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Morality Degraded: The Academy’s "New Science" of Odd Behavior

by William Damonvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Moral excellence cannot be explained by a science that reduces morality to biological impulses.

The Tale of How Insulin Came to Market

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Sunday, January 2, 2011

This inspiring story proves that medical innovation occurs in spite of, not because of, government regulators like the FDA.

Epstein Portrait

Is the Supreme Court Tilting Right?

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the limits of empirical social science—and the New York Times writers who employ it.

Epstein Portrait

Better to Profile Than to Pat Down

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 13, 2010

The TSA’s invasive pat downs are not the problem. Its policies on profiling and unionizing its employees are.

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The Ignored Facts of American Healthcare

by Scott W. Atlasvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 13, 2010

Highly publicized rankings deride the American health care system. But the facts tell another story.

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Real Prudential Regulatory Reform vs. Dodd-Frank

by Charles Calomirisvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 13, 2010

Dodd-Frank does not address the causes of our financial crisis. Let's consider reforms that do.

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The Strange Survival of the Arab Autocracies

by Fouad Ajamivia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 13, 2010

Five years ago, it felt like the democratic springtime of the Arabs. But no longer.

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Is Kemalism Dead in Turkey?

by Zeyno Baranvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 13, 2010

Turkey was founded as a secular republic, but today it is embracing Islamism over secularism.

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Profile in Courage: Harvey Mansfield

by Emily Esfahani Smithvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 13, 2010

The professor on the death of courage and the crisis of liberalism in the West.

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Multiculturalism Uber Alles?

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 13, 2010

Germans debate the role that multiculturalism, Islam, and Muslim immigration play in their culture.


The Libertarian

Richard Epstein
Richard Epstein presents his classically libertarian perspective on national developments in public policy and the law. The Libertarian archives »


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The Caravan

Visit the Caravan, a periodic symposium on the contemporary dilemnas of the greater Middle East.

With its distinct intellectual assets and ongoing programs of policy-oriented research, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University is a uniquely distinguished contributor to the marketplace of ideas.

Defining Ideas builds on the strength of Hoover’s research: publishing on-line the original work of Hoover fellows and affiliated scholars, as well as that of task force and working group members, whose scholarship lies within the fields of economics, history, law, and political science.

This online journal is the result of our concerted efforts to be part of America’s most important conversations, conveying to the public and to lawmakers an in-depth understanding of key public policy issues. Crucial to this effort is a commitment to develop enduring solutions for the challenges that face our nation and our world—in effect, to advance ideas defining a free society.

Throughout history, ideas have had consequences for the human condition, both beneficial and detrimental. The Hoover Institution’s working groups have been convened to promote ideas that advance freedom, peace, and prosperity. Defining Ideas is intended to illuminate the work of these groups.



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The opinions expressed in Defining Ideas are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.