Personal Identity Archive

Tracking a Decade of Reading: What I’ve Learned

In January 2005, on a whim, I created a spreadsheet with four simple columns: Title, Author, Genre, Month Read. I wasn’t sure I’d keep up with this record, but it seemed worthwhile and was simple to maintain, evolving as I added columns to track other details and eventually migrating the whole thing from Excel

3 for Thursday: 3 Reasons to Question the Existence of the Soul

From split-brain patients to brain-control interfaces, every new scientific discovery appears to be slowly taking away the role and necessity of the soul and giving it to the brain.

What If My Younger Self Friended Me on Facebook?

If by some strange experiment of internet time travel you were friended by your younger self on Facebook, would accept it?

Is Human Morality Found in Our Primate History? A Review of The Bonobo and the Atheist

In "The Bonobo and the Atheist," Frans de Waal challenges religion's top-down morality and explores the similarities of humans, chimps, and bonobos.

3 for Thursday: 3 Studies on the Problem of Religious Identity

New studies say something about religious identity and their perils in family, job prospects in the American South, and in defining a country.

Quoted: Maya Angelou on Taking Action

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." ~ Maya Angelou

3 for Thursday: 3 Crash Courses on The Brain

There was a day when people thought with their hearts. Well, maybe they did not actually think with their literal hearts, but they thought the heart is where the mind could be found...anyway, you get the picture. If neuroscience has demonstrated anything, it is that the brain is where the mind is at today.

“Remember the Thalamus!” A Review of Andrew’s Brain

The narrator of E. L. Doctorow’s new novel is Andrew. Or, more accurately, Andrew’s brain. Or, perhaps most accurately, some consciousness that refers to itself as Andrew. It’s hard to get your bearings in this novel of neuroscience, because Andrew is the ultimate unreliable narrator: he knows that “there is nothing you can think
In search of belief changing ideas