To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
We examine Thomas Piketty's explanations for steady and rising inequality in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the decline of inequality in the half-century after World War I, and the return of high levels of inequality since the 1970s. We specify empirical and conceptual problems with his analysis, which stem from his presentation of causality at a highly general and vague level. That leads him to confuse rather than clarify the causal relations among implacable economic forces, changes in technological innovation and population growth, ideology, and governmental policies and the outcomes that he seeks to explain. We identify social scientists and historians who are able to account for temporal and geographic variations in the political coalitions that propelled egalitarian reforms, and that in their absence cleared the terrain for reactionary anti-egalitarian policies that the rich incited for their narrow benefit. We explain why Piketty's limited conception of ideology is insufficient for explaining how mass opposition to inequality is mobilized. We show that if we want to combine the study of capital in the twenty-first century with that of politics, we need a broader conception of ideology than what Piketty offers, one that will allow us to specify how ideology affects parties, states, voters, and activists.
Charles Percy Snow was born in Leicester in 1905 and – like his fictional alter ago Lewis Eliot – determined from an early age to be remembered. The essays in this issue, some 60 years after he first wrote about ‘The Two Cultures’, give testimony that in this respect he has been successful. There is still merit in his essential contentions that there are graduates in the humanities who remain out of touch with scientific developments – and science graduates who don’t read novels. But the world has changed: the computer revolution and the World Wide Web have permitted far broader access to each of the two cultures. While the split between the humanities and the sciences may have grown less, another fissure has become prominent: the sharp divide between those I call the true children of the European enlightenment and those who reject these values, the ‘fideists’. This argument began at Christ’s College, Cambridge.
It is argued that patterns of behaviour that distinguish human ‘moral communities’ have evolved culturally and been subject to natural selection. For this to work, these behaviour patterns must be maintained stably over substantial numbers of people and periods of time. Religious prescription – which is essentially equivalent to ethics – has provided this stability.1–3 It follows that ethics must also have evolved and been subject to natural selection.
At the end of the Darwin bicentenary year it may be thought that there is little more left to say on the subject of evolution, but there are some aspects that still deserve further elaboration. There are several, largely non-overlapping, sets of evolutionary scientists – for example, the palaeontologists who are particularly interested in fossils and in the evolution of structure; the biochemists and molecular biologists who are interested in the molecular aspects of evolution; and the sociobiologists who include cultural evolution in their field of interest. The Darwin celebrations, reflecting his own scientific interests, have been dominated by the palaeontological approach and other approaches may have been somewhat neglected.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.