Philosophy Essential Reads

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?

The Surprising Power of Conspiracy Theories

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 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'

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

Edward Wilson's latest book is simultaneously heroic and frustrating.

5 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 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 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 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

America's social and political dysfunction is rooted in dangerous pathology: anti-intellectualism.

Earth to Humans: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Ideologies

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.


The world can be a lonely place

After War

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on June 09, 2015 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.