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Home / Tag Archives: Hubris and humility

Tag Archives: Hubris and humility

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 27 of Lionel Trilling’s Winter 1948 Kenyon Review essay titled “Manners, Morals, and the Novel“; I learned of this quotation – and of the essay in which it appears – from reading the late Gertrude Himmelfarb’s 1994 volume, On Looking Into the Abyss, where she herself uses this quotation on page x: Some paradox of our natures leads us, when once we have made our fellowmen the objects of our enlightened interest to go on to make them the objects of our pity, then of our...

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Some Links

George Will recognizes that members of today’s “woke” crowd display many of the same characteristics that they criticize in Donald Trump. A slice: Postmodernists say, with Nietzsche, that there are no facts, only interpretations — alternative “narratives” about reality. As Andrew Sullivan writes at Substack, to be “woke” is to be awake to this: All claims of disinterestedness, objectivity and universality are bogus. So, reasoning is specious, and attempts at persuasion are pointless....

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 45 of the published version of James Coolidge Carter’s pioneering speech delivered on July 25th, 1889, to the annual meeting of the Virginia State Bar Association – a speech titled The Provinces of the Written and the Unwritten Law (obvious typo corrected): And who will be found wise enough to draw the line up to which we may go with safety, but beyond which there is peril? DBx: This bit of wisdom is broad. Who, for example, is to be trusted to extend the application of...

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Some Covid Links

Ivor Cummins corrects an attempt to discredit his informative work on Covid-19 and lockdowns. (I do strongly disagree, however, with Cummins’s unfair and inaccurate description of the Institute of Economic Affairs – on whose Academic Advisory Council I proudly serve.) Rachel Cunliffe documents yet another way in which Covid Derangement Syndrome fuels tyranny. Candice Holdsworth rightly argues that “[t]he febrile denunciations of lockdown sceptics are a threat to free inquiry and reasoned...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 82 of the brilliant yet largely forgotten 19th-century American lawyer and legal scholar James Coolidge Carter’s powerful 1884 monograph, The Proposed Codification of Our Common Law (original emphases): [A] rule enunciated by a statute must be applied to all cases which fall within its scope, according to a fair interpretation of its language. Let it be supposed that language employed in it is used with the utmost accuracy, it is still impossible that its framers should...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 130 of Deirdre McCloskey’s and Alberto Mingardi’s superb 2020 book, The Myth of the Entrepreneurial State: At a certain point also some alleged liberals began to attack (classical) liberalism. The so-called “New Liberalism” in Britain in the 1880s, and then Progressivism in the US and socialism on the Continent, attacked the liberal ideas of writers like John Stuart Mill or Henry David Thoreau or Francesco Ferrara. That is to say, after a moment in the early 19th century...

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Some Covid Links

Michael Esfeld decries the abuse of science during this time of Covid-19. A slice: We know many cases from history, in particular of the last century in Europe and especially Germany, in which coercive state measures were legitimized as absolutely necessary from a scientific point of view and had devastating consequences for the people affected. Is it different this time? Is it possible and permissible to stop the spread of a virus through central state planning with a massive...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 188 of Tom Palmer’s Summer 1998 Critical Review article titled “What’s Not Wrong with Libertarianism,” as this paper is reprinted in Tom’s superb 2009 book, Realizing Freedom: So evaluation of consequences does matter, but it matters at the level of justifying a general system of rights. Precisely because of the limitations of human knowledge that [Jeffrey] Friedman acknowledges were the downfall of socialism, we cannot normally invoke consequentialism on a case-by-case...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 168 of Tom Palmer’s 2007 paper titled “Twenty Myths about Markets” (which was written for a Mont Pelerin meeting in Nairobi), as this paper is reprinted in Tom’s important 2009 book, Realizing Freedom: Moreover, there is no “well balanced” middle of the road. State interventions into the market typically lead to distortions and even crises, which then are used as excuses for yet more interventions, thus driving policy one direction or another. DBx: Tom here identifies yet...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 37 of John Mueller’s brilliant 1999 book, Capitalism, Democracy, & Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery: Bankers, often criticized for stodgy, conservative behavior, in fact take more risks in a single business day than many of their critics do in a lifetime. DBx: Indeed. Keep this truth in mind when you next encounter the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Marco Rubio, or Josh Hawley, in their profound ignorance of both economics and history, criticize financial markets for failing to...

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