The Contributions of Consolation Philosophy to the Science of Compassion

In recent years, the scientific study of compassion, has experienced a tremendous surge; a quick Google Search will disclose the plethora of books, talks, and scholarly publications on the subject matter. Most renown, the work of psychology professor Dr. Kristin Neff on self-compassion has formed the bulwark of our thinking about it in clinical practice.Continue reading “The Contributions of Consolation Philosophy to the Science of Compassion”

Bringing Home the Bacon: The Idols of Mind in Psychological Science

Perhaps unfortunately named, the Renaissance philosopher Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) is now largely forgotten. Where he is remembered, he is often spoken about as the founder of the modern scientific method. In his major work, Novum Organon or New Tool (1620), Bacon lays out new methods that he believes to be proper to the interrogationContinue reading “Bringing Home the Bacon: The Idols of Mind in Psychological Science”

Thinking is a form of relating

According to Tim Urban, low-rung thinking is tribalistic (we take on ideas because of their connectivity to a group identity). To be fair, there are many benefits to thinking within and as part of a tribe. As Sebastian Junger argues, tribalistic thinking unites individuals within a shared identity, consolidates values that provide guidance towards life’sContinue reading “Thinking is a form of relating”

Collective Hesitation: Two Models of Loss Aversion to Explain Our Hesitation to Act on Climate Change and COVID-19

What explains our collective hesitation to act in the face of catastrophic uncertainty? Note here that collective hesitationimplies our inability to act collectively and with solidarity. To be sure, there will always be early adopters of reform and key influencers. To take the issue of climate change for example, Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panelsContinue reading “Collective Hesitation: Two Models of Loss Aversion to Explain Our Hesitation to Act on Climate Change and COVID-19”

The Homunculus: Perception as adjustment, prediction and preparation for Reality

According to medieval arcanum, the homunculus is a small person–a double of sorts–that supposedly dwells esoterically inside one’s physical (i.e., brain, semen, heart), or virtual (i.e., soul) extensions. It was a concept that helped translate the operations of medicine and alchemy in anthropomorphic terms. In modern day parlance, the homunculus is still used to referContinue reading “The Homunculus: Perception as adjustment, prediction and preparation for Reality”

Meaning and the Scarcity of Time

There is a ‘business’ that threatens to take over our lives. Could the ‘busy-making’ that we are all increasingly preoccupied with be the conscious generation of scarcity—time-scarcity? If so, what is to be gained from creating a scarcity and hardship? The psychoanalytic frame understands that creating a predictable, contained hardship is a successful way ofContinue reading “Meaning and the Scarcity of Time”

Climate Change: Crisis on the Way to Transition?

The psychologist Erik Erikson wrote about psychosocial stages of development during the life course of an individual. According to Erikson, a person’s life is characterized by periods of stability that are predictably interrupted by a developmental crisis, which can be either successfully or unsuccessfully challenged. If successful, the individual will experience personal growth and moveContinue reading “Climate Change: Crisis on the Way to Transition?”

Trust and Anti-Trust

Today’s economy is increasingly powered by speculation and the raising and allocation of capital to ideas (rather than concrete, manufactured assets). While there are potentially many causes for this shift, its effects on social wellbeing are controversial. Some claim that the speculative economy has resulted in unprecedented growth and innovation while others allege that theContinue reading “Trust and Anti-Trust”

Classical Liberalism, Psychotherapy, and the Progressive Critique

I’ve been involved in progressive social activism for the better part of 15 years. And the older I get, the more I appreciate the classic liberal corrective to what I see as the fallacies of ideology—be they on the Left or Right. The classical liberal view I have come to learn—from podcasts, mainly—has been largelyContinue reading “Classical Liberalism, Psychotherapy, and the Progressive Critique”

Problems of Lack and Desire: Self, Society and Wellbeing

The society we live in is characterized by problems of lack and desire. This is not only true of our society but is a truth about all society. These problems are basic human problems of living. The problem of lack is straightforward: How does one adapt to conditions of economic, material, environmental scarcity? The problemContinue reading “Problems of Lack and Desire: Self, Society and Wellbeing”