Suggested readings, #73

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

Feel like you’re going out of your mind? Consider your mind-set. No one likes to make mistakes, but how you manage them can be a key to a stronger future. (New York Times)

This vision experiment resolved a centuries-old philosophical debate. [Good, so now we can move on, right?] (Nautilus)

On the first principles of moral reason. [A must read for anyone seriously interested in ethics.] (Public Discourse)

What actually happens when a TV episode gets pulled? This summer brought a flurry of TV takedowns, with offensive episodes of “30 Rock,” “Workaholics” and others being removed from circulation. But in the digital era, what does that even mean? [Yet another bad idea for modern times.] (New York Times)

Stan Lee’s American pantheon. Why Stan Lee’s comic creations are more than just men in tights. [Wonderful essay on the cultural impact of the Marvel Universe.] (Prospect)

The American press is destroying itself. A flurry of newsroom revolts has transformed the American press. [Another must read, if you care about public discourse and democracy.] (Taibbi)

The ‘busy’ trap. If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. (New York Times)

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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.

4 thoughts on “Suggested readings, #73”

  1. Please, please, on Taibbi, and here, I’m speaking professionally, Massimo. He’s largely wrong with what was said about Lee Fang. He’s wrong in that Fang actually admitted to most of this without a gun at his head. He’s even more wrong about other things, such as his bromance for Tulsi. I blogged about that piece. You’ll note, by the number of links, how many other people think he’s partially to mainly wrong on a lot of stuff in it and beyond.

    The Nautilus piece? Which I had already ready — qualia was the first thing I thought of.

    And, wait? You’re linking to a religious-based piece about natural law, with arguably questionable interpretation of Hume, and seemingly favorably?


    1. Socratic, I think you are dead wrong about Taibbi, one of the few sane voices left on the Left. And yes, I’m a Stoic, I accept the concept of natural law (though, of course interpreted biologically, not theologically). And the piece is exactly right about Hume, sorry.


  2. You and I almost certainly disagree over the Harper’s letter, then, too. Anti-BDSers at the core of it are the cancel culture if anybody is. So, sorry … but the dead wrong goes both ways on that. And, speaking from the press? Per one or two of the people there? I think Taibbi has been sniffing his own press clippings too much.

    On the other piece? I don’t like using the term “natural law” for non-theologically based versions of law derived from biological and cultural evolution. Leads to too much confusion. AND, the Witherspoon Institute … don’t think it promotes naturalistic versions of natural law! (That said, John Witherspoon himself was closer to Unitarianism than modern conservative Presbyterianism.)


    1. Well, if you think Taibbi is somehow part of cancel culture I think you are mistaken. Natural law has always referred to what we today call bio-cultural evolution, since Aristotle and the Stoics. I couldn’t care less what the agenda of the Witherspoon Institute is, frankly.


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