Steven Goldberg

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Truth and Consequences

Dead white males did not invent the rules of science; they discovered them. These rules enable science, and science alone, to make successful prediction.

And prediction is only evidence acknowledged by science to demonstrate that one is on the trail

Black Murder
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Black Murder

Imagine the devastating effect, even on the mass of young black men who successfully resist the temptation to violence, of Gwen Guthrie’s song Ain’t Nothin’ Coin’ On But The Rent:

Boy, nothing in life is free / That’s why

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Sociology and Common Sense

The “Common-Sense Sociology Test” made its first appearance in the mid-1960’s. The test is now a familiar fixture in introductory sociology courses and textbooks, but in the beginning its exciting novelty instantly captured the hearts and minds of graduate students

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The Fallacy of Descriptivism

People with more than a passing interest in words fall into two groups: prescriptivist and descriptivist. The prescriptivist believes that there is an ideal of correctness in the use of words, shifting and temporally-based as it ultimately may be. The

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Defining Life

The morality of abortion is entirely a matter of definition: is the fetus a person or not? The definition—whether derived from millennia of religious tradition or from individual analysis and subjective choice—both generates and justifies the intense emotions that are

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Common Sense

Over in my philosophy department they used to shake their heads and smile. They didn’t actually pat me on the head or anything; professors don’t do that. But they did get a kick out of what they saw as my

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“Decrying Racism”

In the recent firing of “Jimmy the Greek,” CBS explained its action in a “terse statement,” decrying racism. (What they meant by this is anyone’s guess. I ban the word racism in my introductory sociology class, not because there are

Why I Am Not ‘Conservative’
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Why I Am Not ‘Conservative’

Like most sociologists, I am conservative in the sense that I believe in the existence of barely perceived social mechanisms—mechanisms that satisfy the deep physiological, psychological, and cultural needs. This sociological world view contains a conservative element: the belief that

Politics of Weakness
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Politics of Weakness

In the 1980’s the doctrine of sexual equality is increasingly being misapplied. The current discussion of women’s sports provides a graphic illustration. The central premise of the sexual egalitarian is simple: It is unjust to reward or support a woman

The Truth in Stereotypes
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The Truth in Stereotypes

The stereotype is in disrepute. The word is often defined in purely negative terms. Some definitions construe the stereotype as necessarily possessing the negative charge that does, indeed, energize many stereotypes. Other definitions see as inseparable from the stereotype