Boxing with Hewlett

At PhilanthropyDaily.com, I have something of a boxing match going with Paul Brest, the former president of the Hewlett Foundation.

We’re arguing about whether big foundations are too reliant on social science and thus aim more at social engineering than true charity.

I quote Friedrich Hayek’s warning that “in ‘social engineering’ our temptation to love of power is in play, struggling against the traditional wisdom of morality: ‘While the progress of the natural sciences constantly extends the range of conscious control,’ Hayek writes, ‘the moral sciences tend to show us … limits to our conscious control.’”

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