Reply To: Suggestions of how discussions might be framed

  • Whit Blauvelt

    June 5, 2023 at 5:28 pm


    You didn’t answer even one of my questions. As you should know, IQ tests (a) measure a narrow range of largely LH skills, (b) are considered by the people who construct them to become highly inaccurate above about 150. I owe you one for prompting me to read James’s Pluralistic Universe. And I’ll be curious to see what you make of The Dawn of Everything.

    What will make me happier with our discussion here is if you’ll specifically address questions about implications and applications of McGilchrist’s hemispheric hypothesis. While I’m more than half-British by ancestry, those ancestors mostly left four centuries ago. They were neither aristocrats, nor cared for them. I don’t get your point about Burke, although we could certainly discuss Oakeshott‘s Burke-influenced arguments, which dovetail nicely with the hemispheric hypothesis.

    Please spare us your self-regard, though. Our world has far too many people who, having demonstrated intelligence in one area or enterprise, consider themselves more expert than all the experts across virtually every field. Having found one object they can take down into parts and reassemble profitably, they believe they can equally-powerfully apply the same method everywhere, to everything. As I read it, that’s the core of The Matter with Things. That’s how our civilization tilts into madness.

    But again please, can we discuss McGilchrist’s ideas here, and only bring in our own to the degree we can connect them with the issues he has raised? The Soviet Union’s collapse was in some part because the radical loss of cultural memory in the revolution which founded it rendered its foundations unstable — the same problem Burke diagnosed in the French Revolution. Not all conservatism is authoritarian. The Whigs Burke consorted with strongly believed in “ancient English liberties”; and largely supported the American Revolution. Burke and Thomas Paine were friends. Histories and societies are complicated.