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Monday, October 19, 2009

INTELLECTUAL STYLES, THEIR WIDER SOCIAL AND POLITICAL FALL-OUT, AND DEMOCRACY OR DICTATORSHIPS

Today's Buggy Topic

The subject-title above captures only part of the topic, covered in two lengthy prof bug comments left at Economist View . . . the laudable, justifiably well-regarded web site run by a good fair-minded economist, Professor Mark Thoma of the University of Oregon. 

Professor Thoma, please note, is himself a moderate and far more balanced in his commentaries and links than the 7 or 8 regular posters who hog about 80% of the posts in each thread . . . one of whom, with way too much time on her hands, posts unglued, hilariously clownish observations about every subject under the sun, about which she is notably ignorant.  Not to forget her furious wacko-city indignation that is stoked by any dissenting views, however well-founded, from the dominant group-think in the thread.

Guess who leaves many of these simple, evidence-based heresies these days? 

With, to prof bug's wicked pleasure, her fully predictable explosions soon to follow, each one crammed to the rafters with buffoonish spite and sarcasm . . . the unhinged furioso apparently seeing herself on a messianic crusade to save the world from folly; and with any dissenters or critics  the equivalent in her eyes  of fiendish apostates or evil heretics, both of which groups --- however numerous --- should be put pell-mell on a rack, enjoy hundreds of pounds of scalding rocks pressed on their chests, and eventually be  burned at the stake strictly in the interest, you understand, of humankind's salvation.  Nothing less.  

Back to the Topic

The two buggy commentaries were motivated by a link that Professor Thoma created to the web-site of a talented professional philosopher at a University of Michigan campus, Professor Daniel Little . . . one of the handful of philosophers who analyze with regularity social science theories and methodologies. 

The first prof bug commentary at Economist View summarized the Little argument and ended with some observations of his own.  That was a prelude, set out later in the day, to the bugged-out major concern: the various intellectual styles that prevailed historically in Europe and the English-speaking world --- roughly divided into two sorts --- and how these very different styles in philosophy and the social sciences, not to mention in the media, influenced wider social, cultural, and political life in different countries.

No need to say more here.  The prof bug commentaries should clarify all these matters, illustrated with lots of historical and up-to-date evidence, if you click here and read the buggy stuff.    

Oh, Almost Forgot

You'll find the link to Professor Daniel Little's article at the start of the thread under the heading, "Demystifying Social Knowledge: Understanding Society."   And you'll find it right now if you click here for his web site.    Too bad that Professor Little is the chancellor of the University of Michigan, at any rate for the rest of us who admire his work. 

If he were a full-time professor-scholar, he'd be able to post more of his admirably readable analytical commentaries . . . much to our benefit.