A.O. Scott on pragmatism and art

…Among my principal guides are Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Dewey. If there’s an implicit allegiance here, a school of thought in which I might claim membership, it’s some version of pragmatism. That is, I believe that our understanding of art emerges from our experience of it, and that our notions of beauty and value …

Corporate social responsibility

There’s a lot of buzz and debate about ESG and corporate social responsibility lately, so I wanted to post something I worked on recently on this topic. I helped Quartz put together a page describing its mission to “Make Business Better,” and most of that reflects group work bridging a range of perspectives within the …

How economics thinks about technology and labor

A recent David Autor review paper sums up the evolution: I began by asking what the role of technology—digital or otherwise—is in determining wages and shaping wage inequality. I presented four answers corresponding to four strands of thinking on this topic: the education race, the task-polarization model, the automation-reinstatement race, and the era of AI …

William James on certainty

From The Will to Believe in 1896: Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found? I am, therefore, myself a complete empiricist so far as my theory of human knowledge goes. I live, to be sure, by the practical faith …

David Leonhardt on logic

On the Josh Barro Very Serious podcast, all about making use of expert knowledge, here’s David Leonhardt of the New York Times: Don’t go to the nihilist place of ‘Well, there’s no such thing as a fact’, right? And ‘We can all pick our experts on climate change.’ And ‘Maybe it’s happening or maybe it’s …