Speak Now is NYU Law Professor Kenji Yoshino’s detailed recounting of Hollingsworth v. Perry—the 2009 California federal district court trial over a ballot initiative banning gay marriage in the state of California. While primarily a scholarly work of legal history, Speak Now is also a literary work of art and rich with important philosophical questions and thoughts regarding constitutional law and legal theory.
This beautiful novella draws heavily from Plato’s conception of love, but to what extent?
The films of Austrian director Michael Haneke seem to start out “normally” and then slowly descend into an abyss—but what if that abyss is in fact living authentically? Could we see Haneke’s award-winning Caché (2005) as an exemplification of Sartrean existentialism? And what are some other philosophical influences in his work?
Wandering through an Athens bookstore, biologist Armand Leroi stumbled upon a set of translations of Aristotle. He shared the prejudice of many scientists that Aristotle was hopelessly obscurantist who set back the dawn of science for centuries, but, letting curiosity get the better of him, he opened a biological text at random. He recognized in Aristotle a fellow scientist, and took on the study of Aristotle in order to more fully appreciate the scope and magnitude of Aristotle’s scientific achievement.
Does doing the most good you can do just mean giving the most money to the world’s poor?
It’s the new golden age of television, and Amazon Studios has signed Woody Allen to create a full season’s worth of it. What can Allen, returning to television for the first time in fifty years, bring to the TV Revolution?
by Chris Sunami
Lev Grossman, author of the bestselling Magicians trilogy, imports entire set pieces from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. But he has a higher aim behind his thievery: he interrogates the elements of the Narnia myth one-by-one, sussing out their weaknesses and inconsistencies, and tirelessly searching, along with his characters, for the secret of exactly where the magic lies.
What does the film Ex Machina have to do the deus ex machina as plot device?
We’ve managed to bring the planet to the brink of catastrophe. Can we manage to pull it back?
Is the dreamlike aesthetic of celebrated Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami serving a hidden psychological function?
Science shows that though a person accused of discrimination may sincerely deny harboring any kind of prejudice, their choices and actions may have been modulated by implicit biases operating below the level of conscious intention. Are people morally responsible for such acts and attitudes?
Consciousness, Nicholas Humphrey claims, does not add or enhance some survival ability (as, say, wings allow birds to fly). Consciousness improves the chance of survival because it makes life worth living. Being phenomenally conscious grants import, meaning, and ego, essentially fooling us into striving towards fulfillment.
Human children are quite different from the progeny of closely related animals like chimps. They are much more inclined to cooperate and seem driven to understand what goes on in others’ minds way. What makes humans unique in this way? To address this problem, evolutionary psychologists have borrowed an idea from philosphers: collective intentionality.
To construct a superintelligence, we would have to understand human intelligence at a deep level. It’s doubtful we’ll ever be able to do this.
It was not until I read Carroll’s book that I realized I was operating under a tacit assumption: Art ought to express something of the author’s emotions.
The dinner guests assume that their alternate selves are somehow very different from their “actual” selves. But why?
Jay Jeffers just can’t shake his first impression of “Her,” a story set against the backdrop of artificial intelligence.
Sandel’s attempt to understand America’s modern malaises relies on telling the wrong story of America’s competing visions and the way these visions evolved.
What are your thoughts on machines that can predict what you’re going to do in the next five minutes? Do you think that everything that happens now in the universe was causally determined by some event(s) that happened before it? When professional philosophers check people’s intuitions it looks as though sometimes people generally agree that we Continue Reading …
[From Seth Crownover, Friend of the Podcast] If we got anything from the last episode it’s that Thomas Kuhn is sort of a big deal and for good reason. His picture of scientific progress as a human rather than divine endeavor is, it seems to me, plainly true in a general sense if not in all Continue Reading …