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Peter Lawler

Professor of Government, Berry College

Peter Lawler is Dana Professor of Government and former chair of the department of Government and International Studies at Berry College. He serves as executive editor of the journal Perspectives on Political Science, and has been chair of the politics and literature section of the American Political Science Association. He also served on the editorial board of the new bilingual critical edition of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He has written or edited fifteen books and over 200 articles and chapters in a wide variety of venues. He was the 2007 winner of the Weaver Prize in Scholarly Letters.rnrnLawler served on President Bush's Council on Bioethics from 2004 – 09. His most recent book, Modern and American Dignity, is available from ISI Books.rnrnFollow him on Twitter @peteralawler.

Big Idea: Let’s Bring Back Existentialism

So I thought I’d share with you  my contribution to a symposium sponsored by a fairly conservative organization on what to do to improve the teaching of the humanities.  The other contributions […]

Darwin vs. Christianity and Transhumanism?

So my class on technology is beginning to consider skeptical views of the transformative possibilities of biotechnology. One comes from those who say that the evolutionary understanding of nature explains […]

Innovations vs. Generations

Yuval Levin, in his neglected classic Imagining the Future, claims that there are two characteristic ways of viewing our technological and biotechnological future.  One is in terms of innovations, the […]

Happy Constitution Day!

As I explained a couple of years ago, I lost interest in talking up Constitution Day when the government said we at colleges that get federal money are required to […]

Is Political Science a Science?

Well, it depends on what you mean by science. There was a panel at the meeting of the American Political Science Association on the (alleged?) outrage of the “Coburn Amendment.”  […]

Jeff Bezos and the End of PowerPoint

So we live in a time when we look for wisdom from mega-entrepreneurs. I admit that they’re usually really smart and fascinating–not to say full of contradictions. Peter Thiel, for […]

The Teaching Method of Respect for Texts

Someone might say—and libertarians skeptics often do—that classes in philosophy and literature are given a quite an arbitrarily inflated value by according them credit. Do away with the credit system […]

David Brooks’ Neocon Nostalgia

So David Brooks wants to arouse in us some SELECTIVE NOSTALGIA for neoconservatism.  That’s not surprising, because he once was a “neocon”—or a “national greatness” conservative. Now the brand “neocon” […]

The Professor as 21st Century Worker

So the respected New America foundation—taking its cue from former Princeton president William G. Bowen—is all about reconfiguring higher education along the lines of the 21st century high-tech, highly competitive global marketplace. What we […]

Am I All About Me?

Larry Arnhart, that rare student of political philosophy who claims to be Darwinian all the way down, criticizes me for saying Darwin is only partly right: Of course, many people […]

MOOCS and the Economics of Higher Ed

Walter Russell Mead, one of the most expert bloggers around, gives the most realistic explanation I’ve seen on how MOOCS—those massive online courses—will affect higher education. They won’t, in fact, […]

A Miracle on the Fourth

Well, don’t get excited.  I know it really wasn’t a miracle.  But the strangely persistent summer rain that took out all the other July 4th activities in this part of the […]

Happiness and the Pursuit of Happiness

One of my favorite BIG THINKERS, Dave Berreby, criticizes our Declaration of Independence.  Here’s the Declaration’s theory:  We have the right to life, and we have the right to the […]

Reading Plato with the Man of Steel

One reason to have a liberal education—one that’s usually neglected by all those experts these days who are saying that the value of an education is measured by the money […]

Big (Silly) Idea: The MOOA

Professor Benjamin Ginsberg of Johns Hopkins, the nation’s leading critic of administrative bloat in higher education, has a modest proposal worthy of Jonathan Swift himself. If we’re going to have the […]

Marriage and Reading as Elite Customs

One thing that distinguishes us conservatives from libertarians is that we’re actually worried about growing inequality in America. We’re not that obsessed by the bare fact of economic inequality, but […]

Intellectual Self-Help for Humanists

So if you want to read a really thoughtful and combative commencement speech, here’s Leon Wieseltier’s (the literary editor of the New Republic) deep and inspiring intellectual defense of the […]

Memorial Day

So I’ve been criticized for saying that our country is, more than ever, a meritocracy based on productivity. One of the threaders, in fact, said we’re a plutocracy based in […]

Caffeine: The Drug of the Productive

So America, let me repeat, is more than ever a meritocracy defined by productivity.  Now, that’s not all we are.  And it’s far from bad news that we’ve gotten over […]

Being Bourgeois and Bohemian Just Isn’t Enough

So what young conservative blogger/essayist would you recommend to challenge those who believe they’re smarter than every conservative in the world?  Well, SAM GOLDMAN. Sam’s not the only one by […]