Shortlink

Needed

When Philosophy Needed Muslims, Jews and Christians Alike by Peter Adamson.

If you were asked to name the most important philosopher of 10th-century Baghdad, you would presumably not hesitate to say ‘al-Farabi’. He’s one of the few thinkers of the Islamic world known to non-specialists, deservedly so given his ambitious reworking of Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics and political philosophy. But if you were yourself a resident of 10th-century Baghdad, you might more likely think of Yahya ibn ‘Adi. He is hardly a household name now, but was mentioned by the historian al-Mas‘udi as the only significant teacher of Aristotelian philosophy in his day. But ibn ‘Adi is not just a good example of how fame wanes across the centuries. He is also a fine illustration of the inter-religious nature of philosophy in the Islamic world.

More.

Shortlink

Problem

Our Quantum Problem by Adrian Kent.

When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable.

More.

Shortlink

Basis?

PD reviews Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation by Kevin Vallier.

Shortlink

Divide

The French, Coming Apart by Christopher Caldwell.

A social thinker illuminates his country’s populist divide.

More.

Shortlink

Fascists

Sorry, College Kids, There’s No Such Thing As Hate Speech by John Daniel Davidson.

For the sake of campus protestors and their professors across the country, it’s time to make something clear: there’s no such thing as hate speech.

That should go without saying, since freedom of speech and free inquiry is supposed to be what college is all about. But the recent spate of violent student protests, from the University of California at Berkeley to Middlebury College in Vermont, have been met with a collective shrug from an alarming number of college students, professors, and administrators who seem to be under the impression that violence is okay so long as its purpose is to silence “hate speech.”

By hate speech, they mean ideas and opinions that run afoul of progressive pieties. Do you believe abortion is the taking of human life? That’s hate speech. Think transgenderism is a form of mental illness? Hate speech. Concerned about illegal immigration? Believe in the right to bear arms? Support President Donald Trump? All hate speech.

But in fact, there is no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment. The answer to the question, “Where does free speech stop and hate speech begin?” is this: nowhere. For the purposes of the First Amendment, there is no difference between free speech and hate speech. Ideas and opinions that progressive students and professors find offensive or “hateful” are just as protected by the Bill of Rights as anti-Trump slogans chanted at a campus protest.

More.

Shortlink

Sisters

Meet the Sisters Who Ran ‘the Most Famous and Luxurious House of Prostitution in the Country’ by Nina Renata Aron.

Chicago’s Everleigh Club hosted celebrities and princes. Its owners made millions.

More.

Shortlink

Wager

Douthat’s Wager: Go to Church, Even If You Don’t Believe by Jonathan Malesic.

If you are a secular liberal who made your twice-yearly trip to church on Easter Sunday, you took an important step toward improving your life, your political philosophy, and your community, according to New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. The next step is to go back, not just at Christmas, but every Sunday from now on.

More.

Shortlink

Journey

God in the Machine: My Strange Journey into Transhumanism by Meghan O’Gieblyn.

After losing her faith, a former evangelical Christian felt adrift in the world. She then found solace in a radical technological philosophy – but its promises of immortality and spiritual transcendence soon seemed unsettlingly familiar.

More.

Shortlink

Integrity

Of March and Myth: The Politicizing of Science by Sylvia R. Karasu.

Scientific integrity, self-correction, and the public.

More.

Shortlink

Fueled

How Late-Night Comedy Fueled the Rise of Trump by Caitlin Flanagan.

Sneering hosts have alienated conservatives and made liberals smug.

More.

Shortlink

Crisis

Is Psychology Full of Undead Theories? by Ross Pomeroy.

Science is embattled in a raging replication crisis, in which researchers are unable to reproduce a number of key findings. On the front lines of this conflict is psychology. In a 2015 review of 98 original psychology papers, just 36 percent of attempted replications returned significant results, whereas 97 percent of the original studies did.

More.

Shortlink

Theology

The Theology of Stephen K. Bannon by Hugh Urban.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s job may be in jeopardy, according to recent news reports. Coming on the heels of his removal from the National Security Council, the commotion surrounding the alt-right provocateur has raised new questions about his broader ideology—and to what degree it may or may not be influencing the policies of the Trump administration. Is the current infighting between Bannon and more moderate elements in the White House a result of personality clashes, or is it tied to his extreme political and religious ideals? By now, Bannon’s brash and aggressive political discourse is well known. Comparing himself to “Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan,” Bannon pulls no punches when describing his own radical vision of America’s future—for example, by calling for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Yet Bannon’s complex religious rhetoric is much less well understood.

More.

Shortlink

Transformation

Let’s Talk About What’s Happening To The Democratic Party by John Daniel Davidson.

The mainstream media is obsessed with how Trump is changing the GOP. But the real transformation in American politics is happening in the Democratic Party.

More.

Shortlink

Sincerity

Age of Sincerity by Faisal Devji.

In politics, as in militant religion, the performance of sincerity is everything, no matter whether right or wrong.

More.

Shortlink

Easter

Easter Changed the Course of History, Though Not in Ways We Might Expect by Philip Yancey.

Have you ever wondered what Jesus was doing between the first Easter and his ascension six weeks later? The New Testament records 10 appearances, half of them occurring on the same day and together occupying only a few hours of his time. What else was taking place? Free of his former body’s constraints, was Jesus paying unrecorded visits to other cultures on Earth, or zipping in and out of time warps and wormholes to check on other universes?

More.

Shortlink

Purge

Inside Turkey’s Purge by Suzy Hansen.

As the ruling party expands the ranks of its enemies, life in a fragile democracy becomes stranger and stranger.

More.

Shortlink

Kids

Kids These Days by James Somers.

Millennials are as hard-working as anyone else – so why does pop culture pretend that all we do is party?

More.

Shortlink

Traits

The Big Five Personality Traits and What They Mean to Psychologists by Robby Berman.

At the topmost level, there are two types of people in the world: Those who think personality types can be categorized and those who can’t.

More.

Shortlink

Sleep

With Polyphasic Sleep, You Can Thrive on as Little as Two Hours per Night by Philip Perry.

What we consider a “normal” sleep cycle is called monophasic. This is sleeping for one long period throughout the night. In some Southern European and Latin American countries, the style is biphasic. They sleep five to six hours per night, with a 60-90 minute siesta during midday. There is a historical precedent too. Before the advent of artificial light, most people slept in two chunks each night of four hours each, with an hour of wakefulness in-between. That’s also a biphasic system. Then there is polyphasic sleep. This is sleeping for different periods and amounts of time throughout the day.

More.

Shortlink

Watchers

Watchers of the Earth by Carrie Arnold.

Indigenous peoples around the world tell myths which contain warning signs for natural disasters. Scientists are now listening.

More.