Philosophy Essential Reads

Maybe It’s Harder to Kill Yourself Than You Picture

Is thinking about suicide ever therapeutic?

Breaking the S Barrier in New Hampshire

The Great Depression brought FDR and the New Deal. Now, the Great Recession seems to have allowed the word "socialism" to come in from the cold in American politics.

The Synergistic Components of Schizophrenia

Psychotic ideation is bolstered by its characteristics of visceral experience, dissociation and lack of context. Rogerian theory and therapy might be a promising intervention.

A Humbling, Helpful Adage to Live By

This blog offers a useful maxim for reflecting on one's beliefs.

My World View, In Four Paragraphs

By Susan Hooper on January 29, 2016 Detours and Tangents
A college application asked my nephew to explain how his past had shaped his world view. As I looked at his answer, I wondered how I would respond to the same question.

The “Is Psychology a Science?” Debate

In some ways psychology is a science, but in some ways it is not.

Moral Function and Moral Perfection

We have a natural morality. But it is limited. Moral perfection requires work.

Virtual Selves, Real Impostors: Do We Live in the Matrix?

Let's ask tough questions about the nature of Self, Consciousness, and Human Reality.

The Most Important Controversy in Current Psychiatry

A dimensional approach does not permit discrimination between health and illness, and there is no scientific base for its use in research.

Neuroscience's New Consciousness Theory Is Spiritual

Does it feel like anything to be a beetle? How about a plant or a computer? One theory posits that consciousness exists wherever information is being integrated—and is measurable.

Living Single...With Your Partner

Should lovers be fused to each other, or should they have personal space? Two popular relationships, living-apart-together and being single-with-someone, offer different answers.

Is Man Related to Something Infinite?

Has human consciousness evolved?

Star Wars, Christmas, and Constraints on Secular Influence

People cherish their beliefs in a destiny-controlling higher power. But does this power have to be supernatural?

Are Psychiatric Disorders Brain Diseases?

Prominent psychiatrists declare that all mental disorders are biological diseases. Is there proof? If not, can they say it anyway?

Understanding the Human Health-Illness Continuum

Responding to a question about whether obesity is a disease, this blog describes the key elements to keep in mind when considering the concepts of health and illness.

Psychiatric Vs. Neurological: Can the Brain Tell?

As discussion continues about the real or artificial boundaries between neurological and psychiatric disorders, a curious new study uses brain scans to help sort it all out.

Consciousness and Memory

The role of memory in consciousness is often taken for granted. Without the brain's various memory systems it would be unlikely that conscious experience would even occur. Consciousness not only relies on working memory to maintain perceptual and other information but also on long-term memory to enrich our present experience with information from the past.

Replication Problems in Psychology

By Jeremy D. Safran Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Straight Talk
A major research study recently found that many well known findings in psychology are difficult to replicate.This study and the media attention it has received have led to a considerable stir within the field. While some minimize the importance of these findings, they do rekindle longstanding debates about what kind of 'science' psychology is.

Why Try to Change Me Now?

It is commonly assumed that we love someone even though we know his flaws—as love is essentially not about the partner’s characteristics, but about the lover’s attitude.

Co-opting and Redefining Religious Words by the Nonreligious

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on November 10, 2015 Cui Bono
Philosophical naturalism denies the existence of supernatural entities such as angels, demons, elves, fairies, ghosts, gods, souls, and spirits, except as figments of imagination. How is it possible, then, that some naturalists describe themselves as "spiritual" and describe some aspects of nature as "sacred?"

The Paradoxes of Our Time

We live in a paradoxical age marked by enormous technological achievement and deep existential confusion.

The Age of Artificial Consciousness

With the increasing momentum in technological advances, it seems we have reached a turning point in our ability to create advanced artificial intelligence systems. Some would argue that soon we will have a form of human-like consciousness in robots. But is that really the case?

Positioning Our Knowledge in Four Quadrants

There are many competing perspectives in philosophy. Here is a map of four quadrants of knowing that can help make sense of the differing views.

To Be More Creative try Being a Little Silly

Everyone can be a little silly at times, and depending on the circumstances, you might be more creative as a result. “Clever silly” ones can bring tremendous payoff, as long as you know how to express them.

5 Reasons We Play the Blame Game

When something goes wrong in your life, is your first reaction to blame someone else? If so, you’re engaging in the very common behavior of the blame game. Unfortunately, there are no winners in this game, so knowing the 5 reasons for why you do this will benefit your relationships.

The Good Do-Gooders Do

In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar tells the stories of a handful of altruists and reflects on the lives they have chosen to live. She examines changing attitudes toward altruism; adoption and kidney donation; Alcoholics Anonymous; a leprosy colony in Indian; and a "deaf workshop" in Japan; and the subsistence World Equity Budget that seeks equity among all people.

Once More With Feeling

By Robert J King Ph.D. on September 15, 2015 Hive Mind
Crisis schmisis. This is how science works. People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Is Online Dating a Good Way to Find Profound Love?

It is commonly agreed that online dating provides people with a larger pool of romantic candidates. However, it is not certain whether online dating is a better way to find long-term profound love than conventional offline dating is. This article suggests an answer to this question.

Is Consciousness a Stream? An Update

Neuroscience and Indian Buddhist philosophy agree that perceptual consciousness seems continuous but is really discrete.

How to Pray for an Atheist

By David Niose on August 30, 2015 Our Humanity, Naturally
Nonbelievers don't want prayers, but they often get them anyway. What's the etiquette of unsolicited prayers? And is it changing as the nonreligious demographic grows?