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.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Massimo's Picks

by Massimo Pigliucci

* The complexities of hacker ethics.

* Generation limbo: when graduating from college doesn't mean you've got a good job, or any job.

* Derek Parfit's quest for a universally true morality, and his somewhat quirky personality.

* Men don't read, and women are likely not too far behind. How the new America is getting stupider and stupider.

* Philosophy Talk, on schizophrenia.

* Montaigne, the inventor of the essay format, and how to live one's life.

* The moral complexity of interventionism, the impossibility of isolationism.

* Another thoughtful commentary on interventionism in Libya.

* Taking blame or credit for economic success is fishy business, philosopher says.

* Human brain has been shrinking: are we evolving toward Idiocracy?

* The philosophy of laughing at Hitler.


  1. You put up the wrong link for "* Taking blame or credit for economic success is fishy business, philosopher says."

  2. I disagree that men don't read. People may not read books or novels as they used to, but I think they actually may be reading more on the internet. People have shorter attention span today, but that's not necessarily bad. For example, how likely you would be to read about skepticism and philosophy 20 years ago? You would have to buy specific books, and back then they weren't that many popular ones. Here, just visiting this site you get to read about so many different topics that you could dream to be exposed to in the past, and this is just one site.

  3. Massimo,
    So what do you think about Philosophy Talk? Do you think the show is that good? For some reason I have been listening to their podcast for the past 20 episodes or so, because the topics interest me. And just about every time I find myself disappointed.

  4. Sheldon, honestly, I rarely listen to the show, though I always read their blog. What, in particular disappoints you?

  5. I read at least two nonfiction books a week, and not "technical manuals," but history, poli sci, environment, philosophy, biography, etc. I don't read four fiction books a year, tis true. Cognitive science and similar are offering mind stimulation that used to only come from fiction.


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