I recently visited a doctor for one problem, and, as doctors are wont to do, he recommended tests for completely unrelated problems. My hearing has seemed muffled lately, so I wanted the doctor to peer in my ears...
Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (Crown 2010), by the journalist Robert Whitaker, is one of the most disturbing, consequential works of investigative journalism I've read in a long time...
When, if ever, is lying justified? I talked about this conundrum this week in a freshmen humanities class, in which we were reading Immanuel Kant on morality.
Are you a war pessimist? Odds are you are. For almost a decade now, I've been asking people if they think war will ever end. I've surveyed thousands of people, young and old, liberal and conservative, hawks and doves, male and female...
In Remaking Eden (Harper Perennial, 1998), geneticist Lee Silver envisioned a future in which humanity has split into two species: "Naturals," the poor slobs who muddle along with the genes that nature gave them, and the "GenRich," who can afford to boost their physical and mental talents via genetic engineering...
In my classes, I often ask my students to wrestle with what I call damned-if-you-do-or-don't dilemmas, which offer no easy solutions. Every choice would pose certain risks and violate one valued principle or another...
What's the point of the humanities? I mean, in addition to supplying jobs for humanities teachers? I am a faculty member within the College of Arts & Letters, a.k.a.
I just started teaching my spring classes, and on the first day a student asked me if my work as a science journalist had taken me to any cool places.
Driving through my hometown recently, I passed half a dozen neighbors holding antiwar signs. One declared, "BRING ALL OUR TROOPS HOME," with "ALL" underlined.
In 1995, I critiqued evolutionary psychology in "The New Social Darwinists," an article in the December issue of Scientific American. Afterwards I got a scathing letter from Robert Trivers, whose work on altruism, parent-offspring conflict and other tendencies helped lay the foundations for evolutionary psychology, which like its precursor sociobiology attempts to explain human thought and behavior in Darwinian terms...
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