Why the physical world is a lie

There’s a lot of paranoia going around about ‘fraud’, ‘lying’, and ‘deception’, sometimes encapsulated by the term ‘abuse’. These are certainly ugly, often evil, realities — but not for the reason we usually imagine. In David Runciman’s seminal Political Hypocrisy, the Cambridge Professor of Politics draws a distinction between first- and second-order hypocrisy. The first-order … Continue reading Why the physical world is a lie

The evolution of political language

On the origin of ‘states’: A commentary on From the state of princes to the person of the state by Quentin Skinner Quentin Skinner, leading historian of political language. Rome, as Runciman (1983) argues, was a market society developed enough to be economically dynamic and politically disturbed but not so developed that it assumed a … Continue reading The evolution of political language