Essential Reads

The Conspiracy Effect

Why exposure to popular conspiracy theories can make you less pro-social

What Most People Get Wrong About Critical Thinking Tools

“Ha! You just made an ad hominem argument. See, that proves you're wrong."

The Perilous Ethics of 'Zero Suicide'

Public health should try to prevent suicide — but can it go too far?

Some Philosophical Musings on Food

Only a philosopher can ask, 'What is the metaphysical coefficient of lemon?'

Recent Posts on Philosophy

Psychiatry and Frankenstein

Effective psychiatric treatments may serve as unwanted reminders that the human mind is a machine that can be broken and remedied with mechanical fixes

Replicating Failures to Replicate

By Jesse Marczyk on August 28, 2015 in Pop Psych
100 attempts to replicate recent psychology findings yield about 37 successes; almost all of them are reduced in size compared to the originals. Psychology research seems to be troubling wrong. Why is that the case, and how can we fix it?

We need a folksy free will

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in One Among Many
Andrew Monroe, who is an expert on moral psychology and folk beliefs about free will responds to an earlier post on 'Free Will Depletion.'

Making Sense of Common Sense

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Consumed
How understanding the taken-for-granted can enrich behavioral science

What is a Life Well-Lived?

Once in a while, I like to take a step back from my daily concerns and ask myself what it means to live a good life. What would I be thinking about each day? What would I be saying and doing?

The Black "Whole" of Schizophrenia

This article examines the meaning of the idea that "the whole is more than the sum of its parts" in the context of psychotic delusions. Creation of a complex and/or systematized delusional system may lead one into a black hole and a gravitation toward alienation, suffering and perhaps death. The psychotic individual's receipt of self-reflection can be therapeutic.

Enhanced Interrogation: Is it Psychology’s Only Scandal?

The largest professional body of psychologists, the American Psychological Association, may be weathering this latest storm, but the exposure of its decade-long supoort of torture—despite vehement member opposition—has some psychologists calling for an examination of all the “epistemological and material” violence that psychology inflicts on masses of people.

The Conspiracy Effect

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 in 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'

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Ethics in Question
Sweden sets 'zero suicides' as its public health goal. Should we follow suit?

Lord of the Flies

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
What is the cost of humans being religious? It is much higher than we've been led to believe.

Humanness and Heroism

Who counts as a hero?

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.

Do You Want More or Less Control of Your Life?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 in How To Do Life
Some people want more control, others are exhausted by it.

Woody Allen's Existentialism 101: 'Irrational Man' Review

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on August 17, 2015 in Evil Deeds
Whether he publicly acknowledges it or not, Irrational Man, the intriguing title of Woody Allen's new film, was one of my required texts (William Barrett, 1962) back in a freshman philosophy course I took on existentialism several lifetimes ago.

Is Man a Selfish Beast?

Philosophers and psychologists have sometimes tried to attribute all human conduct to a single motive. They are mistaken.

Five Basic 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.

Creating Your Soul in Every Moment

If you think of your soul as the essence of “who” you are, then it opens the possibility that you can create this essence just as you create many other aspects of your life: what you do with your life, your values, what you consider virtues, etc. So in contemplating this notion I realized that not only do we create our lives, we also have the ability to create who we are,

Woody, Again - Irrational Man

By Joan Ullman M.A. on August 13, 2015 in Uncharted Customs
The talented Woody Allen has entertained fans with a new film each year for nearly half a century. But just when his career is at its prime, the reprisal of old, denied, and never proved molestation charges by his still bitter ex-lover Mia Farrow and company has left his personal reputation newly tarnished, and threatens to dent the box office appeal of his films.

Jung’s Scarab as a Psychotherapeutic Technique

Jung’s patient described her dream of a golden scarab as Jung tried to break through her rigid rationality. As he fervently hoped for the unexpected, he responded to a tapping sound at his window and produced the world’s best known synchronicity.

Learn More About "Nothing"

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on August 11, 2015 in Creating in Flow
If you're a fan of playful philosophical exploration, a little-known series of talks on DVD is sure to provide creative inspiration.

Longing for Mania

Why do patients with bipolar depression so often go off their meds?

Countering Sad Politically Incorrect Syndrome

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in How To Do Life
Being out of step with the times can be dispiriting and tough to cure.

Unstructured Play and Children's Development

What does less-structured time in children's daily lives predict?

What’s Subversive About Today's Humanism?

Humanism—the not so radical idea that you can be good without a god—doesn’t particularly sound like the next big subversive development in politics today. But with their numbers rapidly growing, humanists are beginning to realize that they can play a major role in influencing governmental policy.

Ontological Questions

By Mario D Garrett PhD on August 05, 2015 in iAge
Why is Dasein--being in the present-- so important for Heidegger? Being a contrary, why not live in "they-selves" if the "our-selves" is so painful? If I was designing a new way of existing, would I elect to be aware of "being" and why?

Wild and Structured Consciousness

Understanding how attention is related to consciousness requires some knowledge about the philosophical debates on the nature of consciousness, which essentially can be described as being both wild and structured.

Home Is Where the Heart Is, but Where Is "Home"?

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
“Home” is the place where you feel in control and properly oriented in space and time; it is a predictable and secure place. In the words of poet Robert Frost, "Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." In short, home is the primary connection between you and the rest of the world.

Poor Social Judgment and Schizophrenia

This article examines the qualities of alienation, introversion and divergent thinking that may typify the individual with schizophrenia. These characteristics can synergistically contribute to poor social judgment as seen in the behavior and choices of that individual. In fact, they may form a triad and a pattern as seen persons with schizophrenia generally.