular…