Tag Archives: Mencius

Why It’s So Hard to Combine Goodness and Honesty

I was reading Bertrand Russell’s “History of Western Philosophy” and got to his analysis of Socrates. Russell has a number of amusing insights into the man, but my favorite is this idea that Socrates’ primary value was as perhaps the first systematic philosopher of bullshit-detection. The Socratic Method, though of limited use in formal, mathematical […]

Two Agricultural Analogies and the Nature of Optimism

Throughout history, you will find countless rulers, philosophers, historians, artists and critics who claim humans are naturally wicked. In my opinion, Saint Augustine of Hippo is the most influential of their number. Likewise, you will find many who argue people are naturally good. The most enduring and influential of these, by my estimation, is the […]