by Matthew B. Crawford
The physical world resists our will. Matthew B. Crawford considers how we try to insulate ourselves from the limitations and frustrations of physicality — but thereby make ourselves more fragile and, ironically, more pliable to the wills of others.
by Nick Barrowman
“Correlation,” as the saying goes, “does not imply causation.” But if you want to understand the statistics that appear everywhere in our daily lives — in sports reporting, in weather forecasts, and of course in politics and medicine — it helps to know just what correlation does imply. Nick Barrowman explains why some disciples of “big data” think causation is passé, and why they’re wrong.
by Ari N. Schulman
Prejudice is the Enlightenment’s most detested foe, the vampire that withers in the light of Reason. But an ambitious new book argues that prejudice, properly understood, is a prerequisite for lucid thinking. In this review, Ari N. Schulman explains why our modern ideal of perfect rationality is irrational.
by Gilbert Meilaender
Unborn children are hidden from our view and totally dependent on us. Yet the debate over abortion usually treats the human community as made up only of free subjects that can enter into mutual dialogue or contractual relations. Gilbert Meilaender reviews a new book that offers a phenomenological critique of the abortion debate.
by Evan Selinger
and Jathan Sadowski
From spell-checkers to self-driving cars, automation technologies can relieve us of difficult or tedious work. But a new book by Nicholas Carr highlights the danger of living life on autopilot. Evan Selinger and Jathan Sadowski discuss the book’s approach, and what its critics missed.
by Ronald Bailey
Are liberty and the environment simply opposed? Or can liberty and a flourishing natural environment reinforce one another, the good of one encouraging the good of the other? Ronald Bailey explores whether economic activity under a system of liberty can be environmentally sustainable in the long run.
by Peter Augustine Lawler
Critics of America have often argued that the country is too individualistic and materialistic, doomed to a kind of techno-obsessive liberal nihilism. But, as Peter Lawler explains, the American story is really a tale of constant compromise between our Lockean and Puritan tendencies, accommodating the need for both freedom and community.
Image: The Apostle (Butcher's Run Films, 1997)
Enter your e-mail address to receive occasional updates and previews from The New Atlantis.
by Ronald W. Dworkin
Modern medicine has mastered the elimination of pain to an impressive degree. But as Ronald W. Dworkin, a practicing anesthesiologist, shows, when science tries to explain pain, it often muddles what we know from experience.
Detail of Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time (ca. 1546), by Agnolo Bronzino (via Wikimedia)
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
The temptation to draw moral lessons from biology is strong today — but it is hardly new. As the historian Gertrude Himmelfarb explains, the nineteenth-century scientist known as “Darwin’s bulldog” argued against those who wanted to apply evolutionary science to mankind.