Shayne Wissler
Imagine a world where we figured out the right direction to push, and then we pushed in that right direction…

“Did the Enlightenment Lead to Modern Day Tyranny?”

April 27 2022

Someone asked me for my thoughts on this Auron MacIntyre interview, “Did the Enlightenment Lead to Modern Day Tyranny?”:

So this is just the age-old debate about whether reason or emotion should be our primary guide. I’m reminded of what Voltaire said of Rousseau: “No one has ever employed so much intellect to persuade men to be beasts. In reading your work one is seized with a desire to walk on all fours.…

On RFK Jr.’s “The Real Anthony Fauci”

November 25 2021

My thoughts on RFK Jr.’s new book The Real Anthony Fauci:

“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.”

— Herbert Spencer

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”

— Plato

I love RFK Jr., he’s a real hero doing a great amount of good in the world and this book is no exception – except for …

Curtis Yarvin’s “philosophy”

February 22 2021

As a contrarian political philosopher, I generally try to keep apprised of other contrarian philosophies, to see if there might be something interesting I’ve failed to consider. Ergo I have an interest in principle at looking over the work of Curtis Yarvin, otherwise known as “Mencius Moldbug.” But while he’s been on the scene since around 2007, I never figured out what he was really about, because if you’re tryin…

Sloppiness won’t save civilization

October 29 2017

The following is an Amazon review of Stefan Molyneux’s The Art of the Argument.

Taking Molyneux at his word that he is sincerely seeking truth, the truth is that he needs to pay much closer attention to his critics. Indeed, sitting down with them one-on-one, and outside of the “win the audience over” podcast format he so excels at could do him a great deal of good, if he did it with the right attitude. Would he bring the right attitude?…

The Patent Scam – Tragic American Heroes

August 21 2017

This movie[1] is about true American heroes (and we owe a debt of deep gratitude to all of them, especially to filmmaker Austin Meyer) being viciously sacrificed for the sake of the “good intentions” of a delusional, thoughtless society. One minute, they’re happily working hard doing those things that make human life on Earth possible – the next, they’ve been slammed with a lawsuit claiming that they’ve really j…

Fallen Ideals: A review of Will Durant’s “Fallen Leaves”

April 17 2015

There are many gems of wisdom to appreciate in this little book, but in this short review (and with the risk of oversimplifying) I wanted touch critically on two of his major themes: religion and government.

Whereas in all his long life he was never able to bring himself to the belief that religion is true, he does believe it is necessary to teach this lie to those too much less intelligent than Durant, to try to make th…

Will Durant’s “Philosophy and the Social Problem”

March 15 2015

Will Durant’s PhD thesis, Philosophy and the Social Problem (1917), is a very unique and valuable work.

A key theme of his, which I agree with, is that philosophy has lost its way:

And that is why [philosophers] are so hard to understand. Even so subtle a thinker as Santayana finds them too difficult, and abandons them in righteous indignation. There is no worse confounding of confusion than self-deception: let a man be ho…

Bertrand Russell’s “The History of Western Philosophy”: A Humanist Masterpiece

August 30 2014

“A precious book … a work that is in the highest degree pedagogical which stands above the conflicts of parties and opinions.”

— Albert Einstein, on Bertrand Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy

If it were my prerogative, I would specify Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy as required reading at the university level: those entering the humanities woul…

The Gross Negligence of Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of our Nature”

July 22 2014

Some of the worst atrocities hide in plain sight, concealed by the myths that blind men to the truth. This is easily understood by reflecting on history – humanity in general now views human sacrifice, burning at the stake, slavery, genocide, and so on, as the atrocities they are, whereas in earlier times, much of humanity thought these things were not only acceptable but were requirements of …

A review of Harry Binswanger’s “How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation”

April 17 2014

The review below is also published at Amazon.

There are a number of standards one could use to review a book like this. For example, one might review it in terms of how well it corresponds to or builds on Ayn Rand’s philosophy. But I’ll be reviewing it relative to how well it corresponds to the truth.

The book has obviously taken many years of thought and effort, and it represen…

A review of Leonard Peikoff’s “The DIM Hypothesis”

September 23 2012

Note: This review was initially rejected by Amazon with little explanation but that it violated their guidelines. It was actually not published by them until Dec. 20, 2012 link.

This book has an irrational purpose, which is spelled out in its first sentence: “The purpose of this book is to gain an understanding of our past and on that basis to predict the future.”

A rational man does not predict the future. He crea…