Essential Reads

Getting Existential with Josh Rouse

Musician Uses Mindfulness to Manage Anxiety

The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky

What Emily Dickinson Can Teach Neuroscience

The Key To Diagnosing Narcissism Diagnosers

Just what's behind our obsession with how to diagnose narcissists?

The Ghost in the Machine

What makes you who you are?

Recent Posts on Philosophy

The Key to Happiness: Strong Relationships

By Gretchen Rubin on December 08, 2011 in The Happiness Project
For the last month of this year, instead of tackling a theme, I'm going to discuss a question: What is the key to happiness? That's a question that can be answered in different ways, depending on what framework you use to address the issue of happiness. The resolution for each week will reflect that week's answer.

7 Happiness Theories I Reject

By Gretchen Rubin on December 07, 2011 in The Happiness Project
As audacious as it may seem to contradict venerable figures such as John Stuart Mill, Flaubert, or Sartre, I disagree with some of their views about the nature of happiness.

Sunny, Anal, and Balanced: Puzzling Over Personalities

By Anthony Synnott Ph.D. on December 06, 2011 in Rethinking Men
How do we know how to know ourselves? From our parents and friends? But they are biased. So are our enemies, though they may be less tactful and more truthful. From our therapists? By introspection? Perhaps from personality tests?

Sex Addiction: The Null Hypothesis

By David J Ley Ph.D. on December 06, 2011 in Women Who Stray
Science is a human enterprise, like any other. Good science thus works in ways that try to minimize the effects of politics and human convictions. If sex addiction cannot be proven to exist, then scientists must accept the null hypothesis, that it most likely does not.

Don't Fall Into "Decision Quicksand"

By Gretchen Rubin on December 06, 2011 in The Happiness Project
I'm always gratified when I learn that one of my Secrets of Adulthood reflects not merely my idiosyncratic experience, but also has some science behind it.

Think of Yourself in the Third Person

By Gretchen Rubin on December 06, 2011 in The Happiness Project
I remember reading somewhere that writer Anne Lamott thinks about herself in the third person, to take better care of herself: “I’m sorry, Anne Lamott can’t accept that invitation to speak; she’s finishing a book so needs to keep her schedule clear.”

Good Tidings: Violence at an All-Time Low

By Karen Franklin Ph.D. on December 06, 2011 in Witness
Your date asks you out to the theater to watch a live cat slowly lowered into a fire and burned to death, howling with pain as it is singed, roasted, and finally carbonized. Sound like fun?

If You Love Me, You'll Divorce Me

By David Niose on December 04, 2011 in Our Humanity, Naturally
There's lots of talk nowadays about the sanctity of marriage. But to some, the underlying strength of a relationship far overshadows the man-made institution of marriage. What about the sanctity of love?

Lessons My Daughter Taught Me

By Ruth C. White Ph.D. on December 03, 2011 in Culture in Mind
Having children is a big experiment. A bigger experiment than anything science can conjure. The experiment is not just about how the child will turn out but also what kind of lessons we will learn about ourselves and about life in the process.

Contradictions and Differences

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on December 03, 2011 in Am I Right?
Let in that which complements your deficiencies and reject that which cancels your uniqueness.

Dystopian "In Time" and Inequalities in Our Time

By Emily Smith Beitiks on December 02, 2011 in Genetic Crossroads
The dystopian future of Andrew Niccol's new film, In Time, resonates with current inequalities.

Dehumanization, Genocide, and the Psychology of Indifference

What is it about the human mind that makes it possible for us to think of other people as subhuman creatures? David Livingstone Smith explains.

The Eight Splendid Truths of Happiness

By Gretchen Rubin on December 01, 2011 in The Happiness Project
In my study of happiness, I've labored to identify its fundamental principles.

What's Your "Pigeon of Discontent"?

By Gretchen Rubin on November 30, 2011 in The Happiness Project
For the past few years, for the weekly video as part of the Happiness Challenge, I've proposed a resolution for your consideration...

Who Was the Buddha?

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on November 30, 2011 in Turning Straw Into Gold
This is the story of how a young man came to be known as The Buddha ("Buddha" means "awakened one"). He was not a god. He was a human being like you and me. As with all ancient tales, we can't know what is to be taken literally and what is to be taken metaphorically. It doesn't matter to me. I'm inspired by his story either way.

Motherhood versus Career: The Epic Battle that Need Not Be

Motherhood versus career. It's the quintessential double bind that sets the stage for the epic battle so many women in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have waged, mostly against themselves.

Giving Thanks

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on November 29, 2011 in Grand Rounds
A chance encounter with a desperate ghost at five o'clock in the morning...

Why Did Descartes Love Cross-Eyed Women? The Lure of Imperfection

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on November 29, 2011 in In the Name of Love
Why did the French philosopher Descartes love a girl whose pupils migrated toward her nose? Various reasons are proposed and the most powerful one may be the attraction of imperfection—given that a certain degree of (almost) perfection is present as well.

To Dance Is a Radical Act

By Kimerer LaMothe Ph.D. on November 29, 2011 in What a Body Knows
To dance is a radical act. To think about dance, to study dance, or to practice dance in this 21st century is a radical act. Why? Because if dancing matters—if dancing makes a difference to how we humans think and feel and act—then dancing challenges the values that fund modern western cultures. How so?

The Cost of Vengeance: The Psychology of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Part 2

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D. on November 28, 2011 in Between the Lines
Nietzsche observed (about those who fight monsters), "If you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." Is Lisbeth Salander really safer as a result of taking vengeance? Are the rest of us?

Self-Knowledge: Identify Your Patron Saints

By Gretchen Rubin on November 28, 2011 in The Happiness Project
Self-knowledge is crucial to happiness, but it's challenging to know yourself. Sometimes, I find, I can gain insight by asking myself questions that make me take stock of my interests and values.

A Turkey, a Tablet of Prozac, and Thou: Thanksgiving in Troubled Times

By Mark Matousek on November 28, 2011 in Ethical Wisdom
Sometimes being alive is enough for thanks giving.

Attachment Is the Source of All Suffering

By Gordon S Livingston M.D. on November 27, 2011 in Lifelines
How each of us confronts loss, in ourselves and in those we would help, defines us as few other attributes can. What we reveal in our attitudes toward grief and mourning determines whether we have anything to teach others.

Self-Loathing and Responsibility: Your Partner Makes Mistakes Too

The self-loathing are often all too willing to take blame for others' mistakes, especially in their romantic relationships. Why do they this, or what does it deny to their partners?