Unconscious Influences

Time ticks off some observed ways in which people have been shown to be susceptible to irrational subconscious influences: Studies have found that upon entering an office, people behave more competitively when they see a sharp leather briefcase on the desk, they talk more softly when there is a picture of a library on the [Read More...]

Deciding Without Knowing It?

In the paper “Predicting Persuasion-Induced Behavior Change from the Brain” from The Journal of Neuroscience , UCLA researchers reveal that they were better able to predict test subjects’ behavior days in advance by monitoring activity in the medial prefrontal cortex than by asking them what they would do.  Psyorg.com explains: The new study by Lieberman [Read More...]

Beyond Agnosticism: More Details About How I Know Various Kinds Of Gods Do Not Exist, Based On Scientific And Philosophical Reasons

While I agree with, and vigorously defend, the notion that there is an important difference between lacking a belief in gods (as an agnostic atheist) and believing there are no gods (as a gnostic atheist), I also think that atheists should not, based on the best available scientific evidence and philosophical arguments, merely lack belief [Read More...]

Daniel Dennett: Can We Know Our Own Minds?

Daniel Dennett explains various limitations on our introspective understanding of our own consciousness. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

David Chalmers On “The Singularity”

What happens when machines get smarter than humans?  Presumably, they will build machines smarter than themselves which will build machines smarter than themselves and onward towards infinity. Philosophy Bites interviews David Chalmers, a leading philosopher of mind, about the concept and its possible realization. Thanks to 3QuarksDaily for the heads up. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Neuroplasticity

In May 2009, Margaret Throsby interviewed Norman Doidge MD, research psychiatrist at the Columbia University Psychoanalytic Centre and the University of Toronto.  Here are a few nuggets from the fascinating, 40 minute long audio interview on neuroplasticity: a property of the brain which allows it to change its structure and its function as it goes [Read More...]

98th Philosophers’ Blog Carnival

Kenny Pearce has the new Philosophers’ Blog Carnival. There is a link in the upper right corner of his page that says “view with boring colors” in case you find his all green writing on all black background unpleasant. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Disorderly Genius: How Chaos Drives The Brain

A really fascinating video: For more read the New Scientist article here and also take a listen to the last fascinating third of this episode of Radiolab on stochasticity. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Philosophy In-Joke Hilarity Galore

When you do philosophy for a living, philosophy novices are frequently inflicting on you the same small stock of stale and unimaginative philosophy jokes and overrated Monty Python philosophy related sketches. So that’s probably why I find this contemporary, philosophically acute, esoteric latest comic strip from Chaos Pet strip a  breath of fresh, hilarious air: [Read More...]


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