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Do your genes determine your entire life? Whenever you read stories about identical twins separated at birth, they tend to follow the template set by the most remarkable of them all: the “two Jims”.

Do your genes determine your entire life?

James Springer and James Lewis were separated as one-month-olds, adopted by different families and reunited at age 39. When University of Minnesota psychologist Thomas Bouchard met them in 1979, he found, as a Washington Post article put it, both had “married and divorced a woman named Linda and remarried a Betty. They shared interests in mechanical drawing and carpentry; their favourite school subject had been maths, their least favourite, spelling. Who am I? A philosophical inquiry - Amy Adkins. What life means to einstein. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability. A Breakup Letter from Simone de Beauvoir. By Maria Popova “I can still feel warm and happy and harshly grateful when I look at you inside me.”

A Breakup Letter from Simone de Beauvoir

As a lover of letters, especially exquisite love letters, I find myself enamored with Hell Hath No Fury: Women’s Letters from the End of the Affair (public library) by Anna Holmes — a moving, rigorously researched collection of breakup letters from women across ten centuries, known and unknown, including favorites like Anaïs Nin and Sylvia Plath, and divided thematically — the tell-offs, the “just friends,” the marriage refusals, the unsent letters, and more. (Bonus points: The foreword is by none other than Francine Prose.) One of the most stirring letters in the anthology comes from French writer, feminist, intellectual, and existential philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, author of the cult-classic treatise The Second Sex.

Hell Hath No Fury is a trove of literary breakup zingers in its entirety. Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. Josh Knobe: Experimental Philosophy and the Notion of the Self (HeadCon '13 P... I'm going to be talking today about some recent work in the field of experimental philosophy.

Josh Knobe: Experimental Philosophy and the Notion of the Self (HeadCon '13 P...

But before I talk about what this actual recent work has discovered I want to say something briefly about what this field is. What is the field of experimental philosophy? Experimental philosophy is a relatively new field—one that just cropped up around the past ten years or so, and it's an interdisciplinary field, uniting ideas from philosophy and psychology.

In particular, what experimental philosophers tend to do is to go after questions that are traditionally associated with philosophy but to go after them using the methods that have been traditionally associated with psychology. Animated Philosophers Presents a Rocking Introduction to Socrates, the Father... Would there be such a thing as philosophy had there been no such person—or literary character, at least—as Socrates?

Animated Philosophers Presents a Rocking Introduction to Socrates, the Father...

Surely people the world over have always asked questions about the nature of reality, and come up with all sorts of speculative answers. But the particular form of inquiry known as the Socratic method—a blanket presumption of ignorance—would not have become the dominant force in Western intellectual history without its namesake. My Father, the Philosopher. If the bed was here, if I touched it, lay down in it, walked away and came back, then it existed.

My Father, the Philosopher

If it existed, then when I left for school and came back, it would still be there. Kierkegaard on the Individual vs. the Crowd, Why We Conform, and the Power of... By Maria Popova.

Kierkegaard on the Individual vs. the Crowd, Why We Conform, and the Power of...

Why I Am Not a Utilitarian. Utilitarianism is a widely despised, denigrated and misunderstood moral theory.

Why I Am Not a Utilitarian

Kant himself described it as a morality fit only for English shopkeepers. (Kant had much loftier aspirations of entering his own “noumenal” world.) The adjective “utilitarian” now has negative connotations like “Machiavellian”. It is associated with “the end justifies the means” or using people as a mere means or failing to respect human dignity, etc. A Natural History of Love. By Maria Popova “A one-syllable word heavy as a heartbeat … a sort of traffic accident of the heart.”

Meaning of life

Soccer, a Beautiful Game of Chance. What Is a Brand? Marketing Redefines Our Lives in Strange New Ways. Here is an old Polish anti-communist joke: "Socialism is the synthesis of the highest achievements of all previous historical epochs.

What Is a Brand? Marketing Redefines Our Lives in Strange New Ways

From tribal society, it took barbarism. The Dark Side of Certainty: Jacob Bronowski on the Spirit of Science and What Auschwitz Teaches Us About Our Compulsion for Control. How authors from Dickens to Dr Seuss invented the words we use every day. Butterfingers Charles Dickens used the term in his 1836 The Pickwick Papers (more properly called The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club): "At every bad attempt at a catch, and every failure to stop the ball, he launched his personal displeasure at the head of the devoted individual in such denunciations as 'Ah, ah!

How authors from Dickens to Dr Seuss invented the words we use every day

—stupid'—'Now, butter-fingers'—'Muff'— 'Humbug'—and so forth. " Chintzy Originally this word meant to be decorated or covered with chintz, a calico print from India, or suggestive of a pattern in chintz. It was extended to mean unfashionable, cheap or stingy, coming from none other than Mary Ann Evans, better known by her pen name George Eliot, who wrote in a letter in 1851: "The effect is chintzy and would be unbecoming. " Chortle Blend of "chuckle" and "snort", created by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass: "'O frabjous day!

100 Websites You Should Know and Use (updated!) Entertainment Meet David Peterson, who developed Dothraki for Game of Thrones There are seven different words in Dothraki for striking another person with a sword.

100 Websites You Should Know and Use (updated!)

Among them: “hlizifikh,” a wild but powerful strike; “hrakkarikh,”a quick and accurate strike; and “gezrikh,” a fake-out or decoy strike. But you won’t find these words in George R. R. Culture My Year of TED: How 54 talks changed a life By Kylie Dunn What do you get when you cross a 39-year-old perfectionist with 54 TED Talks and far more honesty than any person probably needs to experience? Love Is Walking Hand In Hand: The Peanuts Gang Defines Love, 1965. By Maria Popova “Love is being happy knowing that she’s happy… but that isn’t so easy.” The Peanuts series by Charles M. On Craftsmanship: The Only Surviving Recording of Virginia Woolf’s Voice, 1937. By Maria Popova “Words belong to each other.”