Saturday, June 25, 2011

East Asian sociopaths?

Some would assert that CEOs and other people in leadership positions are often warm sociopaths. Interestingly, it is claimed that there is a huge variation between groups in the rate of sociopathy. Perhaps this is related to the under-representation of E. Asians in leadership positions in the West, despite their high educational achievements? (Instead of sociopathy other factors like aggressiveness in interpersonal relationships might play a role.)

The Sociopath Next Door: ... Though sociopathy seems to be universal and timeless, there is credible evidence that some cultures contain fewer sociopaths than do other cultures. Intriguingly, sociopathy would appear to be relatively rare in certain East Asian countries, notably Japan and China. Studies conducted in both rural and urban areas of Taiwan have found a remarkably low prevalence of antisocial personality disorder, ranging from 0.03 percent to 0.14 percent, which is not none but is impressively less than the Western world's approximate average of 4 percent, which translates to one in twenty-five people.

In this Salon interview, the author attributes this group difference to cultural factors. Her answer is rather odd considering that in the book she describes personality, and sociopathy specifically, as roughly 50 percent heritable. As usual, we're allowed to admit that things like g and personality have a genetic component, but not allowed to entertain the possibility of group differences in distributions.

Is there the same level of sociopathy in other cultures?

No. In East Asian countries, China and Japan in particular, there is substantially less sociopathic behavior observed. It seems to me that the only explanation for that would deal with overall cultural attitudes. In the East, individual winning is not considered the appropriate goal. The culture is more group-oriented. A sociopath born in such a culture might learn to behave appropriately the way one might learn table manners. They might not have a conscience, but because sociopaths need to fit in, the behavior might be tamped down a bit.

In the past I've heard it claimed that the (putative) dearth of E. Asian "geniuses" is due to group differences in personality factors like sociopathy or psychoticism, rather than IQ. I think the topic of group differences in personality (whether cultural or genetic) is under-investigated.

68 comments:

Chuck said...

Steve,

Do you have any comments on the following research?
http://occidentalascent.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/ethnoracial-differences-in-personality/  
http://occidentalascent.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/nations-have-personalities-too/

I thought that you would be interested in it.  (For one, the trend in the US is to move towards personality tests which seem to disfavor East Asians.)  

steve hsu said...

The problem with personality measures is that they are very noisy and the self-report inventories are easy to game. I have seen some papers reporting consistency between self-report evaluation and third party (co-workers, friends, family) evaluation, but nevertheless the signal to noise ratio will be much weaker for personality than for g. If you try to do things cross-culturally (comparing two different countries, for instance) there are further interpretational and linguistic difficulties (do the subjects interpret the questions the same way?).

It seems clear to me that there are group differences in personality distribution, but even this is hard to establish quantitatively (for example, some of the results from the meta analysis you quote are counterintuitive). Whether group differences are mostly due to culture as opposed to genetics is even less well understood.

Rasmus Forsberg said...

Just going completely on second hand anecdotes here, but aren't Chinese people kind of known for being stunningly cruel to animals (eg ripping the legs from live frogs to ensure freshness) and being callous towards children (eg, Amy Chua)?

MtMoru said...

According to your links E Asians are the world's lowest in conscientiousness, Maybe that's the reason for so few CEOs despite ambition and IQ. (wink. wink.)

So psychology is a pseudoscience except for IQ tests? OR psychology across borders is a pseudoscience except for IQ tests?

NicolasBourbaki said...

Non of those explanation of the lack of geniuses are good. The fact is that Chinese genius is expressed differently in more personal pursuits such as day to day activities and not institutionalized scientific, artistic and mathematical means that Chinese genius will often not be recorded and passed down in schools of thought has far more explanatory power. This will dramatically change once China does (and so far have in recent time) set down codified institutions of learning and practice where the development of a continuous line of inquiry and thought is passed down and done collectively as is often done in science (working off "the shoulders of giants") in the west.  

NicolasBourbaki said...

If you look at animal cruelty, nothing is as worse as westeners. The west kills more animals for meat, fur, experimentation and cruelty than the rest of the world by far. Sure you'll find examples like your frog example but the west also has cased of animal cruelty such as hunting, vivisection, dog, chicken fighting etc etc etc, far more than China. The Chinese do not engage in these activities because they are viewed as barbaric. It is also a example of the sociopathic personality type to hypocritically blind oneself to one's own actions while pointing a finger at others.  

Chuck said...

"It seems clear to me that there are group differences in personality distribution, but even this is hard to establish quantitatively (for example, some of the results from the meta analysis you quote are counterintuitive"
Yes, the results don't comport with my experience.  My guess is that the measured differences reflect differences in response styles.   We'd have to see if the tests were predicatively biased against East Asians.  It's an interesting issue because, as I noted, one trend in IO is to move to personality tests to minimize the "adverse impact" that results from cognitive tests.   Doing so, though, transfers the adverse impact from 'people of color' to Asians.  

MtMoru said...

"nothing is as worse as westeners"

"dog, chicken fighting... The Chinese do not engage in these." Is that a joke? For one thing there are Chinese and Japanese dog breeds bred for fighting.

Spoken like a true pseudophilosopher wannabe.

MtMoru said...

"We'd have to see if the tests were predicatively biased against East Asians."

I've got a better idea. Give up on the idea that personality can be measured. Give up on the idea that psychology is a science.

MtMoru said...

Hear. Hear. If a sociopath loves animals I have to ask is he really a socipath?

steve hsu said...

There is already a clear cut example indicating differences in "response style". E. Asians' self-ratings on academic (e.g., math) ability are systematically low relative to actual performance, whereas other groups systematically overrate their own abilities.

NicolasBourbaki said...

What will mtmoru do next to humiliate himself? Let's see, he has continued to show incompetence in basic history, commit obvious bayesian analysis fallacies, was exposed about lying about his score on the GRE and still continues to post. I await his next response. 

MtMoru said...

Yes. As Chua has said in the West success and failure is blamed on native ability and among Chinese more on hard work or laziness or other "willful" virtues. According to Flynn in What Is Intelligence Chinese Americans have the same life outcomes as Euro-Americans with IQs 7 points higher.

Sociopathy is a great example of scientism. Before psychiatry sociopaths would simply be termed evil. Is evil really an inferior explanation? Is a four syllable New Greek word really a better explanation tha evil?

MtMoru said...

"was exposed about lying about his score on the GRE"

I wasn't lying. I took the old GR once and scored 800 V, 800 A, 800 Q.

If you are a professor or have an advisor who is a professor just give me his/your name and I'll fax the core report!

NicolasBourbaki said...

Apparently, reading at the 7th grade level was also not covered on mtmoru's GRE prep courses. What I said:

"Sure you'll find examples like your frog example but the west also has cased of animal cruelty such as hunting, vivisection, dog, chicken fighting etc etc etc, far more than China."

Functional illiteracy is a HUGE problem. It doesn't take the analytic ability of a philosopher to see that.

MtMoru said...

You're quoting someone else Nick!

gcochran said...

   My favorite example of a different psychology in at least one Asian group is the performance of the Japanese Army in WWII. They wouldn't surrender.  If asked to fight to the death, or hold on until they starved to death, they'd do it, every time.  The story of the 300 Spartans is exceptional in Western history - it's hard to get anyone to do that, even when all their training, their whole way of living, was designed to inculcate that behavior, as with the Spartans.  On Guadalcanal, on Tarawa, on Saipan, on Okinawa, on the Kokoda trail or Khalkin-Ghol - the Japanese wouldn't quit. 

ben_g said...

Two points worth making here:

1- While personality is less heritable than IQ in modern societies, it's also less malleable by the family environment.  Twins who are reared separately are significantly less similar in IQ than twins raised together.  This doesn't seem to be the case with personality measures.

2- Group differences could still be significantly cultural rather than genetic.. I forget the exact citation, but a study of East Asians raised in Canada found that they had more "Western" personalities than their counterparts back home.

ben_g said...

How can these group comparisons be taken seriously?  There are way too many methodological problems.  For example, "Are you shy?"  Your answer to that question depends on comparisons to your peers, social expectations of your society, etc.

NicolasBourbaki said...

"You just quoted yourself Nick!"

Good boy. But apparently, the inference is still not made...

NicolasBourbaki said...

You see, my boy, what you can do is write 'mtmoru' on a paper and place it next to your "score report" (good one!) and photograph both in the same pic then use a photo hosting side to post the pic here. You can easily black out not relevant info such as address, etc. But as we both know you are a liar and did not get any such score. I bet they didn't teach you that in GRE prep school. What a disaster.  Haven't I embarrassed you enough already?

MtMoru said...

"I bet they didn't teach you that in GRE prep school"

I never prepped for it Nick.

"and photograph both in the same pic then use a photo hosting side to post the pic here"

You're right I don't know how to do that.

"But as we both know you are a liar and did not get any such score."

It's funny that you "know" that Nick, and even funnier that we both "know" it. I thought it was impossible to know something false.

"The fact that you haven't done..."

Again the way you use "fact" is strange.

"What a disaster. BTW, have you emailed your "score report" to Steve yet like I told you to? Of course not. Haven't I embarrassed you enough already?"

E-mail Steve? Are you in prison or something? The name and I'll look up the fax or scan the report at work and e-mail it. Why is that so hard for you.

And why do you care? It's not like you need to be smart to get a perfect score on the GRE!

NicolasBourbaki said...

One of the marks of a sociopath is glib and consistently deceitful behavior. My boy, that is all there needs to be said. Sure, it's your lack of a printer. Sure, it's your lack of a camera. 

MtMoru said...

"One of the marks of a sociopath is glib and consistently deceitful behavior. My boy, that is all there needs to be said. Sure, it's your lack of a printer. Sure, it's your lack of a camera.... sure it's that you haven't thought of it yet...what more could be said indeed."I don't have a digital camera Nick. Why would I need a printer? "you haven't thought of it yet"? What are you talking about? It's not like it's a high priority for me Nick, especially considering you aren't a VIP.It seems very importnat to you and I can't figure out why. Didn't you make a perfect score? (hee hee hee)I'll scan the report next week. Then I'll copy and paste it to a post here. OK Nick? It'll be a gas. But I'll only post it in repsonse to a comment by you. OR maybe an analytic "philosopher" has shown it is possible to know that P when P is false and that it is possible for someone to lie while telling the truth and that a fact isn't a fact.

Matthew Carnegie said...

Well, also historically, obviously the culture of the Samurai was not composed of warm empaths. Genghis Khan and his men were hardly kind and gentle individuals.

Presumably either this variable has changed over time, or there are other social factors at work. 

I'd speculate along the following lines:

Perhaps what sociopaths there are in East Asian cultures have an easy time getting into power due to a lack of competition, and then Milgramming and Stanfording everyone into doing what they want (which is probably fairly cruel) and establishing crueller social norms generally?

This might be easier if there are a higher proportion of non-psychopathic low empathy individuals in the population, as it wouldn't be so tough to persuade them to cruel action on the basis of necessity or personal fear (getting them all super Cultural Revolutionalicious for instance), even if they personally derived little satisfaction from it. If your ethical foundation is trying to systematize society's norms (as suggeted by Steve autism thread earlier) rather than your own empathic responses, I'd expect your ethical foundation to be very flexible based on the social context of your rearing and the moral axioms and social norms passed down by the people in power.

Also start from the idea that politicians are sociopaths, then perhaps sociopathy causes greater political engagement, so a lesser proportion of sociopathy in a population may push towards less open societies, with are more autarchic and perhaps thus, paradoxically, more open to abuse from authorities and more open to the establishment of violent social norms.

It would also be interesting to check this against whether populations overrepresented as CEOs relative to their IQs have a higher incidence of sociopathy. For instance, Indians seem stereotypically well represented as CEOs relative to East Asians, maybe Ashkenazi Jews. Should this be truly net of their intellectual ability, perhaps we should look for a greater incidence of sociopathy in their nations?

Matthew Carnegie said...

Also, one interesting point I would find is that the East Asian Confucian tradition does seem somewhat skeptical of moral systematizing, with a great emphasis on simply accepting moral tradition and what seems to be good moral example. I may be off base here. 

If not perhaps this is a reaction to a tendency to low empathy moral systematizing?  Cultures have interesting ways to try and check tendencies they see in themselves. The ideas that moral tradition is important seems to be regarded with some of the awe normally reserved for high insight and minimally counterintutive statements, so it would seem like relying on empathy is less of a normal and typical response, but something which is found more surprising and revelatory as a concept.

Steve said...

But, then, there's always Yoko Ono ...

Sam H said...

I think that most people believe the radical notion (even Marxists despite what they say) that if an attribute is different between individuals and it can be assigned a genetic basis by extension groups of people must be different for genetic reasons. It's just "racist" to talk about with the exception that people can disparage tendencies within their own group. 

NicolasBourbaki said...

haha, that's a good one. What worthless excuses will you cone up with next time to try and cover up for this fiasco. 

MtMoru said...

Good luck with the pseudophilosophizing Nick.

Reactionary_Konkvistador said...

"Also start from the idea that politicians are sociopaths, then
perhaps sociopathy causes greater political engagement, so a lesser
proportion of sociopathy in a population may push towards less open
societies, with are more autarchic and perhaps thus, paradoxically, more
open to abuse from authorities and more open to the establishment of
violent social norms."

Interesting idea.

Lars Trier said...

If there is substantially less sociopathic behavior in China the explain this:
- Decades of Communism in China with millions of people killed in the name of "progress" (check Ɓobaczewski for the link between sociopathy and totalitarianism)
- Lead toys, poisonous baby formula and other chinese made products made without any regard for consumer safety, as long as the money flows
- Corrupt Chinese officials stealing and transferring over $120 billion out of their country. (http://www.seattlepi.com/business/article/Report-Chinese-officials-stole-120-billion-1428395.php)
- etc.

So the question is - are the studies based on reality or are they skewed by cultural perception or even propaganda?

bfgc said...

This might not be a particularly Asian thing, though. I suspect it's because most of the Asian respondents aren't aware of how wide academic abilities can be. (I'm ignoring the overraters for now.)

While I was a gifted reader growing up, I wasn't all that great at arithmetic. However, because my father was an electrical engineer, he tended to do whatever he could to improve my abilities in that realm—lots of times tables, math worksheets, and blackjack. Because this sort of thing was like pulling teeth, I internalized that I was Bad At Math™. This continued on through high school, where I somehow got recommended to take AP calculus AB, but got forced out halfway through the year for low grades.

Then I got to college, where some of my fellow freshmen were taking remedial, not-for-credit Algebra 1 courses, covering the same sort of material I did in 8th and 9th grade. After chewing on that for a while, I figured that my estimate of my own math ability was skewed, and that my idea of how wide math abilities range was much more narrow than was actually the case.

If you go to Stuyvesant High School and then Stanford—or, for that matter, Arcadia High and then UC Berkeley—you're much more likely to remain ignorant, at least on some level, of how good you are at math. "X% (where X is in the high 90s) of all college-bound students scored less than you did on this SAT subsection" doesn't quite pack the same punch as seeing someone your age struggle with math you were doing four, five, or six years ago.

alan turing said...

MtMoru: so where did you end up going to grad school?

Yan Shen said...

Now I've noticed that there's really no East Asian equivalent of white nationalism. I wonder if this can be attributable to the higher levels of sociopathic or whatever other forms of antisocial behavior that's far more prevalent amongst whites. White nationalists, for instance, seem to be obsessed with their own tribe in a way that far exceeds any degree of healthy self-identification. I think it's fair to say that most white nationalists exhibit some forms of antisocial behavior and lack empathy towards out-groups.

We can compare and contrast a highly ethnocentric East Asian nation like Japan with a highly ethnocentric European nation like Russia. No foreigner in Japan would ever fear for their lives, although they might be discriminated against in certain ways. However, in Russia, foreigners routinely suffer from physical violence at the hands of ethnocentric Russians.

NicolasBourbaki said...

LOL is that the best you could do? That clearly is a fake score report. 

Jimmy Johnson said...

Yan Shen,

It's about sociopathy, not ethnocentrism.

Sociopathy (or anti-social personality disorder) isn't really about caring about anyone, but the sociopaths themselves. Ethnocentrism is about ingroup loyalty and fear of outsiders; the hatred of outsiders accompanies a liking for the ethnocentrist's own group. Sociopathy also indicates a corrupted fear response in the brain; ethnocentrism indicates an increased fear response. 

There is probably a link between aggression and extreme ethnocentrism. Plenty of proof for that. However, East Asian countries prove that high ethnocentrism does not automatically lead to aggression. Ethnocentrism does lead to decreased empathy for outsiders temporarily, but that's not the same as sociopathy (which is a permanent personality disorder). The Rwandese civil war is a textbook post-WWII example of what propagandistic hate can make ordinary people do their countrymen. 

ASPD and high ethnocentrism both lead to low empathy, which leads to suffering.

MtMoru said...

You're an idiot.

NicolasBourbaki said...

Is there any more doubt of your fraudulent trolling than this? First you post a "score report" with a few marks on it that looks nothing like a real GRE report and now you have been reduced to "you're an idiot" after I have demolished everything you have said. I ask again, what more can be said...

MtMoru said...

"looks nothing like a real GRE report"

Then you don't know what a real onelooks like Nick.

Like I said, you're an idiot.

NicolasBourbaki said...

Anyway, even assuming that it is yours it still looks poorly photoshoped. But you get some points for trying. 

MtMoru said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduate_Record_Examinations#GRE_prior_to_October_2002

MtMoru said...

I can't even figure out how to delete my posts.

Christopher Chang said...

Are you a creationist?

Dawg_from_Hell 2010 said...

Why the f*** would any reasonably smart person become an actuary? The exams are boring, the work isn't exciting, and the pay is never great.

Dawg_from_Hell 2010 said...

"No foreigner in Japan would ever fear for their lives, although they might be discriminated against in certain ways."

I'm inclined to point out that at the very same time, no foreigner can hope to be accepted into Japanese society either.

As a person of color, the places I'd completely prefer to live in and the places I'd completely avoid are both White.

MtMoru said...

Did I mention somewhere that I used to work as an actuary?

The answer to your question is that there's only one profession where qualification depends on tests only. Only one as far as I know. If you don't have the grades to get into a decent b-school you can still sometimes get a job as an actuary.

But the practice of insurance in all its forms in the US is despicable. So if you have a conscience don't get into actuarial work.

Dawg_from_Hell 2010 said...

"The answer to your question is that there's only one profession where
qualification depends on tests only. Only one as far as I know. If you
don't have the grades to get into a decent b-school you can still
sometimes get a job as an actuary."

As long as someone's of above average intelligence, an undergrad degree with some finance/economics coursework + 3 levels of CFA + FRM (optional) should get someone a financial analyst's job. The b-school route is a more expensive way to often do the same thing, though they have more options and probably rise through the corporate ladder faster.

"But the
practice of insurance in all its forms in the US is despicable. So if
you have a conscience don't get into actuarial work. "

Actually, I think actuarial work is the least dishonorable of all insurance work. The underwriters screw policy holders over with their fine print, claims handlers are paid to do precisely that, and accountants are paid to do reinsurance fraud and push losses into treaties. There are good reasons to be an actuary if someone is *NOT* smart, but is of above average intelligence. 

MtMoru said...

I thought the CFA was pointless w/o a high ranking MBA or an "in". A lot of actuaries earn the CFA, but I think it ends up being useless for them. 

NicolasBourbaki said...

This is the only true thing that you have managed to say after all this time: "I am NOT a reasonably smart person" and it is especially true if it was meant as a litotes. BTW, the forgery of a GRE report you posted still has not managed to convince but the dumbest most gullible readers. 

MtMoru said...

You're not only retarded Nick. You're also paranoid.

First you suggest I e-mail Steve. Then you claim I forged a report just for you.

Like ALL analytic "philosophers" wannabe or actual you are very very not smart. (hee hee hee)

Dawg_from_Hell 2010 said...

I know a few undergrads from decent state schools who became financial analysts straight out of undergrad. This was not unheard of pre-crisis, but might be less common now.

ohwilleke said...

The cultural differences could be in how people answer surveys about people who fit the profile (e.g. cultural distaste for making even true negative statements about others to strangers) or how they interpret diagnostic criteria, rather than actual frequency. 

There is no shortage of archaetypical figures in Japanese and Korean and Chinese culture (and history) who would seem to be congruent with the American psychological construct of psychopathy.  The cultural revolution was a field day for psychopaths as has been the reign of terror that has followed.  Accounts of military officer conduct in Japan in the 1930s and 1940s certainly has cases that are suggestive of this kind of personality, as do accounts of the conduct of officials in the North Korean authoritarian regime.  The psychopathic school or workplace bully who engages in all of the stereotypical lying, gas lighting, manipulation and conscienceless betrays associated with the trait (often including physical abuse) is a familiar stock character in the popular fiction (e.g. manga/manhwa; soap operas) of both countries.

There could be population level differences in personality, of course.  But, until there is a culturally neutral way to diagnosis this condition, which the current criteria don't do very well, it is worth being skeptical.  I would give more credence to indirect measures (for example, rates of pre-meditated murder as opposed to rates of homicide generally, or incidence rates of juvenile animal cruelty), than survey data to make comparison between societies with such different cultures.  The leading diagnostic metric for psychopathy in the U.S. isn't even terribly consistent when trained professionals evaluate the same person with the same instrument (NPR has a story on that this spring).  Also, even if you did do a survey, I think you'd probably get a more accurate measure by identifying a culturally relevant local archaetype of the profile (perhaps even subclinical) and a lot of alternatives and asking people which of the archaetypes best match a particular neighbor or student or other individual known to them - conveying the concept is not a trival thing.

NicolasBourbaki said...

My fraudulent little boy, this is an actual pre 2002 GRE score report I found on the internet. As anyone can see, yours is a shoddy forgery. Even if it is a real score report (and we both know it's not) it is likely not yours as you don't even know what the word "anecdotal" means. Given your history of shameless lying and trolling here, you have no credibility.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://danielbrockman.com/gre-96.jpg&imgrefurl=http://danielbrockman.com/cert.html&usg=__tbrTZJHcIg0Qo1HMCH9mJkfultU=&h=876&w=680&sz=137&hl=en&start=0&sig2=oBaT8MhbG8zfiOpdMbKvoQ&zoom=1&tbnid=agaIZEGm6DtK_M:&tbnh=123&tbnw=95&ei=2PsMTpjaNrS10AGOu9T7DQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dgre%2Bscore%2Breport%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DX%26biw%3D1116%26bih%3D520%26tbm%3Disch%26prmd%3Divns&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=276&vpy=54&dur=820&hovh=255&hovw=198&tx=97&ty=104&page=1&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0&biw=1116&bih=520

Since you mindlessly differ to the word of scientists and cannot manage a thought of your own, theoretical physicists from Sean Carrol, Lee Smolin and even Steven Weinberg have said that philosophy of science will have a serious role to play in the ultimate theory of physics. 

NicolasBourbaki said...

Rorty is the "wisest" of anglo american philosophers? This again, proves that you are a fraud. Rorty is arguably the least respected somewhat widely known Anglo-American philosopher among other Ango-American philosophers of the twentieth century (maybe your hero Heidegger is a little less respected). 

You see, your bullshitting will not get you very far because you simply lack the knowledge and intelligence to carry on this debate. Your philosophical illiteracy have already been exposed contra your claims at proficiency at it. This horse is already kicked to death. 

steve hsu said...

Steven Weinberg: “Against Philosophy” (from “Dreams of a Final Theory”).

Physicists get so much help from subjective and often vague aesthetic judgments that it might be expected that we would be helped also by philosophy, out of which after all our science evolved. Can philosophy give us any guidance toward a final theory?

The value today of philosophy to physics seems to me to be something like the value of early nation-states to their peoples. It is only a small exaggeration to say that, until the introduction of the post office, the chief service of nation-states was to protect their peoples from other nation-states. The insights of philosophers have occasionally benefited physicists, but generally in a negative fashion—by protecting them from the preconceptions of other
philosophers. ...

Physicists do of course carry around with them a working philosophy. For most of us, it is a rough-and-ready realism, a belief in the objective reality of the ingredients of our scientific theories. But this has been learned through the experience of scientific research and rarely from the teachings of philosophers.

This is not to deny all value to philosophy, much of which has nothing to do with science. I do not even mean to deny all value to the philosophy of science, which at its best seems to me a pleasing gloss on the history and discoveries of science. But we should not expect it to provide today's scientists with any useful guidance about how to go about their work or about what they are likely to find.

I should acknowledge that this is understood by many of the philosophers themselves. After surveying three decades of professional writings in the philosophy of science, the philosopher George Gale concludes that "these almost arcane discussions, verging on the scholastic, could have interested only the smallest number of practicing scientists." Wittgenstein remarked that "nothing seems to me less likely than that a scientist or mathematician who reads me should be seriously influenced in the way he works."

http://depts.washington.edu/ssnet/Weinberg_SSN_1_14.pdf

NicolasBourbaki said...

I saw that years ago but it appears that he has changed his views somewhat since then. His criticisms were directed at people like Kuhn (PhD in theoretical physics, not philosophy) and Rorty who is basically working on the outer limits of philosophy (and is unrecognized at all in philosophy of science). 

http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~willerd/weinberg.html

And there was a video of him (which i can't find now) saying that the concept of time will be crucial to the ultimate unified theory of physics and that philosophers will have to play a role in the important development in developing such a theory of time. 

MtMoru said...

"the least respected somewhat widely known Anglo-American philosopher among other Ango-American philosophers of the twentieth century"

EXACTLY! That's how you know for SURE he's the wisest!!!

MtMoru said...

"as you don't even know what the word "anecdotal" means"

That's right YOU don't Nick.

Me 1 - You 0

Final score.

NicolasBourbaki said...

What kind of an illiterate, grade-school chump answers with this?

"That's right YOU don't Nick."

I know you are but what am I indeed...

MtMoru said...

"Rorty is arguably the least respected somewhat widely known Anglo-American philosopher among other Ango-American philosophers"

EXACTLTY!!! DING! DING! DING!

MtMoru said...

Looks EXACTLY like my report Nick.

As they say in Boston, "What are you retarded?"

In Nick's case the answer is YES!

MtMoru said...

YES! As a pragmatist might have said but never did so far as there is any such thing as "philosophical truth" it will be discovered over time not by philosophers but by honest men pursuing what is useful, what gets things done, what works.

You should know Nick that of all scientists those least antipathetic to philosophy are theoretical physicists. Did you read what Hawking had to say about them?

MtMoru said...

Looks EXACTLY like my report Nick.As they say in Boston, "What are you retarded?" In Nick's case the answer is YES!

NicolasBourbaki said...

At first I suspected stupidity but now I am suspecting brain damage. Look harder. The image you posted is a shoddy forgery.

NicolasBourbaki said...

Hawking's word about a subject he is as ignorant of to the same degree as you is not a credible way towards the truth. Differing to him is like the old Wittgenstein saw of the stupid man who buys two copies of the same newspaper because he wishes to verify what one of them reports.

vivian-li said...

To the OP: actually, there is NO inconsistency in the author's (of the Salon interview) reasoning that these group differences in sociopathy is due to cultural factors. Even though her book asserts the ~50% heritability of certain personality traits, that simply means one can be genetically predisposed to that behaviour. But genetics only *predispose* -- it's environment which *determines*. So, an East Asian born into Eastern culture may indeed have a biological, genetic predisposition for sociopathy, but because their family structure and culture discourages individualism and anti-social behaviour, this sociopathy will likely never have the opportunity to be expressed (or at least not as explicitly as their counterparts in Western cultures who have a similar genetic predisposition to sociopathy).
Hence, the author certainly can believe that sociopathy is a heritable trait, while simultaneously believing it's still culture/environment which ultimately determines and predicts its outward manifestion.

Culture Trooper said...

Ha ha. Yes, group differences are under-investigated. In particular, let's investigate the appaling prominence of psychopathic traits in whites (myself included). Except now everyone believes I am a sociopath becsuse I probably have those genes. And NOTHING I say to the contrary will prevent people from destroying me, regardless of whether I actually am a psycho or not.

Perfect idea.

On the other hand. If we focus on culture, we can simply make the world a more difficult place to live in for the depraved.

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