Lily On The Mountain

I am an uncle to a Lillian Grace Rees as of the 19th! Congratulations to my sister and bro-in-law, Amy & Jonny. I can't wait to see the beautiful kid in person.


Fukuyama's Religion

In the back page essay of the recent NYT Book Review, Fukuyama discusses Weber's famous work on the Protestant (read: Calvinist) work ethic. Apart from the question of the merits of Weber's thesis, F.F. seems fundamentally confused about the nature of culture. For example, he states "What held traditional China and Japan back, we now understand, was not culture, but stifling institutions, bad politics and misguided policies" --as though institutions, politics, and policies are not constitutive of culture! He also makes the classic secularist error of assuming "modern rationalsim" lacks religious commitments.

Wish I had more time to comment on this topic, but you will find the essay here.
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