Suggested readings, #92

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

Testing positivism. “The Murder of Professor Schlick” brilliantly illuminates an ambitious movement in philosophy. (Standpoint Magazine)

Best time to reopen? Economists are just guessing. Their mathematical skills are formidable, but toss out the dicey assumptions and things get squishy. (Bloomberg)

Philosophy: a history of failure? (3 Quarks Daily) Yet another attempt to show that philosophy has failed. Repeatedly. For a different view, see here.

Why I changed my mind about organics. And why you probably should too. (Medium)

What people actually say before they die. Insights into the little-studied realm of last words. (Atlantic) Scientifically a bit questionable, but interesting food for thought.

The problem of now. The injunction to immerse yourself in the present might be psychologically potent, but is it metaphysically meaningful? (Aeon) A good example of a philosopher who engages in good quality logic chopping, thereby missing the forest for the trees.

Suggested readings, #91

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

The great essay-writing machine. Some questions I ask myself to get stuff written. (Medium)

Sartre’s waiter revisited. Why playing your part does not mean sacrificing your individuality. (Medium)

Tragic life endings and Covid-19 policy. Why last days matter more. (Philosophers’ Magazine) Not sure I buy the author’s argument, but it does make for thought provoking reading.

Here lies the skull of Pliny the Elder, maybe. The Roman admiral and scholar died during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Might this really be his cranium? (New York Times)

The warped morality of ‘Wonder Woman 1984’. (Forbes) I haven’t seen the movie, but the author makes an interesting case.

Suggested readings, #90

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

Why haven’t we lost our taste for clickbait? (Medium)

Rudy Giuliani was never really ‘America’s Mayor.’ (Gotham Gazette)

Stoicism versus Jordan Peterson. On the Stoic philosophy of anger. (Medium)

If everyone has a right to be heard, why are some told to keep quiet? (Medium)

To the brain, reading computer code is not the same as reading language. Neuroscientists find that interpreting code activates a general-purpose brain network, but not language-processing centers. (MIT News)

Suggested readings, #89

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

Why you make so many wrong decisions. And why it doesn’t matter. (Medium)

When does a human embryo have the moral status of a person? (Psyche / Aeon)

How foods may affect our sleep. A growing body of research suggests that the foods you eat can affect how well you sleep, and your sleep patterns can affect your dietary choices. (New York Times)

The Beet Paradox. Why the Australians’ peculiar love of beetroot is more than just a cultural curiosity, and puts into question basic assumptions in classical economics. (Medium)

On the moral obligation to stop shit-stirring. (Psyche / Aeon)

Suggested readings, #88

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

The long and tortured history of cancel culture. The public shaming of those deemed moral transgressors has been around for ages. As practiced today, though, is the custom a radical form of citizen justice or merely a handmaiden to capitalism? (New York Times)

It’s only fake-believe: how to deal with a conspiracy theorist. As the pandemic has taken a grip, so have the misinformation spreaders. Here are five ways to spot the holes in their logic. (Guardian)

China tests social credit system waters. According to this philosopher, it is hard to see what’s wrong with the Chinese experiment. Can you do better? (Observer Today)

Did Einstein say he believed in the pantheistic God of Baruch Spinoza? Einstein wasn’t afraid to question religion as critically as he did scientific theory. (Snopes)

We can thank Herodotus, the ‘father of history,’ for our knowledge of the ancient world. One of the first to attempt to write down an account of the past, Herodotus helped establish a historical tradition that continues to this day. (Discover)

Suggested readings, #87

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

7 pandemic differences between the U.S. and Europe. Why Europe is doing a much better job handling Covid-19. Hint: it has to do with government priorities and support for its citizens. (Medium)

Is JK Rowling transphobic? One of the best, most thoughtful essays I’ve read in a while on the debates between transgender advocates and gender critical feminists. Of course, as soon as I posted the link on Twitter I was accused of being transphobic… (Open for Debate)

Can an 18th century statistician help us think more clearly? Distinguishing between types of probability can help us worry less and do more. A basic intro to Bayes’ theorem. (Mind Matters)

So you’re on the side of progress? So are your opponents. Which is not a call for moral relativism. (Medium)

Maxims from the Delphic Oracle. Socrates, Stoicism, and the Philosophy of Apollo. (Medium)

Suggested readings, #86

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

Examine everything: the heuristic philosophy of Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn. Book review of Ars Vitae — The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living, in which Lasch-Quinn argues for a return to the inner life in order to combat the maladies of the 21st century. (LA Review of Books)

How Japanese people stay fit for life, without ever visiting a gym. One of my occasional picks paying homage to Japanese culture. In this case, the answer is: walking, everywhere. (Medium)

How to fall out of love. Ancient philosophy and the cure of lovesickness. Long read by Don Robertson on how to cure yourself of mad love by following the advice of the poets Lucretius and Ovid. (Medium)

Why are politicians suddenly talking about their ‘lived experience’? A must read by Anthony Appiah about the perils of relying on one’s own “lived experience” in order to make points allegedly representative of large groups (based on ethnicity, gender, etc.). (Guardian)

Object lessons. A stimulating piece on Henry James’ novels and the problem of objectifying other people. I think it goes awry in places where the author doesn’t seem to appreciate enough the distinctions between human beings and art objects. Still, worth reading. (ArtNews)

Suggested readings, #85

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

Carlo Rovelli on what we can learn from the octopus mind. Do octopuses hold the key to understanding consciousness? I’m not as optimistic as Rovelli and my colleague Peter Godfrey-Smith, but it’s an intriguing idea. (BBC Science Focus)

Anxiety isn’t a pathology. It drives us to push back the unknown. I’m increasingly less convinced by articles published in Psyche, the new Aeon outlet. Still, food for thought. (Psyche / Aeon)

Will the universe remember us after we’re gone? Despite the potentially New Age title, John Horgan doesn’t take the path of nonsense. Must-read article. (Scientific American)

What America owes to the Greeks and Romans. A lot, as it turns out, though the Founding Fathers would definitely look with dismay on what American has now become. (New York Times)

Means to an end. Aristotle’s metaphysics of nature. A valiant attempt to bring back a Tomistic version of Aristotle’s metaphysics for modern science. Doomed to fail, in my opinion. (Times Literary Supplement)

Suggested readings, #84

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

Conscious spoons, really? Pushing back against panpsychism. A really nice take down of the latest in pseudo-philosophy. (NeuroBanter)

The death of philosophers. A few choice examples of how philosophers have died through the ages. (thinkPhilosophy)

The radical aristocrat who put kindness on a scientific footing. An article about Peter Kropotkin’s good political intentions and misguided science. Not enough emphasis by the author on the latter. (Aeon Psyche)

Can lab-grown brains become conscious? Fascinating overview of brain organoids and the likelihood we’ll learn something about consciousness by studying their properties. Also a good discussion of the ethical implications of such research. (Nature)

Successful companies live up to this Ancient Greek ideal. An evidence-based argument that – in the long run – commercially successful companies are those that engage in corporate philotimy, that is, cultivate ethical integrity. (Harvard Business Review)

Suggested readings, #83

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

Psychedelics can’t be tested using conventional clinical trials. Research on psychedelics is all the rage, but it turns out to be much more difficult to carry out than one might have assumed. (Aeon)

The neurology of flow states. Why time vanishes when you’re jamming. Ever been in a state of flow? Here is what it looks like inside your brain, and why it matters. (Nautilus)

Why physics can’t tell us what life is. The origin of life can’t be explained by first principles. Biology is not just more complex physics, I keep telling my friends in the Physics Department. (Nautilus)

The dangers of moral talk: on Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke’s “Grandstanding.” Although there is a danger that these authors themselves indulge in moral grandstanding, they have a point. And it cuts across the political divide. (LA Review of Books)