Philosophy Essential Reads

Is Consciousness a Ghost in the Machine?

How does consciousness arise from physical matter?

Consciousness and Empathy

While much of human intelligence does not require one to be consciously aware of it, empathy may be something that necessitates phenomenal consciousness.

What If We Have It Wrong About Boredom?

What if we've got it wrong about boredom? Despite its negative connotations, boredom may actually be valuable.

Watching Myself Die

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on September 09, 2016 in Naked Truth
My mother, Dr. Karen J. Warren, was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. This blog explores why legal end-of-life options are essential to dying with autonomy and dignity.

Practical Ethics

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 08, 2016 in How To Do Life
Philosopher Peter Singer takes questions about how best to spend money for positive change and thorny subjects like human enhancement.

Your Legacy

Legacy isn't only how others remember you. It's how you witness the significance of your own life

Alison Gopnik’s Advice to Parents: Stop Parenting!

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in Freedom to Learn
Everything Professor Gopnik says in The Gardener and the Carpenter indicates that our schooling system is very very wrong. So why does she point her finger at parents, not schools?

Does Loving Longer Mean Loving More?

Loving longer is associated with lower romantic intensity, but it is also related to profound love. Does loving longer increase or decrease love? It all depends on what love is.

Autism, Socrates and Our Inner Self

What is autism? What does Socrates say about it?

Our Anger Crisis: The Pleasure and Pain of Anger

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on August 09, 2016 in Ethics in Question
Anger is a strange emotional brew: painful, but tinged with pleasurable anticipation at seeing wrongdoers suffer. Should we cultivate anger, or shun it, as Martha Nussbaum argues?

Consciousness and Language

The relation between consciousness and language is not always clear, but a better understanding of how cognitive abilities evolved helps clarify this relationship.

Should You Be More Grateful or Less?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 02, 2016 in How To Do Life
An internal debate on the meaning of life.

Forecasting November

Does new research into how we think of others suggest a Trump bump or Clinton defeat?

Plato on Democracy, Tyranny, and the Ideal State

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 26, 2016 in Hide and Seek
What would Plato have to say about today’s democracies?

Teaching AI to Think Like Us

Does AI threaten human existence? Perhaps not, but it's complicated.
Harold Lloyd and Wesley Stout, An American Comedy / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The Perils of Pursuing Pleasure

Is your philosophy of happiness making you unhappy? See why it's important to put pleasure in its place.

The Political Gender Gap: Do Women Care More About Fairness?

One reason women tend to prefer candidates who seem more committed to economic equality and a strong social safety net may be that women are less overconfident about the future.

Work-Life Balance: Luxury or Ethical Necessity?

Are long hours and difficulties unplugging making you a worse person?

The Lure of Beauty

By Rolf Reber Ph.D. on June 12, 2016 in Critical Feeling
That beauty attracts is well known – from people to mathematical proofs. Do we always have to circumvent the lure of beauty?

In Defense of Authenticity and Being Yourself

In the New York Times, Adam Grant argues against authenticity and being yourself. In this post, I stand up in their defense.
K. Ramsland

To Be or Not To Be: Philosophical Serial Killers

Some serial killers find justification and solace in heady philosophical notions.

Is a Philosophy Degree Useful?

If your son or daughter comes home and informs you that they want to major in philosophy, don't panic! They'll be able to do much more than ask about french fries.

Political Correctness is All about Slave Morality

It is useful to look at political correctness as an example of a system that emphasizes slave morality.

Do Scientific Fields Differ in Their Influence?

Whether we like it or not, there is definitely a hierarchy of influence among the social sciences.

Men's Lives: The Confluence, Fly-Fishing, Tall Tales and Art

The Confluence, a new book about men's lives, reminds us that life's most rewarding journeys don't have to involve danger or loss.

Designing Robots That Avoid The Uncanny Valley

Although we generally prefer robots that have humanlike features, new research suggests that machines that look too much like people are perceived as less inviting and trustworthy.

Tough Love

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on April 11, 2016 in Trust
Think of the people you trust. Think of the people you count as true friends. Are these the same people? Can there be friendship without trust?

How Using Your GPS Too Much Could Kill You

Relying exclusively on our smartphone's GPS function not only erodes our personal spatial skills, but could adversely affect our brain. Also, it cuts us off from the real world

Why Psychiatry Should Discard The Idea of Free Will

If psychiatry is a medicine of the mind, but our common ideas of the mind are wrong, where does that leave the medicine?

Donald Trump Is a Black Swan

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on March 25, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
Human psychology and the unpredictable -- a dangerous mix, forcing us to explain the unexplainable. Trump's ascendency was a complete surprise, in spite of whatever you think.