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July 26, 2005

Do Writers for National Review Have "Beliefs"? Empirical Evidence Says "No"

Matthew Yglesias does a dirty but necessary job:

TPMCafe || Conservative Epistemology: Productivity was low today, so I thought I'd pay a visit to the Corner:

Yesterday in my writers' room, the subject of the blacklists and Communist writers came up. I quickly found myself outnumbered 11 to 1 (the Annoying Friend, my only conservative ally, was out writing a script, damn him) and also (as usual) a bit under-informed. I need a good article or two on the subject, countering the following assumptions: 1) Communists in Hollywood weren't putting their ideology into their work. 2) The threat was just paranoia. 3) The United States is a democracy, so if people want to be Communist, that's their right. 4) The people who "named names" were cowards. Thanks in advance.

Now, see, I'm not very well informed on this topic so I don't have strong opinions on any of those theses. Evidently, though, they form beliefs differently on the other side.

I challenge Matt's implicit claim that writers for National Review have "beliefs." I don't think any philosopher would classify whatever-they-have as such.

Posted by DeLong at July 26, 2005 05:44 PM