Category Archives: Philosophy

Karl Popper on Hayek and the European Union

I think we should learn from our mistakes [the EU] and start again, very simply with sovereign democratic states bound by treaties of close cooperation and mutual assistance, and a programme for the defence of peace. Attentive Cats will have … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Rafe | 18 Comments

Donald Trump, conservatism and free trade

I realise we live in a world of economic solipsism, where virtually nothing of the past endures while the most superficial gloss passes for deep profundity. The reason I bring it up is that occasionally I am accused of misunderstanding … Continue reading

Posted in American politics, Classical Economics, Philosophy | 75 Comments

Background on the alt-right

I have to admit that I have not been keeping up to date with the alt-right so for the benefit of others who are wondering, here is a rather wordy piece explaining some of its pedigree. After the prehistory there … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Rafe | 87 Comments

Orwell v Huxley on the nature of the left

The writer of Brave New World had previously taught high school French to the writer of 1984! What follows below is the text of the letter Huxley wrote to Orwell in 1949. But what is truly fascinating and worth dwelling … Continue reading

Posted in History, Philosophy | 48 Comments

The circling of the elites

Sunday morning so thought I would look at the paper and there we have this column by PVO on Political discourse coarsened by reactionary war against ‘elites’. It’s not every reactionary who becomes the wave of the future, but there … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Philosophy | 44 Comments

Donald Trump and conservative values

What would they know about the meaning of conservative? First we have Paul Kelly writing his column with the heading Conservative principles and values are being trashed. And then there’s Brian Loughnane with this as the highlighted quote from his … Continue reading

Posted in American politics, Ethics and morality, Philosophy, Politics | 38 Comments

Enlightenment principles

This statement is from an exhibit in the Arts Museum in Aarhus and captures the values of the enlightenment in a way that spells them out so that they can be understood in the times in which we live.

Posted in Ethics and morality, Philosophy | 14 Comments

For nerds and Popper fans

A talk by a major scientist on Popper’s philosophy of science and how it helped his career. Mostly good but a bit weak on some points, especially the function of consensus, he thinks that frauds are rapidly found out.

Posted in Philosophy, Rafe | 1 Comment

The Donald J. Coyote syndrome

Wile E. Coyote must have eaten quite a lot of roadrunners in his time, even if not that roadrunner. Sylvester has to have eaten his fair share of birds, even if he never quite gets to Tweety. The big bad … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics of the Left | 28 Comments

Popper on paradigms in 1932

While Popper was writing the original German version of The Logic of Scientific Discovery during the early 1930s one of the issues on his mind was the rearguard action of Newtonians to resist the scandalous novelty of Einstein’s new theory. … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Rafe | 15 Comments