Philosophy Essential Reads

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?

Why We Put Relationships On Hold

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on January 03, 2017 in In the Name of Love
We hate to let go of alluring romantic options, so we sometimes put people on hold, awaiting a better moment. Is this proper behavior?

The Beauty of Imperfection

By Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. on January 02, 2017 in Between Cultures
How the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi fits into our modern lives.
https://wcmu.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/file000520670812.jpg

Views of Luck Tied to Political Orientation

Have you earned the gains you obtained by lucky choices? Do the unlucky deserve our help? Your answers might predict your politics.

Do Our Feelings Tell Us What Is Right?

By Rolf Reber Ph.D. on December 23, 2016 in Critical Feeling
The moral outlook most psychologists endorse is simple – and wrong

Does Trump’s Election Disprove the Existence of God?

Trump's handy win among Christians, who value traits such as kindness, humility, and non-violence, raises interesting questions about the psychological functions of religion.

Is Mild Love the New Exciting Romance?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on December 06, 2016 in In the Name of Love
Ideal love is depicted as a very passionate experience. Yet mild love seems a better indicator of enduring love. Can we admit our mild love without insulting our partners?

Terrorism Anxiety Is Fueling Global Waves of Nationalism

By Bobby Azarian Ph.D. on December 01, 2016 in Mind In The Machine
Is anxiety over existential threat making people aggressive toward out-group members? Brexit and the presidency win of Donald Trump are part of a larger pattern that will continue.

What Is Voluntary Action?

What is will? Science is beginning to unravel this mystery.

Giving Your Heart and Selling Your Soul

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on November 15, 2016 in In the Name of Love
It seems that when love is not all you need, it is unthinkable to give your soul.

Are Your Morals Reasonable?

By Rob Henderson on November 14, 2016 in After Service
Are your morals based on reason? Research suggests they might not be.