Does Everyone Have Longing? (A Response to David Brooks)

In a recent New York Times column, David Brooks makes claims about the role and presence of longing in human motivation that this author finds somewhat questionable...

What Can We Learn From Watching a Superhero Civil War?

The new film "Captain America: Civil War" is getting rave reviews, but did you know there are very interesting ethical issues lying just beneath the surface of the original comics?

Why You Might Want to Reconsider Putting Yourself Down

Do you put yourself down a lot? Is self-deprecation your middle name? (That would be awkward.) Novelist and journalist Ilana C. Myer considers some downsides of this common habit.

David Bowie, A Personal Remembrance

Words cannot adequately express what David Bowie meant to me, but here is my best attempt.

My Resolution for 2016: Cut the (Wireless) Internet Cord

Like many people, I spend far too much time online, much of it truly wasting time, and it affects my work and play even when offline. So, guess what my 2016 resolution is?

How Do You Answer the Question, “What Do You Do?”

In which I explore several issues with identity and career—in particular, why I'm so uncomfortable calling myself a writer.

Does the Impostor Syndrome Apply to Relationships?

How is self-doubt in relationships related to the impostor syndrome in professional contexts? A reader's questions prompt some more thought on issue and more.

Sexual Equality: Are You in the 1 Percent or the 99 Percent?

Everyone wants to have more or better sex, but some people find it easier than others. What's more, this is not often based on merit or virtue, but instead on factors such as looks and status, which are based largely on luck. Should we be more worried about this type of "sexual inequality"? Let's ask philosopher Patricia Marino to help us sort through these issues.

Do You Feel Like a Placeholder in Your Relationship?

If you suffer from self-loathing or low confidence, you may worry that your partner is always looking for some better—which may be a self-fulfilling prophecy you want to avoid.

The Self-Loather's Worst Fear: Is Self-Image Set for Life?

A comment on an earlier post on self-loathing prompts a question about how easy (or difficult) it is to change the way we see ourselves.

Thinking About “The Rationality of Rage”

In The New York Times, Matthew Hutson surveys some recent research pointing to the social benefits of anger. But might anger be too difficult to control to use strategically? Let's ask some philosophers what they think.

How John Steinbeck Convinced Me to Start a Writing Diary

For years I resisted keeping any sort of diary or journal, but reading the writing diary of John Steinbeck made me look at keeping one in a different light.

Marvel Comics' Daredevil Shows the Experience of Depression

Once again, the creators behind Marvel Comics' "Daredevil" masterfully use the comics form to illustrate psychological maladies, this time the depression suffered by the title character, Matt Murdock aka Daredevil.

Same-Sex Marriage Needed to Be Decided by the Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court decided that marriage is a right for all, same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike. Some would rather this has been decided by popular vote, but it's more appropriate and just that the courts should decide. But why?

Where's the Line Between Acceptance and Narcissism?

A commenter to an earlier post about loving yourself asks important questions: "Where does one draw a line between acceptance and narcissism? How does one begin to accept themselves when doing so feels wrong and narcissistic?” In my latest post, I try to offer an answer.

Why So Cynical About Valentine’s Day?

As the Valentine's Day hype machine roars on, so does the Valentine's Day cynicism. Here's why you should resist both.

Why Everyone Should Try Being Invisible

In The New York Times, Akiko Busch heralds the virtues of invisibility, contrasting with trends of increasing narcissism. I add my own personal perspective, drawing on Taoism as well as some of my favorite superheroes and comics.

My 2015 New Year’s Resolution: Find Out What I Can Do

About a year ago, I wrote about my goal for 2014: to stop disappointing myself. How did that go, what have I learned, and how has my goal changed for 2015?

The Other Thing You Need to Look For in a Partner

Not long ago, I talked about the "one thing" to look for in a partner. But there might be something important to look for before that...

How Much Does Political Affiliation Reveal about Character?

Jonathan Chait, a Democrat, says that he would not want his child marrying a Republican, because political affiliations reveal a lot about a person's character. I argue that there's much more to the matter than that...

Why Self-Control Is Only Half the Answer

In a profile in The New York Times, famed psychologist Walter Mischel talks about his legendary work on self-control and his new book "The Marshmellow Test." In it, he makes a important point that is often ignored but is crucial to many who struggle not only with self-control but also with the direction of their lives.

Could a National Happiness Policy Ever Work?

Happiness is a wonderful thing and is what most of us strive for in our personal lives. But is it the proper basis for government policy? There are many reasons to be skeptical...

A Question for Readers: What Do You Mean by "Attractive"?

I'm asking for my readers' help to find out what different people mean when they say they find someone "attractive"—how literally do you use the term?

Marvel Comics Explores Postpartum Depression in "Daredevil"

In the latest issue of Marvel Comics' "Daredevil," the hero's mother reveals to him that she suffered from postpartum depression when he was young. As my good friend Lauren Hale of #ppdchat and "My Postpartum Voice" explains, the creators behind this issue did a terrific job showing, in words and pictures, the nature of this disorder and the stigma that accompanies it.

The One Thing You Need to Look For in a Partner

Many articles offer advice on what you should look for in a partner, usually containing lists of good qualities that you can assess in a person fairly quickly. But there is only one quality you need to look for, and though it may take a little more time to see, it's well worth it.

Why You Might Not Want to Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain

Why do some people have more trouble starting back up after breaks than others?

Is Divorce a Failure?

Some studies define "stable marriages" as good and ones that end in divorce as bad. But is it really that simple? Do marriages have to last forever? Does divorce represent a failure?

The Pros and Cons of Dating Deal Breakers

Many of us have deal-breakers when dating, ranging from pet peeves to serious character flaws. Do deal-breakers protect us from the wrong people, or do they keep us from finding the right ones?

When Your Partner Doesn't Meet Your Needs, What Can You Do?

In the first part of this post, we asked whether a person has an obligation to have sex with his or her partner given that the partner cannot go outside the relationship to get sexual needs met. In this second part, we get to the question of whether dissatisfaction with sex in a relationship justifies going elsewhere to find it.

Does a Sexless Relationship Justify Infidelity?

Many articles discuss relationships that have become sexless and propose ways for partners to overcome this. But what are the ethical implications of refusing sex within a committed relationship—particularly when fidelity is expected? Is there an legitimate expectation of sex, and if it's not met, does it justify adultery?