Suggested readings, #70

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

Virtual reality as a catalyst for thought. (Philosophy Now)

Seventy teams of scientists analyzed the same brain data, and it went badly. What the latest fMRI “crisis” means for the rest of science. (Medium)

The Epictetus Club: part two. Stoicism in prison. (Modern Stoicism)

What Is Randonautica really about? An app that generates coordinates for adventurers claims to turn your thoughts into reality. TikTok and YouTube creators want you to believe it — but you shouldn’t. (New York Times)

How to fight against Big Tech’s power. We are beholden to a few Big Tech overlords for much of our digital lives. We can be more conscientious about it. [I’ll soon write another blog post on this, a topic dear to my heart.] (New York Times)

Best philosophical novels, recommended by Rebecca Goldstein. [Check out my online live book club for forthcoming events.] (Five Books)

Experiments and ideas for teaching philosophically. Want to engage your students in philosophical debate and questioning? Dr John Taylor shares some simple ways to embed independent thinking across the curriculum. (The Guardian)

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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.

3 thoughts on “Suggested readings, #70”

  1. Uhh, isn’t Camus a novelist? Weren’t some of Sartre’s writings novels? Right there, BIG failures by Goldstein. Also, how do books like Crime and Punishment or The Idiot not make her top five. I know you’ve said in the past that you don’t always agree with things you post here. I certainly hope this is not the case.

    Oh, and a friendly reminder that “Plato at the Googleplex” is not on the top five for anything other than misconceived paeans to a bigfooting Internet and social media company, to tie to another of your links (as well as a reminder that Goldstein is IMO just not that good of a writer):


  2. I was also surprised that the smash forthcoming novel: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Human Nature and Love Evolutionary Psychology,” by Steven Pinker, was NOT on the list.

    Besides Camus (Take The Stranger over Plague or Fall for one novel), you’ve got to have Dostoyevsky there. Brothers Karamazov would likely be No. 1, but Notes from Underground would be a close second. Crime and Punishment “lost me” at the end, because of the happy ending. (No, really: What if, instead of the actual ending, Sonya won’t move to Siberia with Raskolnikov and later sends him a “Dear John” letter? THAT’s a Russian novel that imbibes Schoepenhauer!)

    And, since there is philosophy of language, The Name of the Rose … I’ll bet you can think of others, too, Massimo.

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