July 25, 2016 | “Never underestimate the willingness of a man to believe flattering things about himself,” said Paul Samuelson. Just ask a success about luck's role in life... more »

July 23, 2016 | Death is unavoidable and suffering is everywhere, says Julian Baggini. The only debate should be about the nature and extent of our participation. So let's talk about eating meat... more »

July 22, 2016 | What is modernism? How a term that's come to mean so much — as a literary movement, a design aesthetic — has always lacked a clear definition... more »

July 21, 2016 | Art asks for an emotional investment, with the promise of some insight into the human experience. But what if the artist is an algorithm?... more »

July 20, 2016 | Every culture has rules and taboos about food, but moralizing about what we eat is most evident in cultures with a dichotomy between pleasure and virtue... more »

July 19, 2016 | Academics have exhausted topics like Virginia Woolf and democracy. They now study such things as dust, coffee, masturbation, bullshit, and, most fittingly, boredom... more »

July 18, 2016 | Neuroscience marches on, but if it becomes possible to scan and upload your brain, will the result be you? Humans are not brains in vats... more »

July 16, 2016 | The problem with “public intellectual.” The term has lost meaning as conditions have changed. It’s time to re-examine the relationship between thought and action... more »

July 15, 2016 | Tired? Don't blame the supposedly novel demands of modern life. Exhaustion is a timeless experience, as is theorizing about exhaustion... more »

July 14, 2016 | To be a wife is not to engage in “wifing.” To be a friend is not to engage in “friending.” Yet parents talk about "parenting." That verb is a big mistake ... more »

July 13, 2016 | Wagner's The Ring Cycle is not the answer to life in a post-religious world, says Roger Scruton. But it asks real questions, and it shows us one way of confronting them... more »

July 12, 2016 | Sure, the glossy magazines are leaking prestige, power, page counts, and glamour. But the allure remains, and James Wolcott can't get too many tales from the editors' desks... more »

July 11, 2016 | We are all meritocrats now. But the meritocratic elite — multiracial, gender-neutral, but still hereditary — has hardened into a new aristocracy... more »

July 9, 2016 | Half of current jobs are in danger of being replaced by robots. What's imperiled is not only the ability to make a living but also the viability of democracy... more »

July 8, 2016 | When governments throw books on the bonfire, it's censorship. When writers burn their own words, it’s … what, exactly? An act of catharsis? Of sadism?... more »

July 7, 2016 | We know little about Dante Alighieri, just his published works and a few letters. But this much is clear: His literary ambition was tied to his anxiety about social status... more »

July 6, 2016 | Do you talk about "devouring" books? The metaphor is common but hardly benign. Consider the long, turbulent relationship between reading and eating... more »

July 5, 2016 | Majoring in English, we're now told, is good for your soul. Self-transformation has given way to self-help. Read Rilke, win friends, influence people. A little desperate, no?... more »

July 4, 2016 | We are only now coming to terms with what happens to the idea of art when images can be endlessly circulated, reproduced, and manipulated... more »

July 2, 2016 | Music: the sound of freedom and brotherhood, a force for redemption. Or is it the sound of violence, a weapon to debilitate enemies and disperse crowds?... more »

July 1, 2016 | For centuries, moral intuition and ethics were the domain of philosophers. Now evolutionary psychologists and neuroscientists think they have better moral arguments. They're wrong... more »

June 30, 2016 | Anti-vaxxing, flat-Earthism, climate-change skepticism — the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. You can try to kill zombie ideas, but they just won’t die... more »

June 29, 2016 | A humanistic discipline should range across all of human experience. So why is philosophy so homogeneous, provincial, and white... more »

June 28, 2016 | The brainy segments of society fetishize smarts, glorify intelligence, and embrace the idea that giftedness is the primary yardstick of human worth. It's not... more »

June 27, 2016 | Politics without imagination is a politics without solidarity or moral understanding. It is a narrow politics of grievance, and it is prone to authoritarianism... more »

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