Essential Reads

Anxiety Is a Part of Human Nature

Is there a right way to be anxious? Kierkegaard thought so.
Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Materialism's One-Two Punch

Materialism is a philosophy about what makes for a good life. Embracing it is associated with unhappiness. But abandoning it might not make you much happier - or any happier. Why?

The Self Illusion and Psychotherapy

The self is an illusion and, as I noted in a recent paper published in Australasian Psychiatry, we can tailor psychotherapy to highjack the mechanisms that create it.

Do Only Dead Fish Swim With the Stream?

Many people's long-term romantic behavior is similar to dead fish floating with the current, slowly drifting with the stream. Is such behavior damaging? Not always, it would seen.

More Posts on Philosophy

Life and Death in Every Moment

When I embrace life and death in every moment it makes life richer.

The Loneliness of the Secret Spot

By Greg Dillon M.D. on March 27, 2017 in Surf-Head
Is the guilty pleasure of your secret spot not quite cutting it? Maybe it's time to evolve...

Is a Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush?

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 24, 2017 in Hide and Seek
A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush, if you don't kill it.

Am I Normal?

Do we ask too much of our lives? The power of defining emotional wellness with wisdom.

Growing Old in Ancient Cultures

What can Ancient Egypt, India and China teach us about aging well?

A Story of Personal Loss

My response to personal loss? I always get what I need; occasionally get what I want. Can I rely on a law of attraction to return it to me or should I hope for an honest soul?

Why We Care Whether the Earth Is Flat

Much of life is Jeopardy, not Family Feud. We want to know the actual state of affairs, not what the survey says.

Small Changes Can Have Big Effects: The I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on March 18, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Have you ever promised yourself to do something only to fail miserably? Perhaps you are trying to do too much. The I-M Approach reminds us that small changes can have big effects.

The Meaning of Adam and Eve

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 18, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Was the fall from Eden a price worth paying?

This Is What Is Wrong With the Core of Psychology

The core problem with psychology is conceptual. This blog examines the problem with the term cognitive and explains how to best think about the term.

What's the Difference Between Me and You?

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 14, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What makes me me and you you?

Physician Assisted Suicide - a type of Euthanasia

Physician Assisted Suicide is but a subdivision of euthanasia, and as quality of death becomes a more relevant societal issue, legal and political pressure for it will grow.

A Really Big Question Part 2

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Ambigamy
Two friends happen to meet at a coffee shop and get talking about the meaning of life. They end up opening a giant worm can of wondering.

A Libertarian Transhumanist’s Take on the Future of Taxes

Radical technology like robots, software, and artificial intelligence may soon eliminate the need for the IRS, its 74,000+ page tax code, and collection of income taxes.

What's the Difference Between Friendship and Love?

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 12, 2017 in Hide and Seek
The line between friendship and love is difficult to draw.

What Is the Effect of Music on the Listener?

What is the difference between man-made musical sounds and the constant presence of worldly sounds that occupy consciousness almost around the clock?

Climate Change, Inequality, and the Singularity

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on March 04, 2017 in Boundless
Technology is not a magical solution to all of the world's problems: We need to develop better ethical and political theories and build them into artificial intelligence.

Social Psychology of Democracy, Wisdom

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on March 03, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
What makes for a strong democracy? The Founders (and a few others) weigh in, with some surprising insights.
fumiste studios

Thoreau: The Video Game

A video game based on "Walden" offers a virtual walk in the woods, even as it contradicts the spirit of Thoreau's book.

A Really Big Question Part I

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 27, 2017 in Ambigamy
Buddies kick the tires on a popular explanation for life: that life energy, vital force, spirit or soul enters matter and makes it come alive. They come away curious.

What the Heck Is a Claustrum?

An announcement at the BRAIN initiative meeting highlights a small brain structure with surprising integration with the rest of the mouse brain. So is it involved in consciousness?

Is There a Fascist Impulse in All of Us?

I am slowly succumbing to the disturbing conclusion there is.

Funny Philosophers

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on February 23, 2017 in Play in Mind
Can philosophers afford to be funny when asking the ultimate questions about life, the universe, and everything?

Knowing Oneself Is Easier Said Than Done

By Graham Collier on February 21, 2017 in The Consciousness Question
There is no guarantee you will ever completely know just who and why you are.

Do Cleaner Shrimp Get Jealous?

By Peter Toohey Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Annals of the Emotions
The jealous triangle is usually reckoned to be one on one, with the prize, say, a lover. But it’s not all sex, it’s not all one on one, and it’s not all humans.

Self-Deification!

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Ambigamy
Self-deification is all the rage these days! Climb on the bandwagon! There's room for you and you don't need to know anything to do it!

Panpsychism and the Vale of Arve

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Boundless
Panpsychism upends traditional assumptions in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and ethics. The human person and the human mind are communal all the way down.

Experimental Philosophy: Strengths and Limitations

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Hot Thought
Experimental philosophy is an important movement in which philosophers systematically collect data about how people think. It has 2 main strengths and 3 surmountable limitations.

Hungry? I'll Feed You! A Working Example of the I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 15, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Ever feed someone? This simple kindness can have a long-lasting effect. The four domains of the I-M Approach are explored when a little boy asks his mother for a snack.

It’s on: Science & Religion Throw Down; Part 2

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Excellent Beauty
A prominent argument that evolution cannot explain why humans are religious is examined and found wanting.