Photo by Tamiko Thiel via Wikimedia Commons
How can we know whether a claim someone makes is scientific or not? The question is of the utmost consequence, as we are surrounded on all sides by claims that sound credible, that use the language of science—and often do so in attempts to refute scientific consensus.
70 years ago this month, Albert Camus made his first and only trip to the United States, briefly visiting Philadelphia and Boston, but mostly staying in New York, the city that captivated him most.[...]
In 2009, Harvard philosophy professor Michael Sandel broke some ground when he made his popular course, “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?,” available online. A course taken by thousands of Harvard undergrads suddenly became a course taken by tens of thousands of lifelong learners worldwide.[...]
So, imagine that you’re John Malkovich. I know, you’ve seen this movie before, but hear me out: you’re one of the most venerated actors of your generation. You are entering your sixth decade and could probably coast into your golden years on accolades and prestige parts.[...]
We now find ourselves about a third of the way through March, more interestingly known as Women’s History Month, a time filled with occasions to round up and learn more about the creations and accomplishments of women through the centuries.[...]
In Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1938 philosophical novel Nausea, which he considered one of his finest works of fiction or otherwise, the stricken protagonist Antoine Roquentin cures his existential horror and sickness with jazz—specifically with an old recording of the song “Some of These Days.” Which recording? We do not know.[...]
Image by Walter Benjamin Archiv, via Wikimedia Commons
The probability of Walter Benjamin‘s name coming up in your average MFA workshop, or fiction writers’ group of any kind, likely approaches zero.
What to do when your love life goes south? Twentieth-century America established the tradition of seeking the counsel of an advice columnist, but in eighteenth-century Austria, with neither Dear Abby nor Ann Landers to whom to turn, you’d have to settle for the next best thing: Immanuel Kant.[...]
Free will often seems like nothing more than a cruel illusion. We don’t get to choose the times, places, and circumstances of our birth, nor do we have much control over the state of our states, regions, or nations.[...]
Vlogbrothers and “Nerdfighter” online personalities Hank and John Green set about conquering the world of educational media a few years ago—while also writing bestselling novels, recording popular albums, and creating startups and charitable organizations on the side.[...]