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Category: Philosophy

Philosophers have long been interested in what it means to be human, and also what it means to be. They have questioned nearly every facet of life, through which they have helped to direct the study of science. While philosophy might be less popular than in the past, I believe it still maintains an important and special role in the world.

A 90 Year-Old Cure for Unhappiness

In 1930 Bertrand Russell published a book that he hoped would “suggest a cure for the ordinary day-to-day unhappiness from which most people in civilized countries suffer.” Whether we still suffer in the same ways in 2018 is a matter for debate, but what is true is that ‘The Conquest of Happiness’ still offers some…

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If Humans Were Tools, Which Would We Be?

Do you know someone that displays the shovel-like tendency to dig themselves into a hole? Some people have easy-to-find similarities, but what tool would we use to represent the whole human race? The question was asked of behavioral psychologist Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational, Irrationally Yours, and The Upside of Irrationality. He answered to the tune of a Swiss Army Knife. And what a noble…

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Are You A Possibilian?

Neuroscientist David Eagleman has popularized an alternative view regarding religious views, and he’s labeled it ‘possibilianism.’ The goal of possibilianism is to discourage certainty. Eagleman uses the example of space, in which even in a tiny dark patch of that night sky above us can contain many thousands of stars, making it clear that there is so…

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Watson Is the New Freud: How AI is Psychoanalyzing You

What do your tweets, Facebook updates, blog posts or other written media say about you? You might be able to find out, as IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, learns the ropes of psychoanalysis. Your personality is plastered all over your online identity. We can already glean quite a lot from the words people use and the things they talk…

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From Color to Consciousness: The Trouble With Describing Experience

We see distinct colors in the spectrum, but their boundaries are impossible to measure precisely. — Adam Alter In Drunk Tank Pink, Adam Alter points out that the labels we use in our respective languages influence the way we perceive a given item. …Russian students perceive dark blue to be just as different from light blue as the…

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Snap Judgements, Split Brains, and Strange Lies

There are many decisions we make in split seconds. Decisions that require no cognitive effort, no thought, no awareness. Where does the observation that you like this piece of music come from? How long did it take you to realize how beautiful that person is? Is your friends new car stylish or bland? Likely, each…

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Our Memories Are Falsely Predicting Our Lives

“… we are constantly predicting the future and hypothesizing what we will experience. This expectation influences what we actually perceive. Predicting the future is actually the primary reason that we have a brain.” Ray Kurzweil is on the forefront of artificial intelligence research, due to his deep understanding of how the mass of neuronal networks we call…

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