Suggested readings, #102

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

Final thoughts. Do deathbed regrets give us a special insight into what really matters in life? There are good reasons to be skeptical. (Aeon / Psyche)

How to cope with teen (and others’) anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy provides a toolbox of skills to help you manage anxiety and do what you want with your life. (Aeon / Psyche)

Stoicism as an ally against anxiety. (Modern Stoicism)

The quest to tell science from pseudoscience. Philosopher Karl Popper famously asked how to tell the two apart. His answer—falsifiability—hasn’t aged well, but the effort lives on. (Boston Review)

When does an idea die? Plato and string theory clash with data. How long should one wait until an idea like string theory, seductive as it may be, is deemed unrealistic? (Greece High Definition)

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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, #102”

  1. Re the Boston Review piece, Popper was claiming to be affiliated with the Vienna Circle even for the first couple of years after his emigration to New Zealand, long after his first book came out.

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    1. Read further and saw this “Massimo Pigliucci” being quoted. Do we know this is a real person? Is “he” maybe a Chinese room?

      Speaking of, Searle AND his critics BOTH get some issues wrong on that. (Blog post on my second, philosophy blog sometime next month. I’m done with the Hume series and doing some Reformation 500 stuff.)

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  2. It may be true that deathbed regrets do not give us “the” answer, but I’m quite convinced that thinking about that moment well in advance of it can be very useful. There is the old saying that “nobody on their deathbed ever said they should have worked more”…I liked to insert other things in place of “worked more”–nobody on their deathbed ever said “I should have played more video games”…”I should have argued more about whose turn it was to do the dishes”…”I should have skipped a hike because of bad weather and napped on the couch more”…”I should have watched more reality TV”…etc.

    When my grandmother was 106 and in her last days, I asked her what wisdom she might want to pass on to me, her favorite ;-) after a long pause, she looked at me and said “John, sometimes it’s better to just keep your mouth shut.”


    1. You had a wise grandmother! And yes, I agree that there is still value in listening to what people at he end of their life want to tell us.


    2. That said, there’s also the piece Massimo posted two weeks ago that notes, due to hypoxia and other end-of-life body deterioration, most end-of-life statements are “pithy” not because people are trying to be profound, but because they can’t be any more than brief, and just enough “separated” in their thinking to sound profound.
      Ars longa, vita brevis.

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