Suggested readings, #14

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

Is Western philosophy just a form of white suprematism? No, of course not. But sure, let’s keep writing that sort of thing. What’s the worse it can happen? (The Philosophical Salon)

Could Ancient Greek philosophy help you work smarter and better? Sure, though that would actually mean missing the point of Ancient Greek philosophy. Also, a rival of the humor theory? What the hell, NYT? (New York Times)

Where are all the women in ancient philosophy? They are there, but mighty hard to find, through no fault of their own. (New Statesman)

Plants neither possess nor require consciousness. A brief introduction to the pseudoscience of plant neurobiology. (Trends in Plant Science)

When researchers submitted to Science a paper attempting (and failing) to replicate a high profile result in social psychology (previously published by Science), they were told: “not interested.” That’s bad. Really bad. (Slate)

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Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at and He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

5 thoughts on “Suggested readings, #14”

  1. I’ve been seeing more about Plant Consciousness in the past few years, glad to see a detailed rebuttal of it. But I don’t understand how people find these ideas plausible (or am I too willing to trust my own common sense intuitions)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had already read that Slate piece, Massimo. Were it not about the issue it’s actually about, Science’s attitude would be bad enough, and would rightly be seen as contributing to social science’s replication problem.

    But, given what it IS about, instead, Science is handing ammo to conservatives who claim that science is politicized.

    And, I think the piece is right. Take the claim that conservatives have higher levels of neuroticism on the Big Five personality scale. Such claims generally ignore whether said neuroticism was primarily inherited, primarily generated by one’s parenting in childhood, or primarily generated by adult neuroticism-inducing incidents. The attempts to apply social science to political stances are still HIGHLY fraught.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The white supremacism piece has a degree of truth. (I know that you and I have disagreed somewhat on the issue, or not, or “presentism” and critiques of such figures of the past.) But, the author is still cherry-picking.

    (And, it’s not like racism can’t be found outside people of European ancestry, either. Look at Jews on Palestinians. Or Arabs on sub-Saharan Africans. Or some Chinese and Japanese on Africans.)

    Third, the author seems to assume that, philosophically speaking, there’s nothing equivalent to “dualism” to be found in non-European philosophical metaphysics. There is.


    1. Socratic,

      “Look at Jews on Palestinians. Or Arabs on sub-Saharan Africans. Or some Chinese and Japanese on Africans.”

      Precisely. This used to be called the “noble savage” fallacy, except that these days the word “savage” is rather politically incorrect…

      Liked by 1 person

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