APRIL 2012 ISSUE

Vol. 1, No. 4: April 2012

APRIL FOOLS ISSUE

Epistolary Foreword: April Fools! – Paul Odradek

CRITICISM

Francis Bacon’s Inside-Out Philosophy – Holgrave

Macaulay, Whig Historian – Bede Adulescens

Check Your Humanity at the Gate of Walden Two – Holgrave

Michael O’Brien, the Catholic Tim LaHaye – N. W. Smith

When Is a Book Review Not a Book Review? When It’s a Review of Dave Eggers’s Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Paul Odradek

Starving on Nihilism: The Moral Vacuum of The Hunger Games – Sordello

DESULTORY RAVINGS

The Unthinking Christian’s Whig History – Bede Adulescens

LAST THOUGHTS

Burckhardt on the Weapon of Ridicule

Check Your Humanity at the Gate of Walden Two

Walden Two
by B.F. Skinner
Hackett Publishing, 2005 (1st ed. 1948)
320 pages, paperback, $10.95

Inspired by a long tradition of utopian narratives, in Walden Two sociologist B. F. Skinner used the tale of a model community to explore how his dream of a science of “behavioral engineering” might be applied to form a more peaceful and harmonious society. As in Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis, which I also review in this issue, the scientific element in Walden Two is science fiction. Such a science does not actually exist in the form in which it is depicted, at least not when the book was written. Nevertheless, within his story Skinner maintains more of a pretense of the actual existence of a behavioralist community, going so far as to have his characters discuss how “Walden Two” is not a “utopia” because unlike the imaginary republics of More, Plato, and Bacon, it actually exists. This is not only, as I will show, a bad book, but is a badly-written book. Sometimes this aspect makes it more entertaining than the author intended. Continue reading Check Your Humanity at the Gate of Walden Two