Category Archives: Psychology

EO Wilson, CONSILIENCE, 11

Chapter 12, To What End? Wilson’s final chapter ponders options for humanity’s future, and comes down on the side of “existential conservatism.” And since it is about humanity’s future, the chapter has some things to say about the themes of … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Human Progress, Morality, Psychology, Science, science fiction | Comments Off on EO Wilson, CONSILIENCE, 11

Motivated Reasoning, Supreme Court Edition

Just one short, but provocative, item today. This is the opening piece in the “Talk of the Town” section in the March 18th issue of The New Yorker. It cuts to the core of Supreme Court, and conservative, thinking. The … Continue reading

Posted in conservatives, Psychology, Social Progress | Comments Off on Motivated Reasoning, Supreme Court Edition

EO Wilson, CONSILIENCE, 9

Chapter 10, The Arts and Their Interpretation Here we have perhaps the area most resistant to the idea of biological or psychological interpretation. Because it doesn’t occur, especially to the artists themselves, why people tell certain kinds of stories and … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Human Progress, Psychology, Science | Comments Off on EO Wilson, CONSILIENCE, 9

EO Wilson, CONSILIENCE, 8

Chapter 9, The Social Sciences Now Wilson begins takes his conclusions about human nature and searches for ways to bring insight, if not explanation, to various aspects of human culture, in particular studies in the humanities that are supposedly resistant to … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Human Progress, MInd, Psychology, Science | Comments Off on EO Wilson, CONSILIENCE, 8

Emotional Intelligence and Con Men

Robert Reich on Trump’s stupidity — except for his emotional intelligence, which manifests as his being a con man; Peter Wehner on “Fifth Avenue Republicans”; Tom Nichols about why Trump shouldn’t be given security briefings; Music: Neil Finn’s “Into the … Continue reading

Posted in conservatives, Music, Politics, Psychology | Comments Off on Emotional Intelligence and Con Men

Dishonesty? Or Cognitive Decline?

About Katie Britt’s response to Joe Biden’s SOTU speech, from Amanda Marcotte, AlterNet, The New Republic, Heather Cox Richardson, Saturday Night Live, and Paul Krugman; Trump’s cognitive decline, and how ‘polarization’ in the US is due to GOP’s radicalization; And … Continue reading

Posted in Conservative Resistance, Psychology, science fiction | Comments Off on Dishonesty? Or Cognitive Decline?

Cosmic and Psychological Lessons

Phil Plait on the scale of the cosmos; Beware of pluralistic ignorance; How math education can be better taught with examples about money. – – –   Today’s cosmic lesson. Scientific American, Phil Plait, 8 Mar 2024: The Scale of … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Cosmology, Mathematics, Psychology, Science | Comments Off on Cosmic and Psychological Lessons

Philosophy, Science, and Politics

First of all, I refined and polished my discussion of the Thomas Nagel book, posted here, and identified my key takeaway. (Sometimes you have to mull things for a few days before your thoughts gel.) Currently revisiting E.O. Wilson’s CONSILIENCE, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology | Comments Off on Philosophy, Science, and Politics

Steven Pinker, HOW THE MIND WORKS, post 4

Chapter 8, “The Meaning of Life,” is the last 45 page chapter of this 565 page (counting only text) book. Here he covers matters of human culture, much as Wilson did at the end of his 1978 book. Given that … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, MInd, Music, Psychology, Religion, Steven Pinker | Comments Off on Steven Pinker, HOW THE MIND WORKS, post 4

Steven Pinker, HOW THE MIND WORKS, post 3

Chapter 7, “Family Values,” about the psychology of social relations, is the longest chapter in the book, and second-to-last. The author begins by recalling that period in the 1960s when activists and folk singers called for peace and understanding, a … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Evolution, MInd, Psychology, Steven Pinker | Comments Off on Steven Pinker, HOW THE MIND WORKS, post 3