Suggested readings, #83

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

Psychedelics can’t be tested using conventional clinical trials. Research on psychedelics is all the rage, but it turns out to be much more difficult to carry out than one might have assumed. (Aeon)

The neurology of flow states. Why time vanishes when you’re jamming. Ever been in a state of flow? Here is what it looks like inside your brain, and why it matters. (Nautilus)

Why physics can’t tell us what life is. The origin of life can’t be explained by first principles. Biology is not just more complex physics, I keep telling my friends in the Physics Department. (Nautilus)

The dangers of moral talk: on Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke’s “Grandstanding.” Although there is a danger that these authors themselves indulge in moral grandstanding, they have a point. And it cuts across the political divide. (LA Review of Books)

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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.

2 thoughts on “Suggested readings, #83”

  1. On the physics and biology article:

    In recent months, I’ve been trying to fill myself in on chemistry, it’s the area I’ve least delved into out of lack of interest, so it’s a deficiency I need to fix. I apparently don’t seem the be the only one, philosophy of chemistry became an organized discipline only since the 1990’s.

    But let alone biology, it’s dubious how much of chemistry can be reduced to physics. There is still a lack of consensus on the nature of chemical bonds, and so far, it’s still in the domain of chemical models, there hasn’t been a successful attempt in explaining how molecules form based on quantum mechanics. It’s an issue that’s conspicuously missing in articles like these, you’d think it’s crucially important to discuss considering the causal gap is much closer.

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