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 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 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.
by Roger Scruton
Leading neuroscientists believe that we need to junk our everyday understanding of the mind, and that much of philosophy needs to go too. In this essay adapted from his new book The Soul of the World, Roger Scruton pokes holes in their confidence and proposes another way of understanding who and what we are.
by Roger Scruton
As the ideology of scientism spreads to the study of art and literature, Roger Scruton argues that we risk believing that brains are but matter, paintings are but pixels, and all culture is nothing but “memes.”
by Matthew J. Franck
The society depicted in Aldous Huxley’s dystopian warning bears a striking resemblance to the city described in The Republic. Matthew J. Franck compares their teachings on politics, philosophy, poetry, and the power of science.
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by Mark Blitz
What can the controversial German philosopher Martin Heidegger teach us about technology? Mark Blitz argues that Heidegger’s work provides a challenging and timely (if not unassailable) way to think about the role of technology in modern life.
by John Sexton
In their new book, Genes, Cells and Brains, Hilary and Steven Rose offer valuable critiques of biological reductionism and technological “Prometheanism.” But John Sexton reveals something missing at the center of their leftist bioethics: human nature.
Ari N. Schulman on the news media’s troubled coverage of imitative acts of violence.
by Robert H. Nelson
Economists often try to present their discipline as truly scientific — a value-neutral tool for predicting policy outcomes. But looking to history, Robert H. Nelson shows that economic science cannot be separated from its moral and even religious presuppositions.