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A Matter of Principles?

From the May 1994 Print Edition

The political theorist J. G. A. Pocock once enunciated his First Law of interdisciplinary communication: “Nearly all methodological debate is useless, because nearly all methodological debate is reducible to the formula: You should not be doing your job; you should be doing mine.” It is . . . . Continue Reading »

The Origins of Morality

From the November 1993 Print Edition

The Moral Sense by james q. wilson free press, 300 pages, $22.95 We read books and recommend them for many different reasons. Some are tightly constructed, theoretically persuasive works; others may be conceptually more confusing, yet very rich in their individual parts. James Wilson has, it seems . . . . Continue Reading »

The Rapist and the Virgin

From the May 1992 Print Edition

It may just have been a throwaway line, a presumed witticism, to which he gave little thought; in which case he is convicted merely of intellectual sloppiness. But it may also have been seriously meant, a revelation of his considered judgment; in which case he offers us a window into the blindness . . . . Continue Reading »

The One and the Many

From the December 1991 Print Edition

The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideasby Isaiah BerlinAlfred A. Knopf, 277 pages, $22 Henry Hardy, the editor of this hook, describes it as “in effect the fifth of four volumes” of Isaiah Berlin’s collected essays. Like one of its predecessor volumes (Against the . . . . Continue Reading »