About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Massimo’s Picks

By Massimo Pigliucci
* Oh gosh, NPR now is publishing fuzzy warmy pieces promoting Feng Shui and self-help!
* Study suggests that supernatural belief stems from a category mistake regarding core knowledge.
* In case you missed it, a US Judge rejected the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy of the Military concerning gays. It took some time, now what?
* Insightful essay in The New Yorker about the history of the New Thought movement, of which the book “The Secret” (and its just released follow up, “The Power”) is one of the latest incarnations.
* On the cost and causes of the Iraq war, now that it is (allegedly) over.
* Whewell’s Ghost, a new blog on the history and philosophy of science.
* My National Science Foundation interview on the future of evolutionary theory.
* One more on experimental philosophy. This article defends it, but the main example seems like a good reason to treat it as an oxymoron (or at best as an example of science-informed philosophy; or is it philosophy-informed science?).
* Evolution—The Extended Synthesis is already in its second printing!
* George Williams, one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the 20th century, whom I had the pleasure to meet when I was at Stony Brook, just died.


  1. I did a little writeup on the New Yorker profile here: http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/2010/09/12/the-secret-as-manic-defense/

  2. James, what can I say, he's getting old! ;-) Seriously, I might need to write a post about Hawking's new book. But that would mean I had to read it first, and at the moment I got better readings lined up...

  3. It's true; he is. For some, I can feel a sort of glee as they become mired in foolishness, but with others, I just feel bad.


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