That, of course, I was. So from the point of view of my profession, I’m apparently more controversial than even Mr. Ceaser. See what they’re saying about ME in THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCAITON and INSIDE HIGHER ED .

I will say more later about and eventually post what I actually said. I proposed a whole new government foundation that would fund political science on the Aristotelian proposition that political science is the mean between genuinely mathematical or “hard” science and the humanities. Or: Political science is the mean between SCIENTISM and RELATIVISM.

Here’s some HARD DATA: There were, I think, actually more political scientists (crammed into a small room with old guys having to sit on the floor) at my Strauss-Kojeve panel than there were at the NSF panel (which was in a huge ballroom that probably could seat a thousand or more). There was also more precise analysis and genuine diversity of opinion at the former than at the latter. Yet what makes the papers?

It goes without saying that I don’t really care about the NSF funding political science one way or another. It ain’t much money. I was there to provide token diversity or to show how opinions such as the ones I advanced can only be found among a small minority of political scientists. (I was the only one of thirteen who even questioned the way NSF has funded political science.) But how to explain the hard data concerning actual attendance at panels?

Here’s one thing I was reminded of: Government funding, far from being essential to scientific freedom, actually corrupts it. That is much more the case in the social sciences, of course, than the natural sciences.

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Articles by Peter Lawler


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