There is sophomoric sarcasm: Stephen Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in physics, is mocked for his reasoned stand against religion, and the French philosopher André Comte-Sponville is dismissed with stale jokes about Gauloises and Jerry Lewis. Anecdotes masquerade as data: the evidence against the Marxist thesis that work is alienating under capitalism is the author’s perception that Chicago garbagemen seem to enjoy emptying trash bins. McCloskey is contemptuous of scientists like Steven Pinker for trying to explain the origins of virtue along Darwinian lines; yet her dogmatic counterclaim — “Every human is born in sin, and must seek redemption” — doesn’t greatly advance the argument
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