Thursday, January 30, 2020

Friedrich Hayek vs. Charles Murray

Charles Murray's new book, Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, has just been published.

From the blurb:
All people are equal but, as Human Diversity explores, all groups of people are not the same -- a fascinating investigation of the genetics and neuroscience of human differences.

The thesis of Human Diversity is that advances in genetics and neuroscience are overthrowing an intellectual orthodoxy that has ruled the social sciences for decades. The core of the orthodoxy consists of three dogmas:

- Gender is a social construct.

- Race is a social construct.

- Class is a function of privilege.

The problem is that all three dogmas are half-truths. They have stifled progress in understanding the rich texture that biology adds to our understanding of the social, political, and economic worlds we live in.

It is not a story to be feared. "There are no monsters in the closet," Murray writes, "no dread doors we must fear opening." But it is a story that needs telling. Human Diversity does so without sensationalism, drawing on the most authoritative scientific findings, celebrating both our many differences and our common humanity.
I plan to read and review the book in the near future.

I would agree with Murray that gender and race are not social constructs and in a very important way class is not a function of privilege in a free society. That said, Murray may be approaching his argument from a methodologically weak foundation.

Hayekian scholar Greg Ransom at his Twitter feed, @FriedrichHayek, took Murray to task for his methodological empirical approach in the past.

It started with a tweet by Kevin Bird that Ransom then responded to with a series of tweets:


1 comment:

  1. Sorry, but nobody attacks Misesean apriorism more than Greg. If Charles Murray sees social science as empiric, using data to test or validate hypotheses, then Hayek and his #1 cheerleader Greg are at least somewhat responsible.