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  • Why Free Will May be an Illusion

    By MacGregor Campbell, New Scientist Does free will actually exist? Or are we all just biological robots? In this video, see why modern neuroscience claims free will is an illusion and why psychology experiments suggest we may be better off believing the lie. Controlling our own destiny is so ingrained...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Nice Guys Finish First

    By David Brooks, The New York Times The story of evolution, we have been told, is the story of the survival of the fittest. The strong eat the weak. The creatures that adapt to the environment pass on their selfish genes. Those that do not become extinct. In this telling, we humans are like all other...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Control Yourself!

    By Wilhelm Hofmann and Malte Friese, Scientific American Mind Most of us start out with the best of intentions. Then we walk right past the fruit bowl in search of the devil's food cake. Or drink one glass of wine too many. Or, after yet another glass, kiss that co-worker at the holiday party. Unfortunately...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Modesty Manifesto

    3/11/11 By David Brooks, The New York Times We’re an overconfident species. Ninety-four percent of college professors believe they have above-average teaching skills. A survey of high school students found that 70 percent of them have above-average leadership skills and only 2 percent are below average...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • More Reasons to Be Nice: It's Less Work For Everyone

    3/9/11, Science Daily A polite act shows respect. But a new study of a common etiquette -- holding a door for someone -- suggests that courtesy may have a more practical, though unconscious, shared motivation: to reduce the work for those involved. The research, by Joseph P. Santamaria and David A. Rosenbaum...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Social Animal

    By David Brooks, The New Yorker 1/17/11 Harold and Erica got their first glimpse of each other in front of a Barnes & Noble. They smiled broadly as they approached, and a deep, primeval process kicked in. Harold liked what he saw, from the waist-to-hip ratio to the clear skin, all indicative of health...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Art of Social Change

    By Kwame Anthony Appiah, in The New York Times In 1929, the Church of Scotland Mission, which had a long and successful history of missionary work among the Kikuyu in colonial Kenya, began a campaign to eradicate the practice of female circumcision. The results were hardly what church members hoped for...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • What Will Future Generations Condemn Us For?

    By Kwame Anthony Appiah in The Washington Post. "Once, pretty much everywhere, beating your wife and children was regarded as a father's duty, homosexuality was a hanging offense, and waterboarding was approved -- in fact, invented -- by the Catholic Church. Through the middle of the 19th century...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Science of Good and Evil

    By Sam Harris from The Daily Beast. " As I argue in my new book, The Moral Landscape , questions about values—about meaning, morality, and life’s larger purpose—are really questions about the well-being of conscious creatures. Throughout the book I make reference to a hypothetical space that I call...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Experiments in Philosophy

    By Joshua Knobe from The New York Times. "...The study of human nature, whether in Nietzsche or in a contemporary psychology journal, is obviously relevant to certain purely scientific questions, but how could this sort of work ever help us to answer the distinctive questions of philosophy? It may...
     Posted by: agomberg
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