What I’ve Been Reading

Against Fairness by Stephen T. Asma - Frankly, this book has made me more partial to fairness as a moral good. He defends partiality, even "nepotism," on the grounds that it is essential to human nature, and that excessively "rationalist" approaches to morality like utilitarianism, deontology, and justice-as-fairness set inhuman standards that are impossible to … Continue reading What I’ve Been Reading

What I’ve Been Reading

Fiction: Delphi Complete Works of Anton Chekhov - one of these massive collections of out-of-copyright works available on e-reader for pennies. Chekhov's short stories are often just sketches of a moment or a state of mind, illuminated in conversation or internal dialogue. But some have sweeping timelines, and their rapid denouements remind me of Maupassant. … Continue reading What I’ve Been Reading

*The War of the End of the World* by Mario Vargas Llosa

The War of the End of the World is the latest entry on my desert-island list of books. It's the second book by Peruvian novelist, Nobelist, and classical liberal Mario Vargas Llosa that I've read (the other is The Feast of the Goat), and easily the better of the two. It is a fictionalized account … Continue reading *The War of the End of the World* by Mario Vargas Llosa

*The Righteous Mind* by Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt is everywhere these days, giving interviews and TED talks, promoting his working papers in the media, writing for the websites yourmorals.org and civilpolitics.org, and publishing The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (New York: Pantheon Books, 2012). A moral psychologist by training, Haidt has successfully cleared the jump … Continue reading *The Righteous Mind* by Jonathan Haidt

*Theorizing Medieval Geopolitics*

Theorizing Medieval Geopolitics: War and World Order in the Age of the Crusades by Andrew A. Latham (Routledge, 2012) offers a constructivist interpretation of late-medieval European states and warfare. Latham describes his approach as offering an "explanation-what" or "property" theory rather than an "explanation-why" or causal theory. He is interested in clarifying the nature of … Continue reading *Theorizing Medieval Geopolitics*

Ruger on Zingales on Crony Capitalism

My sometime coauthor William Ruger has a piece in The American Conservative on Luigi Zingales' A Capitalism for the People. He compares Zingales to early Chicago School economist Henry Simons in his willingness to consider unconventional remedies to crony capitalism, lack of competition, and "bigness" more generally: Fast forward to today, and we see another … Continue reading Ruger on Zingales on Crony Capitalism