Essential Reads

What I Would Like to Like, but Don't Like

Honest preferences and authentic choices

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason

Earth to Humans: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Ideologies

Climate change will keep advancing unless we slay the dragons of inaction.


What We Can Learn From Carl Sagan About Existence

Recent Posts on Philosophy

Fighting Back Against Anti-intellectualism

By David Niose on June 28, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Anti-intellectualism is rampant in America, but we shouldn't rely on intellectuals to eradicate it.

How Do You Feel About Giving Human Rights to Corporations?

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on June 26, 2015 in So Sue Me
People do not realize this, but the United States Supreme Court has been treating corporations increasingly like human beings — by giving them fundamental rights. Is this crazy? Is this dangerous?

How to Talk About Religious Beliefs Without Sounding Silly

By Guy P. Harrison on June 25, 2015 in 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.

A Treatment for Despair and Loss of Meaning

A famous Talmudic question asks: “What is truer than the truth?” The answer: “The story.” This is the story of my personal journey in search of meaning and the development of an approach to care for patients with advanced cancer, which I came to call “Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy.”

Will Kennedy LeRoy’s Suicide Have Been in Vain?

By Izzy Kalman on June 25, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
I recently suggested that our anti-bullying efforts are failing LGBTQ kids. The truth is that they are failing all bullied kids. Sixteen-year-old Kennedy LeRoy committed suicide in the hope of preventing other bullied kids from doing the same. But the suicides won't cease until we stop trying to protect kids from bullying and start teaching them to handle it on their own.

Thoughts Wandering in an Estonian Cemetery

Do Estonians, because of their surnames, feel more closely connected to nature? And what would happen if the dead wrote their own inscriptions on gravestones?

Conceptual Chicks & Experiential Eggs: Teaching Philosophies

Last spring I helped design a training program for aspiring college teachers. I had great fun being on the small planning committee; our disagreements were especially enlightening. My favorite disagreement was about whether we should have our students develop and write their teaching philosophy.

Sometimes It’s All in the Perspective

By Thelma Duffey Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in Works in Progress
When Plan A does not work out, we often feel that our back up plans are just a consolation prize. With the right perspective, sometimes Plan B has even greater benefits than one can imagine.

What I Would Like to Like, but Don't Like

By William Irwin Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in 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?

When the Student Is Ready the Teacher Will Appear

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in Black Belt Brain
With some work and awareness, we can be ready to appreciate and learn many things we might otherwise overlook.

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

By David Niose on June 23, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
America's social and political dysfunction is rooted in dangerous pathology: anti-intellectualism.

Beyond Atheism

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
Atheism, then, doesn’t really get at the heart of the matter. It is not that there are no gods or goddesses, but rather that there are no religions.

A Liberal Believer

The difference between the words ‘religion’ and ‘spiritual’

Earth to Humans: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Ideologies

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on June 21, 2015 in The Green Mind
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.

Anti-Intellectualism and Contemporary America

By Michael W Austin on June 21, 2015 in Ethics for Everyone
If we want an educated citizenry, we must educate them.

Is it Both-AND, or Either-OR: How Does Your Tarp Hang?

By Matthew Shanahan M.Sc. on June 19, 2015 in Living It
Thinking about how to think, Father's Day, and many great camping memories, I compare two fundamental logical operations by a contrast of plausible surfaces.

AI vs AI with Humanity on the Sidelines

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on June 18, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Predictions of the future destructive malevolence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs have really heated up in this second half of 2015. But as daunting a prediction as that may be, in his new book Christoph Türcke argues that even more concerning is the severe damage that seemingly intelligent machines have already done.

Which Buddhist Teachings Might Be Most Helpful?

Examine the teachings in light of your understanding of what is harmful and leads to suffering, and what is beneficial and leads to peace and well-being. I think of myself as an eclectic Buddhist, meaning that I study, practice, and write about whatever I think is beneficial and alleviates suffering, regardless of which tradition it comes from.

Fooling Your Ego

A growing body of research that shows that viewing your life from a psychologically distant vantage point can help you see yourself through kinder, more compassionate eyes.

Reflections on Therapeutic Mastery, Part 2

Excerpts from a personal interview, continued


The world can be a lonely place

Consciousness, Attention, and Conscious Attention

Can conscious awareness be reduced to the contents of visual attention? Although consciousness and attention overlap in some ways, we argue that they are mostly two distinct types of mental states. Here we introduce this topic, which will be elaborated over several posts.

After War

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on June 09, 2015 in Afterwar
The concept of "moral injuries" associated with combat experience is an affliction of growing interest to both military and healthcare communities.

Hugging the Horse's Head

By John Sean Doyle on June 09, 2015 in Luminous Things
In an open air market in Turin, Nietzsche witnessed a merchant flogging a horse. He ran to the animal and yelled for the beating to stop. He threw himself between beast and whip, and hugged the equine’s thick neck. This frail and sickly philosopher who gave us the Übermensch and slave morality, then collapsed, weeping. I understand why Nietzsche hugged the horse's head.

Nothing as It Seems but That Which Lies Beneath

And then we came to discover we are not the masters of our own houses

The Invention of Bedside Manner

By Hugh Aldersey-Williams on June 08, 2015 in A Curious Mind
Medical students were not given much exposure to actual patients until William Osler introduced the idea of the teaching hospital at Johns Hopkins in the 1890s. Osler was inspired in his humanistic approach to medical care by the 17th century English writer and physician Sir Thomas Browne. Browne debunked the foolish beliefs of his day and coined many words we still use.

Living a Mystery at Two Levels

‘What would the question be if we knew all the answers?’

What's Wrong With Utilitarianism?

By Michael W Austin on June 08, 2015 in Ethics for Everyone
The consequences of our actions are not all that matter, morally speaking.

The 7 Killers of Hope

Hail yee of little faith, belief, nada, nada, nada...

What's In a Diagnosis?

Strange conduct is taken in itself as evidence of pathology, and those who exhibit it as ill. Thus the world becomes a great hospital - or asylum.