Philosophy Essential Reads

Optimism Challenge Conclusion

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on October 23, 2017 in Boundless
Optimism enables the belief that life is worth living.

The Loneliest Neuron

By Mark D. Humphries Ph.D. on October 17, 2017 in Neural Processing
Why doesn't every neuron know about everything?

Choosing a Romantic Partner

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on October 17, 2017 in In the Name of Love
It is mistaken to hold that keeping all romantic options open cannot be bad, as you can always select the best. There is a cost to this and too much of a good thing can be harmful.
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Questing for Economic Utopia, Part 1

By Chris Kutarna Ph.D. on October 09, 2017 in Age of Discovery
Is this going to be humanity's best century—or worst? How we choose to measure progress will decide.

Alexa, Should I Ask You to Help Me Make Decisions?

We're becoming more reliant on digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri to help us make decisions. What might this be doing to us as autonomous and authentic individuals?

Establishing Love With an Imperfect Partner

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on September 26, 2017 in In the Name of Love
The prevailing ideal of a perfect love is a major obstacle for establishing enduring, profound love.

Trusting What Disabled People Say

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on September 22, 2017 in Trust
Why is it sometimes hard to accept what disabled people tell us about their lives, their values, and their experiences?

Do Romantic Relationships Imply a Loss of Self? Should They?

A recent column by David Brooks raises the false dichotomy between individuality and sociality.

The Epistemology of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

People in relationships with persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder find it problematic; but the reasons are not apparent from psychological diagnosis alone.

I Tried Direct Neurofeedback and the Results Surprised Me

By Zoltan Istvan on September 17, 2017 in The Transhumanist Philosopher
Recently, Grant Rudolph, Clinical Director at Echo Rock Neurotherapy, invited me to try his Direct Neurofeedback techniques.

A Snapshot of America in 2017

A new poll about Americans' attitudes about race suggests cause for concern and raises some tough questions.

Predicting the Unpredictable: Hurricane Irma Media Coverage

Lessons from Hurricane Irma's terribly inaccurate, and ever-changing forecast.

Trauma, Trust, and Time

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on September 03, 2017 in Trust
When trauma undermines trust, it's hard to see a brighter future.

Parenthood's End

By Jean Kazez on August 30, 2017 in The Philosophical Parent
If your kids are all grown up, can you stop thinking you should do things for them?

The Psychology of Political Violence

Political violence has its roots in anger, contempt, and disgust; three emotions familiar to all of us. Maintaining our civic values requires avoiding the impulse to dehumanize.

Human-Like Consciousness and Human-Like Intelligence

The relationship between human-like qualities and the capacity for consciousness, the H-C plane, gets more complicated with the consciousness and attention dissociation.
Elly Vintiadis

On Fighting Mental Health Stigma

By Elly Vintiadis Ph.D. on August 27, 2017 in Minding the Mind
We know stigma is bad, but why is that exactly? We need to be clear about that in order to effectively combat it.

What Causes What?

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on August 24, 2017 in Hot Thought
Deciding whether something causes a spike in disease or a pattern like global warming requires careful inferences.

Keeping Track

By Jean Kazez on August 16, 2017 in The Philosophical Parent
Is it ethical to use Find-My-iPhone to track your kids?

Why Should We Care What the Victorians Thought of Self-Harm?

Forget what you thought you knew about self-harm. History suggests our attitudes are more culturally determined than we might think.

What is the Fascination With the Upcoming Solar Eclipse?

By Lori Russell-Chapin Ph.D. on August 13, 2017 in Brain Waves
How might this solar eclipse help us in the understanding of ourselves and our shadow?

Two Mistakes About the Meaning of Life

Wrong views inhibit people from realizing meaning in their lives.

I Love Him Most of the Time

Lively’s claim that she loves Reynolds most of the time runs counter to the nature of profound love. She probably desires him sexually most of the time, but loves him all the time.

Seeing the Sky as a Copernican

We are not naturally inclined to perceive the world in conformity with even our most familiar and well-learned scientific commitments.

The Psychiatric Scapegoating of Michelle Carter

The woman convicted in the texting-suicide case is guilty of no crime.

What Is a Meaningful Life?

Many consider life not to be meaningful enough. But reasons they present for this view are often problematic.

Yearning for the Romantic Road Not Taken

In “The Road Not Taken,” Frost refers to “the road less traveled” and “the road not taken.” Are the two notions identical? How does this distinction relate to the romantic realm?

The Hubris of Neuroscience

Pop neuroscience represents a reductionistic misapplication of knowledge, ignores differences between persons, and negates explanations of human conduct in terms of free will.

Should We Have Children?

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 23, 2017 in Hide and Seek
This fundamental question raises profound ethical issues.

Mental Illness as Strategy: Game Theory and Psychiatry

Mental illness--like depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia--is a game, a strategy, invented by the player (often without acknowledgment) to achieve some end, or "payoff."