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The Nature of the Self: Experimental Philosopher Joshua Knobe on How We Know Who We Are

The Nature of the Self: Experimental Philosopher Joshua Knobe on How We Know Who We Are
by Maria Popova A mind-bending new understanding of our basic existential anchor. “The fate of the world depends on the Selves of human beings,” pioneering educator Annemarie Roeper wrote in her meditation on how poorly we understand the self. Over the past decade, the emerging field of experimental philosophy — a discipline that pursues inquiries about the human condition traditionally from the realm of philosophy with the empirical methods of psychology — has tackled this paradox, along with its many fringe concerns spanning morality, happiness, love, and how to live. Though the full talk is remarkable in its entirety and is well worth the watch, here is what I find to be Knobe’s most poignant pause-giver: One specific thing [has] really been exploding in the past couple of years and this is experimental philosophy work on the notion of the self. Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. Related:  Meaning and HappinessMindTo think or not to think

5 Everyday Moments You Didn't Realize Were Spiritual There are moments in your life that will take your breath away, ones that will make you weep, and others that will fill you with joy. Although we tend to focus on the good moments, each of these moments are sacred. They have been sent to teach us important life lessons. Being part of the human experience means we all share similar highs and lows, and sometimes these shared experiences are actually spiritual moments in disguise, intended to put us directly in touch with the higher being (spirit). 1. Have you ever been driving along and your mind starts to wander? None of these are coincidences. 2. When I was a child, my mother would say, “If you see rays of sunshine bursting through the clouds, God is answering someone's prayers.” 3. Have you ever felt like you were saved from a terrible situation at the very last minute? 4. It is a moment when you feel so happy, your heart is so full, that you begin to weep for no good reason. 5. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Scientists Claim That Quantum Theory Proves Consciousness Moves To Another Universe At Death | - Obscure Vision A book titled “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the Nature of the Universe“ has stirred up the Internet, because it contained a notion that life does not end when the body dies, and it can last forever. The author of this publication, scientist Dr. Robert Lanza who was voted the 3rd most important scientist alive by the NY Times, has no doubts that this is possible. Beyond time and space Lanza is an expert in regenerative medicine and scientific director of Advanced Cell Technology Company. But not so long ago, the scientist became involved with physics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics. Lanza points to the structure of the universe itself, and that the laws, forces, and constants of the universe appear to be fine-tuned for life, implying intelligence existed prior to matter. The theory implies that death of consciousness simply does not exist. Lanza also believes that multiple universes can exist simultaneously. Multiple worlds Soul Sources:

15 styles of Distorted Thinking 15 styles of Distorted Thinking Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you're a failure. There is no middle ground. Checklist for Hidden Anger Procrastination in the completion of imposed tasks. I Need You to Fight for My Students | I sat in the corner of the coffee shop swirling my raspberry mocha, waiting for it to cool. Looking up, I was greeted by a familiar face. A former student who held a piece of my heart. He had graduated the year before and the story he told me shook loose the tears. “Mrs. He went on to talk about how he was getting by in the great big world with his great big high school diploma. In recent months, two students have shown up at my classroom door with tears in their eyes, kicked out of their houses. Students in our schools are broken. Ask teachers who love their students. Sometimes they need you. Our schools need you to fight for our students. Because have you ever tried to learn with your stomach empty? Did you ever try to comprehend grammar when all you think about is how you put your alcoholic mother to bed the night before? What about understanding algebra when your dad invited you to get high with him just yesterday? Common Core. It’s not a fight to elevate standards. No. I don’t know. But…

Helen Keller on Optimism by Maria Popova “Doubt and mistrust are the mere panic of timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer, and the large mind transcend.” Decades before the dawn of the positive psychology movement and a century before what neuroscience has taught us about the benefits of optimism, Helen Keller — the remarkable woman who grew up without sight and hearing until, with the help of her teacher Annie Sullivan, she learned to speak, read, write, and inhabit the life of the mind with such grace and fierceness that made her one of history’s most inspired intellectual heroes — penned a timeless treatise on optimism as a philosophy of life. Simply titled Optimism (public library; public domain), it was originally published in 1903 and written — a moment of pause here — after Keller learned to write on a grooved board over a sheet of paper, using the grooves and the end of her index pencil to guide her writing. Once I knew only darkness and stillness. I know what evil is.

Philosopher of mind David Papineau on the puzzle of consciousness - The Philosopher's Zone Consciousness presents a serious puzzle for philosophy. The deeper neuroscientists dig into our soggy grey matter, the more elusive the concept becomes. But it doesn’t need to be, leading philosopher of mind David Papineau tells Joe Gelonesi. Descartes understood the issue perfectly, though his path of explanation did leave future philosophers with more questions than answers. It wasn’t such a bad stab in the dark when he thought he had located the seat of the mind in the pineal gland. It was the 17th century after all, and the Age of Reason had not quite taken off. The mind-body problem persists like no other philosophical dilemma, and it has given rise to a variety of approaches. Consciousness is not a normal scientific subject. Still, the feeling that the mind is somehow different from the brain persists. ‘The structure of our concepts of conscious states makes it very hard for us fully to believe that physicalism is true,’ he says. ‘Consciousness is not a normal scientific subject.

50 Common Cognitive Distortions 3. Negative predictions. Overestimating the likelihood that an action will have a negative outcome. 4. Underestimating coping ability. Underestimating your ability cope with negative events. 5. Thinking of unpleasant events as catastrophes. 6. For example, during social interactions, paying attention to someone yawning but not paying the same degree of attention to other cues that suggest they are interested in what you’re saying (such as them leaning in). 7. Remembering negatives from a social situation and not remembering positives. 8. Believing an absence of a smiley-face in an email means someone is mad at you. 9. The belief that achieving unrelentingly high standards is necessary to avoid a catastrophe. 10. Believing the same rules that apply to others should not apply to you. 11. For example, I’ve made progress toward my goal and therefore it’s ok if I act in a way that is inconsistent with it. 12. For example, believing that poor people must deserve to be poor. 13. 14. It’s not. 15. 16.

A Senator Asks A Panel Of Experts To Defend Walmart. It Gets Awkward. Bernie Sanders:: Thank you, madam vice-chair. One of the interesting aspects of discussions about the economy and income inequality inside the Beltway, as opposed to back home in the real world, is the very different tone that we hear. The idea that anybody could suggests that we are not seeing massive increases in income and wealth inequality is beyond my comprehension. If you go outside of the Beltway, there is no debate about that. The idea that anyone could suggest that today the economy for the middle class is anywhere near where it used to be is beyond comprehension, I think, to the vast majority of the American people. The reality that we are seeing today is that middle class in this country is disappearing, median family income is going down. As Secretary Reich pointed out, between 2009 and 2012 95% of all new income generated in this country went to the top 1%. Does anybody on that panel, I'm going to ask that question in a moment, think that makes moral sense or economic sense?

It’s a “Story Problem”: What’s Behind Our Messed-Up Economy by David Korten The peoples of earlier times prospered from the guidance of simple stories that offered answers to their deepest questions. We need those now more than ever. posted Jul 18, 2013 For people, generally, their story of the universe and the human role in the universe is their primary source of intelligibility and value. ... According to evolutionary biologists, the first living organisms appeared on Earth some 3.6 billion years ago. We humans live by stories and have a particularly passionate need for stories that give our lives meaning and direction. We humans pride ourselves on being the most intelligent of the species made possible by the supposedly lesser, mostly microscopic organisms that transformed Earth from a toxic dead rock into a living jewel. It seems that despite all of our extraordinary scientific and economic advances, we humans are a species out of touch with reality. Millions of people now ask, "Why do we get it so terribly wrong?" I believe it’s a story problem. Story awareness

Paul and Patricia Churchland’s Philosophical Marriage It’s a little before six in the morning and quite cold on the beach. It’s low tide, and the sand is wet and hard-packed and stony. This early on a Sunday, there are often only two people here, on the California coast just north of San Diego. Patricia Churchland is throwing a rubber ball into the ocean for her two dogs (Fergus and Maxwell, golden retrievers) to fetch. Her husband, Paul Churchland, is standing next to her. They are both wearing heavy sweaters. Pat is constantly in motion, throwing the ball, stepping backward, rubbing her hands together, walking forward in a vigorous, twitchy way. Paul and Pat met when she was nineteen and he was twenty, and they have been married for almost forty years. “For the first twenty-five years of our career, Pat and I wrote only one paper together,” Paul says, “partly because we wanted to avoid—” “We wrote more than that,” Pat says. “Together? “There was ‘Functionalism, Intentionality, and Whatnot.’ ” “O.K., so there’s two. “A patent lawyer?” “Yes.

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