Suggested readings, #74

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

Why science needs philosophy. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth. … (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

Who should compete in women’s sports? A restrictive Idaho law — temporarily blocked by a federal judge Monday night — has amplified a charged debate about who should be allowed to compete in women’s sports, as transgender athletes have become increasingly accepted on the playing field while still facing strong resistance from some competitors and lawmakers. While scientific and societal views of sex and gender identity have changed significantly in recent decades, a vexing question persists regarding athletes who transition from male to female: how to balance inclusivity, competitive fairness and safety. … (New York Times)

Jeffrey Epstein’s Harvard connections show how money can distort research. This past May, Harvard University (where I teach) issued a report on its relationship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. It was an admirably forthright mea culpa highlighting three areas of concern. The first was the contradiction of addressing sexual assault and harassment on campus while accepting money from a man who had promoted sexual abuse of minors. The second was the mockery made of academic standards when, after donating $200,000 to the psychology department, Epstein was appointed as a visiting fellow there despite a complete lack of appropriate academic qualifications. The third was his close connection to Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics (PED). … (Scientific American)

The hard problem of breakfast. How does it emerge from bacon and eggs? Over the past century, scientists have unlocked many of the most profound secrets of bacon, eggs, oatmeal, and avocado toast, advancing our understanding of the day’s most important meal and ushering in a golden age of innovation. Yet there remains one problem that has proven frustratingly resistant to our efforts at resolution: What is often referred to as The Hard Problem of Breakfast. … (Nautilus)

Manet: the difference between nude and naked. How a “Girl of our Time” made modern art possible. “I really would like you here, my dear Baudelaire; they have been raining insults on me, I’ve never been led such a dance.” Édouard Manet struggled with criticism for his entire career. The artist seemed for two decades to be a magnet for controversy. Unbeknownst to anybody at the time, Manet was controversial because he had unconsciously set off a revolution that would irrevocably transform western art. … (Medium)

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Massimo

Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at platofootnote.org and howtobeastoic.org. He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

One thought on “Suggested readings, #74”

  1. Well, I’m a bit disappointed in the hard problem piece, as a believer of panbreakfastism I must say it lacked a description of the (obviously true) idea that all foods (and non-foods) are breakfast.

    Liked by 1 person

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