Monday, November 07, 2011

"Pathological Liar" Horowitz Reflects on His Own Mortality

Let's see: start with a guy who claims that left-wing intellectuals are responsible for the death of culture because they are intellectually dishonest.

Let him be the book reviewer for a book written by a fierce right-wing partisan described over and over again as a "pathological liar" (and with good reason).

Have the reviewer say not a single word about the well-documented dishonesty of the author of the book he is reviewing. And, for good measure, have the reviewer make ill-considered remarks about neuroscientists, claiming that their goal is to "empty life of its mystery".

Result: pompous drivel applauded by my favorite faux journalist.

But it is funny!


Frank said...

If you scrutinize Brian Leiter's "pathological_li" link carefully, I think you'll find it mostly empty of argument. Paragraph 1 is just ad hominem. Leiter comes across as sophomoric. Paragraph 2 is a misdirect. Here, Leiter is focusing on what the alleged Dem:Rep ratio means as opposed to the ratio itself. (The ratio appears to be sound, by the way: ) Paragraph 3 might be on to something: Looks like Horowitz may have screwed up on Chicago.

Finally, Dalrymple's quote about neuroscience isn't so bad. A bit of rhetoric, that's all. Perhaps a better discussion of neuroscience and mystery would be that of Psychology professor David Barash: --> "But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run....I write this as an utter and absolute, dyed-in-the-wool, scientifically oriented, hard-headed, empirically insistent, atheistically committed materialist, altogether certain that matter and energy rule the world, not mystical abracadabra."

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I don't agree with Barash either (see my comments on Jason Rosenhouse's blog).