Dostoevsky is my favorite author. Part I of Notes From Underground is one of my favorite things concerning philosophy and religion he wrote (also The Grand Inquisitor chapter in Brothers Karamazov, both must reads). In it he talks about the possibility of science explaining away free will, and his opinions have greatly influenced mine on the subject. These are some excerpts, I'd like to know what you think about them and the topic at hand.
"All man wants is an absolutely free choice, however dear that freedom may cost him and wherever it may lead him to. Well, of course, if its is a matter of choice, then the devil only knows…"
"But I repeat for the hundredth time that here is one case, one case only, when man can deliberately and consciously desire something that is injurious, stupid, even outrageously stupid, just because he want to have the right to desire for himself even what is very stupid and not to be bound by an obligation to desire only what is sensible."
"He would even risk his cakes and ale and deliberately set his heart on the most deadly trash, the most uneconomic absurdity, and do it, if you please, for the sole purpose of infusing into this positive good sense his deadly fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his most patent absurdities, that he will desire above all else for the sole purpose of proving to himself (as though that were so necessary) that men are still men and not keys of a piano on which the laws of nature are indeed playing any tune they like, but are in danger of going on playing until no one is able to desire anything except a mathematical table. And that is not all: even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematically, even then he would refuse to come too his sense, but would on purpose, just in spite of everything, do something out of sheer ingratitude; actually, to carry his point."
"I believe this is so, I give you my word for it; for it seems to me that the whole meaning of human life can be summed up in the one statement that man only exists for the purpose of proving to himself every minutes that he is a man and not an organ stop!"
To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
Philosophers like to present their works as if everything before it was wrong. Sometimes, they even say they have ended the need for more philosophy. So, what happens when somebody realizes they were mistaken?
Sometimes philosophers are wrong and admitting that you could be wrong is a big part of being a real philosopher. While most philosophers make minor adjustments to their arguments to correct for mistakes, others make large shifts in their thinking. Here, we have four philosophers who went back on what they said earlier in often radical ways.
Just before I turned 60, I discovered that sharing my story by drawing could be an effective way to both alleviate my symptoms and combat that stigma.
I've lived much of my life with anxiety and depression, including the negative feelings – shame and self-doubt – that seduced me into believing the stigma around mental illness: that people knew I wasn't good enough; that they would avoid me because I was different or unstable; and that I had to find a way to make them like me.
A joint study by two England universities explores the link between sex and cognitive function with some surprising differences in male and female outcomes in old age.
- A joint study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher cognitive abilities in older age.
- The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted.
- The differences in testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oxytocin (a predominantly female hormone) may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age.
Mathematicians studied 100 billion tweets to help computer algorithms better understand our colloquial digital communication.