Philosophy Essential Reads

The Conspiracy Effect

Can merely being exposed to popular conspiracy theories make you less pro-social?

What Most People Get Wrong About Critical Thinking Tools

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in Ambigamy
Just because they defend their position with a weak argument, it doesn't mean their position is wrong. Weak arguments are irrelevant. Contrary to popular belief, they are not evidence that the position being supported by the argument is incorrect.

The Perilous Ethics of 'Zero Suicide'

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Ethics in Question
Sweden sets 'zero suicides' as its public health goal. Should we follow suit?

Some Philosophical Musings on Food

Over many centuries, there has never been a coherent philosophy of food and eating. Several books explore the complexities of food and the relationship of some of our greatest philosophers to their culinary choices. Have you ever thought about your own philosophy about food? There is a simple one that we might all agree upon for the 21st century.

The Meaning of Human Existence: A Review

By Gregg Henriques on August 18, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Edward Wilson's latest book is simultaneously heroic and frustrating.

Five Basic Rules for Getting Along with Anyone, Anywhere

It’s inevitable that we face tough conversations in life. How you handle those conversations can make a world of difference to your well-being and the well-being of others. These 5 basic guidelines will ensure that, no matter what, your conversations will be productive and respectful.

Three Paradoxical Ways for Coping With Romantic Abundance

Romantic love is often characterized as involving a great deal of sensitivity, excitement, and closeness. However, our cyber society often provides an overabundance of these features. Hence, a few opposite principles are proposed: (a) Indifference is the new romantic sensitivity; (b) Calmness is the new romantic excitement; and (c) Distance is the new romantic closeness.

Evolutionary Psychology 2.0

Evolutionary psychology got its start with a large focus on evolved behavioral sex differences. Since its inception, the field has broadened to the entirety of topics studied within the behavioral sciences. It may be time to start talking EP 2.0.

Does Human Nature Make Genocide Inevitable?

I just appeared in a BBC debate about whether future genocide is inevitable. I said that it wasn't, especially if we utilize knowledge about human nature. Here's why I'm so optimistic about our evolved psychology and potential for peace.

Why Nothing Is More Exciting Than a Calm Romance

Romantic love is usually associated with tempestuous excitement. Love can certainly be like this, but I believe that in our current accelerated society, calmness, rather than tempestuousness, is the new romantic excitement.

What I Learned From 2,000 Hours Of Freudian Psychoanalysis

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 06, 2015 in Ambigamy
Everything I learned from long psychoanalysis, distilled to nine bullet points. Can you learn it just by reading the list? Probably not but you may be learning it anyway.

Visual Attention and Consciousness

To understand the relationship between visual attention and consciousness, we must first examine the various forms of attention that have been identified through empirical studies in cognitive psychology.

How to Talk About Religious Beliefs Without Sounding Silly

By Guy P. Harrison on June 25, 2015 in About Thinking
We are a god-creating species. We should recognize this in our discussions and debates about religion. It is inaccurate, confusing, and dishonest to frame general belief issues in the context of one god.

What I Would Like to Like, but Don't Like

By William Irwin Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in Plato on Pop
There are lots of bands, books, shows, and movies that I unapologetically dislike. But then there are those I don’t like or dislike. I would like to like them, but I don’t. Is this category revealing of likes more honest and revealing?

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

By David Niose on June 23, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
America's social and political dysfunction is rooted in dangerous pathology: anti-intellectualism.

Earth to Humans: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Ideologies

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on June 21, 2015 in The Green Mind
What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the second post in a seven-part series.

Contact

The world can be a lonely place

After War

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on June 09, 2015 in Afterwar
The concept of "moral injuries" associated with combat experience is an affliction of growing interest to both military and healthcare communities.

Our Children's Children's Children*

On top of old worries about whether humankind will survive the next few centuries come new concerns about whether our descendants will even be human in a sense that we would recognize. The centuries ahead could be very interesting, indeed.

Democracy and the Pro-social Impulse

Governments answerable to the people can exist only due to the fact that we’re emotional, social creatures, not isolated, rational, strictly selfish individuals. A better appreciation of human nature can help us secure a democratic future.

Can God Be Its Own Cause?

Many humans find First Cause arguments for the existence of God compelling. Why? There are two collaborating reasons: Our confusion over infinity, and our lack of confusion over the strange notion of being self-caused -- a property often attributed to God. Both of these implicate our amazing and puzzling ability to conceive.

Self-Deception Has Many Faces

Procrastination is a stealth form of self-deception

No Virginia, Gay Marriage Won’t Lead to 900,000 Abortions

Gene Schaerr’s recently argued, before the Supreme Court, that gay marriage will lead to more abortions--900,000 more! But his argument wouldn't even receive a passing grade in my sophomore level logic class.

The Deepest War Wound May Be the Anguish of Moral Injury

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in Afterwar
That the military code—never abandon a buddy, bring all your troops home, don't put innocents at risk—is impossible to meet doesn't always register deep down. The result may be shame, and all too often suicidal shame.

The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky

Neuroscientists often quote Emily Dickinson's poem that begins, "The brain is wider than the sky," in support of their view that the mind is nothing but the brain. But they interpret the poem too narrowly, and miss its deeper meaning. Her poetry can teach us about the brain and mind, in ways that neuroscience can't.

The Key To Diagnosing Narcissism Diagnosers

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 10, 2015 in Ambigamy
Psychology Today's most popular articles are about how to diagnose narcissists. What drives our interest? Here are some factors to consider.

The Ghost in the Machine

By Neel Burton M.D. on April 02, 2015 in Hide and Seek
What makes you who you are?

Equality Under the Law ≠ Equality of Outcomes

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Homo Consumericus
I describe the equality bias, a form of faulty reasoning wherein equality under the law is confused with equality of outcomes. Legal equality does not translate into equal potentiality or equal life trajectories.

Sex in the Head

What is sexual desire? Is it raw, animal instinct? Or is it something more mindful?

10 Things Your Psychology Professors Want You to Know

An education in psychology is enormous - including information on such diverse topics ranging from how infants perceive shapes to how rats learn to complete mazes - and more. Way more. The list found here distills a traditional education in psychology to 10 things that psychology professors really want their students to walk away with.