Essential Reads

Sex in the Head

What may look like pure physical arousal is usually much more complicated.

10 Things Your Psychology Professors Want You to Know

The Products of a Psychology Education

Are Muslim Arabs Especially Fatalistic?

Moroccan students offer insights into fatalistic thinking in the Islamic world.

A Landmark Case for the Legal Rights of Dogs?

The legal rights of dogs may have been changed by a trial for cat-slaughter.

Recent Posts on Philosophy

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?

The Cost of Justice: The Psychology of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Part 1

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D. on November 26, 2011 in Between the Lines
Lisbeth Salander's anger is righteous. Her violence apparently justified. After all, we neither mourn for the monsters that heroes kill, nor question their choice to kill them. But is there anything she might have done that might have served both her and society better?

Why Do You Exist?

By Robert Lanza M.D. on November 26, 2011 in Biocentrism
Don’t look to the sky and gods for answers. It lies deeper.

Psychology's Escalating Civil War: How Do We Understand, Diagnose and Treat Mental Disorders?

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on November 25, 2011 in Evil Deeds
Psychotherapy is under siege. There is an increasingly hostile war being waged within the mental health field. A heated battle for the hearts and minds of the profession and public. One which will determine whether we progressively advance as a society in our psychological understanding and treatment of mental disorders or dangerously regress. Ready for a revolution?

Zombie Ethics

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on November 25, 2011 in Hot Thought
Zombie ethics can contribute to assessment of people's obligations concerning the environment.

5 Questions For Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman About "The Creativity Post"

Where can you get quality content on creativity, innovation, and imagination?

The Teleologist's Dilemma: Life Has No Purpose

To answer the question, "does life have a purpose?" we need to consider the conditions under which anything has a purpose at all.

This Thanksgiving, Gobble Up the Goodness Without the Guilt

By David Rock on November 23, 2011 in Your Brain at Work
Financial turkeys getting you down? Here's a recipe for how to get the most out of thanksgiving, based on what your brain loves to gobble up the most. With no post-gluttony guilt required.

Inception and Philosophy: Life Is But a Dream

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on November 23, 2011 in Plato on Pop
If we can’t tell whether Cobb is dreaming, can we tell whether we are dreaming? How can one deal with the angst raised by the skeptical problem?

Remember the Dog That Doesn't Bark

By Gretchen Rubin on November 23, 2011 in The Happiness Project
This week’s resolution is to Remember the dog that doesn't bark. (Spoiler alert: I talk about how Sherlock Holmes solves the crime described in "Silver Blaze".)

The Penn State Scandal Continues, but Will the Punishment Fit the Crime?

By Stuart Fischoff Ph.D. on November 22, 2011 in The Media Zone
Penn State did not rape the children. One man did! Penn State did not enact the cover-up. Some men did! It won't matter. There will be blood extracted in State College, PA.

Why "Twilight" Inspired Me to Do Better with My Resolutions

By Gretchen Rubin on November 22, 2011 in The Happiness Project
I'm a huge fan of Twilight (books and movies)—a fact about myself that continues to fascinate and puzzle me. Last night, I went to see the fourth movie in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, which inspired me to look back at a post I wrote two years ago. I really love that post, so here it is again.

Your Pre-Thanksgiving Vaccine against Viral Glasses Half-Empty or Half-Full of Malarkey

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 21, 2011 in Ambigamy
This Thanksgiving, as glass-is-half-full optimism spreads virally, we need to vaccinate against the toxic nonsense that gets spread in its name. Contrary to popular belief, there's no such thing as an optimistic or pessimistic person or belief, every glass half-full is accompanied by a glass half-empty and a glass half-full is a sign of pessimism too.

Animals in Art: Nonhumans Benefit from Responsible Representation

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 21, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Many artists are focusing their attention on other animals and we must be sure they are represented in responsible ways and also pay attention to the ethical questions that are raised. Animal art truly sparks wide-ranging discussions that center on human psychology and our complex and challenging relationships with non-humans in a human-dominated world.

Replace a Light Bulb

By Gretchen Rubin on November 21, 2011 in The Happiness Project
In crime-fighting, the "broken windows theory" holds that signs of vandalism and petty crime foster more crime and anti-social behavior; fix problems like broken windows, graffiti, or trash when they're small, and people will behave better and remain in their neighborhoods.

The Religious Right's Disingenuous Interest in History

By David Niose on November 21, 2011 in Our Humanity, Naturally
If the law doesn't allow religiously motivated symbols, just say they are motivated by something else.

The Look of Love

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on November 20, 2011 in In the Name of Love
What is the look of love? How can simple facial expressions express one of the most complex human emotions? People are often not even sure about the presence of emotion when they are asked about it. What is the secret of this meaningful look?

Realities of Studying Philosophy at a Non-elite School

By Michael Bruce on November 20, 2011 in Angst!
Outside of trying to get into the "best" or highest ranked school you can get into (or can afford), many philosophy undergraduates find themselves thrown into a philosophy department, agnostic to its reputation. It is this reputation that will be a resource or liability for future schooling.

Does Self-Loathing Get Better or Worse in Certain Situations?

In my last post, I explored whether self-loathing people can nonetheless feel good about certain aspects of themselves. In this follow-up post, I discuss whether general feelings of inadequacy can vary depending on particular aspects of a situation—just as some philosophers argue happens with respect to virtue and behavior.

The Turning Point: The Moral Example of UC Davis Students

By Michael Chorost Ph.D. on November 20, 2011 in World Wide Mind
If America needs a moral turning point, this is it.

Quiet Guide to Small Biz Success

Is it time for you to run your own business? If you're an introvert, you may be depleted from the open office environment that has long been in vogue. Why not create your own enterprise, complete with your own workspace, hours, and a mission that so excites you that you can't wait to get to work each day?

Is Death an Illusion? Evidence Suggests Death Isn’t the End

By Robert Lanza M.D. on November 19, 2011 in Biocentrism
Life is an adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking.

It's Good, It's Bad, It's Everywhere

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on November 19, 2011 in Am I Right?
No one way to ethics answers all the problems raised by social living

Forget a Name? 6 Tips for Faking It

By Gretchen Rubin on November 17, 2011 in The Happiness Project
I have a lot of trouble remembering people's names. (My husband, on other hand, is freakily good at remembering names and faces—a very handy virtue in a spouse.)

Philosopher Peter Singer, Ethical Theory, and Down Syndrome

By Jennifer Baker Ph.D. on November 16, 2011 in For the Love of Wisdom
Peter Singer, our best known ethicist, has outraged disability rights activists with his description of people with Down syndrome. Is Singer's approach at fault? Or did Singer fail to use the ethical theory he espouses?

The Jew, The Jewstone, and the Continual Orgasm

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on November 16, 2011 in Creating in Flow
Stephen Jay Gould's delightful essays remind us that science and the scientific method can be absorbing, arousing, and very human, even when we're reading about fossils or anti-semitism.

The Profit in Sex Addiction

By David J Ley Ph.D. on November 16, 2011 in Women Who Stray
One of my favorite sayings has always been, "When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." A similar philosophy applies to the treatment of sexual problems. The label of "sex addiction" is a big, lucrative hammer, and every sexual problem is just asking to be "nailed."