Suggested readings, #52

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

Is ‘race’ modern? To counter racism, scholars must trace the idea of ‘race’ to its origins, but asking the right questions is half the battle. (Aeon)

Odysseus and You. How you can use the hero’s journey to help you in everyday life. (Medium)

Plagues follow bad leadership in ancient Greek tales. (The Conversation)

Nature is Not Mathematical. [No shit, pace Max Tegmark.] (Medium)

Philosopher in Italian coronavirus lockdown on how to think positively about isolation. (The Conversation)

Ethicists agree on who gets treated first when hospitals are overwhelmed by coronavirus. (Quartz)

At the Margins. [Though the author apparently is unaware that one can annotate e-books as well as physical ones.] (National Review)

Suggested readings, #51

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

Always narrating: the making and unmaking of Umberto Eco. (LA Review of Books)

How Stoicism can help at a time of crisis: Epictetus’s epiphany. (Medium)

The Decameron – the 14th-century Italian book that shows us how to survive coronavirus. Giovanni Boccaccio’s work taught citizens how to maintain mental wellbeing in times of epidemics and isolation. (New Statesman)

Choose your own birth. Every human is both an animal with a deep evolutionary history and an individual who must bring their existence into being. (Aeon)

Spinoza and ‘no platforming’: the Enlightenment thinker would have seen it as motivated by ambition rather than fear. (The Conversation)

Suggested readings, #50

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

The philosophy behind Ad Astra’s voyage into the unknown. Exploring the subtle ways the film’s ending works its magic. [Good article about, in my opinion, an under appreciated scifi film.] (Polygon)

Stoicism and Islam. Al-Kindi’s Device for dispelling sorrows. (Medium)

I love the world but I cannot stay. I’m going to die, but I might as well be cheerful about it. (New York Times)

Cabin fever: the philosophy of isolation. How the COVID-19 pandemic may provide us with something more than just fear and loneliness. (Medium)

Our ‘pursuit of Happiness’ is killing the planet. We need to strike a new balance between our private pleasures and our collective survival. (New York Times)

The Stoic Emergency Kit

I have just published a new e-booklet that collects nine essays I wrote, covering basic aspects of theoretical and practical Stoicism. As the subtitle puts it, this guide is “for those who need a refresher and those who are just starting out.” You can download a free PDF or ePub version (several other free booklets on Stoicism, philosophy of science and general philosophy can be found here). The Stoic Emergency Kit contains the following:

History
A very brief history of Stoicism
Meet the Stoics

Stoic theory
Arête: on the nature of human excellence
Prosochē or not prosochē? On Stoic mindfulness
Stoic psychology 101: impressions, assent, and impulses
Stoic epistemology 101: Zeno and the metaphor of the hand movement
Oikeiôsis: how to feel at home in the world

Stoic practice
Stoicism in three simple steps
How I practice Stoicism: 9 easy exercises
How to deal with insults, the Stoic way
Let’s talk about the premeditation of adversity

Suggested readings, #49

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

Marcus Aurelius helped me survive grief and rebuild my life. [By my friend Jamie Lombardi.] (Aeon)

How Stoicism can help at a time of crisis — part 1, the Stoic Worry Tree. [By my friend Tim LeBon.] (Medium)

Why philosophy is an ideal travel companion for adventurous minds. (The Conversation)

The ethics of speech acts. It’s one thing to say something. It’s quite another for a person to do (or not do) something because of what you’ve said. [Convoluted, difficult reading, but worthy, in the end.] (Aeon)

The pleasure principle. Peter Adamson in defense of the Cyrenaics, the original hedonists. (Philosophy Now)

A Minute Therapist Guide to managing anger. “When anger rises, think of the consequences.” –Confucius. (Psychology Today)

Supermensch. Superman et al were invented amid feverish eugenic speculation: what does the superhero craze say about our own times? (Aeon)

Suggested readings, #48

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

The Ancients’ tech anxiety. On the shallowness of reading mythology as sci-fi. (New Atlantis)

Emotional Intelligence and Stoicism. Taking control of your emotions in a relationship. (Medium)

The paradox of an atheist soul. Why the idea of a single self only makes sense in a theistic world. [It doesn’t, but good example of nice writing and logically flawed argumentation.] (New Statesman)

What is the Point of Studying Ancient Philosophy? (Medium)

Public philosophy and philosophical progress. [I don’t agree with the author’s narrow view of philosophical progress, here is mine. Still, a lot of food for thought.] (APA Blog)

A universal truth: desire in Buddhism, Taoism and Stoicism. (Medium)

What’s so funny about philosophers? Unthinkable: the original ‘sage-wannabes’ of Athens were considered slightly weird, a new book reveals. (Irish Times)

Suggested readings, #47

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

A war diary soars over Rome. The story of Emperor Trajan’s victory over a mighty barbarian empire isn’t just one for the books. It’s also told in 155 scenes carved in a spiral frieze on a monumental column. (National Geographic)

A detailed introduction to the philosophy of science. It’s time to take your understanding of science to the next level. [Though this particular introduction is a bit biased against positivist-like views.] (Medium)

Fed up with Facebook? Here are 6 alternatives. (MakeTechEasier)

The Ancient Roman secret to living life to the fullest. (Medium)

Studying philosophy in Athens: the case of Zeno. (Modern Stoicism)

How to make the study of consciousness scientifically tractable. We need to reexamine the idea of “objectivity” in research. (Scientific American)

Ancient animistic beliefs live on in our intimacy with tech. [As usual, Stephen Asma has good ideas, and then veers toward woo.] (Aeon)

Suggested readings, #46

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

The biology of love. Humans teeter on a knife’s edge. The same deep chemistry that fosters bonding can, in a heartbeat, pivot to fear and hate. [A bit too much evolutionary speculation, but interesting nonetheless.] (Aeon)

The Ancient World’s best kept secret. Recent scholarship exposes a [literally] whitewashed Roman history. (Medium)

Why is the human brain so efficient? How massive parallelism lifts the brain’s performance above that of AI. [And why brains are not digital computers.] (Pocket)

How to become an exceptional writer by studying philosophy. A comprehensive examination of how engaging in philosophical analysis will make you a much stronger thinker and writer. [Don’t know about “exceptional,” but this is useful.] (Medium)

The impact of philosophy – and the philosophy of impact. [I actually think the author’s conclusion is off, but the articles raises some interesting points.] (3QuarksDaily)

Suggested readings, #45

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

Science hasn’t refuted free will. A growing chorus says that science has shown free will to be an illusion. But it actually has offered arguments in its favor. [Kind of, sort of.] (Boston Review)

The Stoicism of Thomas Jefferson. Ten rules to follow in daily life. (Medium)

The dark shadow in the injunction to ‘do what you love’. [A somewhat rambling, long, but nevertheless interesting piece.] (Aeon)

Stoicism and the Military. Did Stoic philosophers go to war? (Medium)

Virgilian afterlives: the classics in question. [A bit self-indulging, but bear with it, it pays off.] (LA Review of Books)

Suggested readings, #44

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

What’s wrong with physics. A physicist slams hype about multiverses, string theory, and quantum computers and calls for more diversity in his field. (Scientific American)

The Stoicism of Benjamin Franklin. Was the Founding Father influenced by Stoic philosophy? (Medium)

What do we owe the dead? The dust-up over a Washington Post reporter’s tweets about Kobe Bryant raises a moral question and a cultural taboo. (New York Times)

Philosophical life coaching — 4 key take-home messages. (Medium)

Gender differences in toy use: boys play with boy toys, girls with girl toys. (Why Evolution is True)

Let Plato plan your wedding! Wedding plans from Plato’s advice on romance and parties in the Republic, Laws, Symposium, & Phaedrus. (Philosophy Now)

An existential crisis in neuroscience. We’re mapping the brain in amazing detail — but our brain can’t understand the picture. (Nautilus)