Explanations as Meta-Perception

Our need to construct explanations appear to be a ubiquitous feature of how we interact with things; so much so that it can be said to be a meta-perception. In this Hidden Brain episode, host Shankar Vendantam discussed the research of psychologist Tania Lombroso on why humans labor to construct explanations, stories and models ofContinue reading “Explanations as Meta-Perception”

Between Disorder and Diversity: On Mental Disorders and Neurodiversity

I recently had a conversation with a friend* (information may be altered to respect privacy) about his issues with up and down mood cycles. He told me he has a condition called ‘cyclothymia’, which refers to a pattern of mood elevation (i.e., called hypomania) followed by mood depression. It is essentially considered a milder formContinue reading “Between Disorder and Diversity: On Mental Disorders and Neurodiversity”

Bits and Pieces (Ideas)

The Birth and Adolescence of the Asylum The modern asylum began around 1813, with the “Moral Treatment” of Samuel Tuke and the Quaker reformists. The humanist principles of respect, self-control, kindness and rationality were implemented in an intensive-care setting. Most importantly, illness/madness was a diagnosis to be recovered from. Institutionalization was considered a temporary processContinue reading “Bits and Pieces (Ideas)”

Beyond Romanticism: A Valentine’s Ode to Modern Relationships

I previously wrote about the contributions of Dr. Ester Perel, Belgian psychotherapist, to the field of relationships. Listening to her TED podcast episode again, I have a few more thoughts which I offer here as a Valentine’s Day ode to modern relationships. Romanticism is the ideological extension of liberating technologies The past 200 years usheredContinue reading “Beyond Romanticism: A Valentine’s Ode to Modern Relationships”

de Botton’s Consolations of Romanticism

I have been listening to a few podcast episodes and talks from the well-recognized and well-liked philosopher of modernity Alain de Botton. The writer of philosophical consolations, de Botton clearly has a gift for speaking to the public ear in a modern parlance that is witty, accessible and educational. An innovator, teacher and coach heContinue reading “de Botton’s Consolations of Romanticism”

Ivan Illich on The Age of Disabling Professions

In 1977, the itinerant theologian and philosopher, Ivan Illich, penned a book chapter on The Age of Disabling Professions. This age, he described, roughly started around the mid-20th century and persisted up till his writing and even into the present. One of the markings of this age is a discursive shift where we learned toContinue reading “Ivan Illich on The Age of Disabling Professions”

Paradoxes of Cooperation

In a wonderfully thought-provoking lecture, Alain de Botton discusses the morality of capitalism. In what would sound like an oxymoron, de Botton suggests that capitalism—driven by self-interested  consumption—fulfills a greater moral objective through creating a level of prosperity for the masses that was unparalleled by other socioeconomic systems. Describing a social theory illustrated by theContinue reading “Paradoxes of Cooperation”

A Proposal to the Crisis in Psychological Sciences

The “crisis” is derived from the philosopher Edmund Husserl‘s last great work “The Crisis of European Sciences” in which he offers a philosophical critique of the modern science of the day. My argument here is that psychological science faces problems of comparable magnitude: novelty and innovation. Students and faculty alike are urged to publish ‘novel’Continue reading “A Proposal to the Crisis in Psychological Sciences”

A History of Corrections and Policing in America

Three recent podcast episodes on NPR’s Throughline help us better understand the origins of mass incarceration, policing and the social-political system that has come to shape a concept of ‘criminality’ that currently has both local and global import. In the first episode on Mass Incarceration, we learn about the origins of one of America’s earliestContinue reading “A History of Corrections and Policing in America”

Levinas’ Three-Body Problem

Within Newtonian physics, there exists a seemingly intractable problem of motion that is described as the n-body problem. Simply described, it posits that in a system where three or more bodies (e.g., planets) exist in macro-space it will be impossible to predict the motion of each body even when accounting for their speed, initial positionContinue reading “Levinas’ Three-Body Problem”