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photos by Lara Shipley

Entries from May 2012

Is Religious Morality Possible?

May 22nd, 2012 · 27 Comments

Ross Douthat thinks so. Responding to my previous post on this, he writes: I have indeed read my Euthyphro, and my response is basically the conventional Christian (and Jewish) response, which is that the dilemma Plato raises is a false one. Virtue is not something that’s commanded by God, the way a magistrate (or a […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Does Early Childbearing Affect Poverty?

May 15th, 2012 · 6 Comments

Matt Yglesias points to recent research questioning the oft-asserted link between early childbearing and later poverty: Kearney and Levine used data on miscarriages to isolate the impact of giving birth from background characteristics that may contribute to a decision to give birth. When used this way as a statistical control, the negative consequences of teen […]

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Tags: Sociology

Curses, Foiled Again!

May 8th, 2012 · 12 Comments

I was naturally pleased to hear the New York Times had sent a reporter to cover the panel on “Freedom and the Panopticon”  I moderated at the PEN World Voices Festival this weekend—but my jaw dropped a little at this bizarre paragraph in the writeup by the Times’ Larry Rohter: The panel’s moderator was Julian […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

The Psychological Prerequisites of Punditry

May 3rd, 2012 · 14 Comments

There’s a widespread sense—of debatable historical accuracy, but widespread all the same—that we’re living in an era of especially pronounced political polarization, with a correspondingly poor ratio of tribal slogan slinging to meaningful democratic deliberation.  One possible explanation for this is that the massive explosion of our media ecosystem makes it increasingly possible for us […]

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Tags: Sociology