Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading is a regular feature with three links to fascinating, provocative, or particularly well-written, (usually) long-form pieces collected over the last three years. There will not be a test, but there may be a theme.

Three* thought-provoking pieces just for you…

~On Being an Octopus: It’s about exactly what it says it’s about. Fascinating throughout.

~How Consciousness Works: From Aeon, which has published more amazing stuff in the last six months than I can keep up with.

~The Scientific Riddle of Consciousness?: This one, published in the New Yorker, is chock-a-block with great links, most greatly, to the work of philosopher David Chalmers who will blow your mind if you give him the chance.

~There is Only Awe: Part book review, part reflection on consciousness, the author, Rachel Aviv, is a routinely impressive writer, thinker and researcher. Her stuff is ALWAYS worth reading. This is no exception.

*ish

Experimental Philosophy–What People Think About During Lectures

Replace the words “philosophy talk” in this article with “lecture by me” and you’ll get some interesting (and humbling) reminders about what goes on during classes. Most likely, at any given time, the vast majority of the students are NOT thinking about you.

That does not mean they don’t hear you or learn the material or anything else. It just means they are not thinking about us or our words most of the time. Or, at least, that’s what a few “experiments” shows…

By the way: I found the piece through the Leiter Report, which has some great stuff this week, including a link to a review of a new book by one of my favorite philosophers–Martha Nussbaum–on Democracy and Humanities Education. More on that next week…