‘Key and Peele’ and the existence of meta-language

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvFeyGxaaU      Those who have seen (or in my case, binge-watched) the Comedy Central series Key and Peele may be familiar with this clip. A schoolyard bully's reign of harassment has one curious twist: he describes the deepest personal realities behind his every action and statement. The result of this obscene display is a… Continue reading ‘Key and Peele’ and the existence of meta-language

Coercion or conversation? The limits of religious dialogue

     Last week I attended a gathering hosted by the Interfaith Youth Core, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing dialogue between members of diverse religious backgrounds. Specifically, the IFYC seeks to encourage religious pluralism in America's college campuses by supporting student groups in navigating the difficult and sometimes treacherous waters of interfaith relations. Their… Continue reading Coercion or conversation? The limits of religious dialogue

Contorting reality: cosmology’s strangest objects

     As a neuroscience major, I hold the (completely unbiased) view that the brain is the single most remarkable object in the universe. Its structure is the culmination of 4 billion years of unlikely development, beginning with simple biomolecules and exploding into a dynamic, hyperconnected network whose complexity we're still trying to decipher today.… Continue reading Contorting reality: cosmology’s strangest objects

Jung, Sowell, and the psychology of mass-minded politics

     In recent years we've seen political activism rise to an all-time high. The streets are frequently chiming with the buzz of protest: we march in Charlottesville, we march for 'Our Lives', for women, for science, and so on. Political collectives are increasingly popular, from Blacklivesmatter, Antifa, to The Proud Boys, and besides these… Continue reading Jung, Sowell, and the psychology of mass-minded politics

‘The Brain That Changes Itself’: neuroplasticity and the future of cognitive science

 Scientific progress rarely develops in a linear, steady fashion. Though volumes of data are always accumulating, the theories they ‘fit in’ take time to adjust in light of new or anomalous findings. The concept of paradigm shifts, developed by the philosopher Karl Popper, is a reminder that groundbreaking ways of thinking are always around the… Continue reading ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’: neuroplasticity and the future of cognitive science

God in the age of Abraham: scientific materialism and religion

     Science and religion, it seems, are not good dance partners. Over the past few centuries, scientific progress has coincided with a sharp decline in religious belief. The bounties of technology and research are an ever-present testament to the power of the scientific method. At the same time, religion is perceived as something archaic… Continue reading God in the age of Abraham: scientific materialism and religion

Puzzles, prisoners, and discs: how time structures human subjectivity

     If you look carefully enough, there's a paradox at the heart of our experience. Consider the flash of a walk signal, inviting you to cross an intersection. It seems to happen immediately: an observation which seems obvious enough. The image presents itself to our consciousness in an all-or-nothing, singular moment of experience.  … Continue reading Puzzles, prisoners, and discs: how time structures human subjectivity

Kant, demystified

     I bought Critique of Pure Reason a little too early; for a few years, Kant's breakthrough masterpiece just sat on my bookshelf collecting dust. I picked up on hints of Kantian philosophy in high school — references to a priori judgements and the categorical imperative in particular — but I was never formally introduced to the German… Continue reading Kant, demystified