Liberalism is not so much a political philosophy; it’s the discipline of the scientific method, of rejecting logical fallacies in argument, admitting the limited reach of your paradigms, and keeping yourself open to new information. Humans are not naturally liberal, and not all who claim to be liberals demonstrate liberal behavior nor those who identify as conservative fail to do so.
I’ve struggled with limited success to champion evolutionary psychology. I think it’s unfairly maligned and believe it will stand the test of time. Every heated argument I’ve gotten into about it has been with people who resort to the Appeal to Authority fallacy and Appeal to Nature (loosely, “Naturalistic”) fallacy. Evolutionary psychology is difficult to defend against cultural-relativist arguments and still do full justice to those arguments, which can be highly academic. I’ve found a guy who does this brilliantly, a New Zealander named Daniel Copeland, who identifies as feminist [correction: feminist-aligned]. His analysis is scholarly, brilliant, even-handed, and, above all, humane. No one I’ve read, not even Pinker or Wright, has launched a more powerful exposition and defense of the discipline.
Please give him a fair, careful reading. It takes time, but it’s worth it.
Copeland is remarkably even-handed. That is, he and I like the same people and dislike the same people.
Well put. I assume you’re speaking for yourself first and being slyly ironic and didactic second, but let’s be fair: the guy seems to make a rare effort.
You’re very kind. To be unnecessarily nit-picky, I identify as feminist-aligned — I think if a guy calls himself a feminist he’s making a pretty bold assertion about how much work he does to support the feminist cause, and I wouldn’t claim that, I just blog and sometimes turn up to protests.
Thanks for leaving a reply, Daniel. I was looking for an explanation of Patriarchy in evolutionary psychology terms when I turned up your blog the other day. I’ve read several of your essays now, and find them extraordinary. Well done!