Philosophy Essential Reads

If People Only Knew

So many of us fear what we - and others - will find at our core. Why is there such an epidemic of shame in our culture?

Struggling With Temptation?

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on April 25, 2017 in Trust
Is it better to battle temptation, or to never be tempted at all?

Is Alex Jones a Conspiracy Theorist or a Performance Artist?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on April 23, 2017 in Psych Unseen
If Jones isn't delusional, what about his followers?

The Science of Religion for Everyone

Why insist that religion is immune from scientific study when cognitive and evolutionary theories have already made great strides in explaining a wide array of religious phenomena?

Of March and Myth: The Politicizing of Science

What differentiates science from other disciplines is a focus on testing of hypotheses. Is science now struggling with a 'crisis of confidence'? Is a March for Science the answer?

How to Choose a Long-Term Romantic Partner

There are probably “50 ways to leave your lover,” but far fewer ways to choose the one who will stay with you for the long term.
Jenny Kaczorowski (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I Did the Best Thing I Could. So Why Do I Feel Bad?

By Lisa Tessman Ph.D. on April 12, 2017 in I'm Only Human
Moral values come in many different kinds, and they can come into conflict with each other, sometimes creating situations in which anything we do will involve violating some value.
Hana Chramostova / Public Domain Pictures / CC0 Public Domain

Can You Be Happy in The Matrix?

Two people have exactly the same experiences. One's trapped in the Matrix. The other's in the real world. Who's happier? And what evidence is supposed to decide this issue?

How Paradoxes Populate Our Lives

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on March 31, 2017 in Excellent Beauty
Have you ever experienced something that was too sad for words? Then you have also experienced a paradox. And paradoxes make our lives beautiful.

Addiction and Self-Deception

Why do addicts hold on to false beliefs about their use?

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.

Moral Incentives for Dummies

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 14, 2017 in Ambigamy
What is basic morality and what incentive system does best to promote it?

Can I Trust Him? The Psychology and Philosophy of Trust

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 07, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What is trust, when does it pertain, and can it ever be absolute?

Oblivion Isn't Really So Bad

By David Niose on March 06, 2017 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Atheists are sometimes warned that their beliefs offer nothing but oblivion after death — but is that really anything to fear?

Brain Dynamic Patterns and the Mind

The mystery of consciousness is approached from several materialistic or dualistic perspectives. Brain activity patterns play a critical role; could the patterns be fractals?

To Understand Everything, Understand Evolution

To understand psychology, culture, and maybe even the universe, we need to understand evolution.

For Those Who Want to Ring in the Fourth Millennium

How much would your personality change if you lived for a thousand years? And how much would it matter?

Tired of Putting Things Off, and of Being Seen as a Bore?

By Peter Toohey Ph.D. on February 26, 2017 in Annals of the Emotions
“Another day gone. What are you going to do about it?” Is this what you want to know from your latest watch?

Martyrdom: Worst Idea Ever

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on February 26, 2017 in Boundless
Martyrdom as an idea causes massive problems, on both the interpersonal and geopolitical levels.

Why Progressive Humanist Values Will Ultimately Prevail

Increasing geopolitical instability may threaten progressive, Humanist values in the short-term. But here's why I'm optimistic that these values will ultimately prevail.

Flat Earthers: Belief, Skepticism, and Denialism

By Joe Pierre M.D. on February 19, 2017 in Psych Unseen
Kyrie Irving thinks the world is flat. Or does he?

Declinism: Why You Think America is in Crisis

Is America really on the brink of disaster? Studies show most people feel things are bad and getting worse. Declinism, based on cognitive bias, explains why.
Paul Nunez

Are Some Scientists Serious About Denying Free Will?

A brief look at the issues of consciousness and free will.

Is Hope Good or Bad?

By Neel Burton M.D. on February 04, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Hope, said Aristotle, is the dream of a waking man.

Trump Inauguration: (Crowd) Size Matters, So Who's Lying?

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on January 23, 2017 in A Logical Take
If the Media's lying about Trump having the biggest inauguration crowd in history, that's troubling. If Trump is scolding the press for not corroborating his lies, that's chilling.

The Animal-Human Dividing Line

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on January 07, 2017 in Theory of Knowledge
As I read through Michael Gazzaniga’s Human over the break, I was transported back to 1996 when I discovered what exactly the dividing line is between humans and other animals.

The Concept of Concept Creep

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on January 04, 2017 in Theory of Knowledge
The concepts of mental disorders, bullying, prejudice, and similar phenomena have greatly expanded. What is causing this "concept creep" and what are the implications?