The Wisdom of Crowds

  ISBN: 9780385721707 READ: 2017-03-13 AUTHOR: James Surowiecki     An important book on the development of crowd mechanisms. I found particularly informative a bunch of psychological and sociological experiments on crowd behaviour, as well as a precious analysis of what makes the crowd complexively smarter rather than dumber. The main ingredient? Let individuals be fairly independent, […]

The Skeptical Tradition - M. Burnyeat, University of California Press

The Skeptical Tradition

  ISBN: 978-0520037472 READ: 2016-12-24 EDITOR: Myles Burnyeat   Revisiting how ancient skepticism has shaped the history of western thought has been a valuable philosophical exercise. Once the skeptical problem has been recognised for its full epistemologically destabilising powers, I believe, it is the philosopher’s duty to find an adequate response to the threat of the very possibility of knowledge. Indeed, as […]

Descartes, An analytical and historical introduction (OUP, First Edition), Georges Dicker

Descartes

  ISBN: 9780195075908 READ: 2016-12-04 Author: Georges Dicker     Meditation I : The Method of Doubt As an introduction, we should note that Descartes embarks in the challenge of doubting everything with a purpose: to discover if there may be some certainty to build upon, with the same method you would use to inspect a basket of […]

The Shape of Ancient Thought by Thomas McEvilley; book cover

The Shape of Ancient Thought

  ISBN: 978-1581152036  READ: 2016-11-06 Author: Thomas McEvilley   I approached McEvilley’s tome in a full post-Modernist ride. Around four years ago, I began to look into Indian and Buddhist philosophy to find solace and inspiration – something I could not find in the western philosophies I have been taught at school. That has been my […]

Micromotives and Macrobehavior

  ISBN: 978-0393329469 READ: 2016-09-22 AUTHOR: Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Prize for Economic Studies in 2005     This book taught me to think a little more analytically about what happens in standard situations when individual, free choices lead to aggregate behaviours that nobody wants. It is a classical problem of economics; Schelling warns the reader […]

Explaining Consciousness

  ISBN: 978-0262692212 READ: 2016-09-13 EDITOR: Jonathan Shear   Could a 1997 papers’ collection still say something meaningful about the present consciousness studies state of art? Maybe not. Neuroscientific research has grown quite fast in the last decade. On a philosophical level though, the issue seems to have changed quite little, and this book is very useful […]

The Bodhisattva's Brain - Buddhism Naturalised by Owen Flanagan philosophy ethics Buddhism Aristotelian ethics

The Bodhisattva’s Brain

ISBN:978-0262525206 READ: 2016-08-25 AUTHOR: Owen Flanagan, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Duke University Is there any underlying, testable truth in the claim that Buddhism generates happy people? I lived with Buddhists for several months. They seemed happy. The point is, even patients who take homeopaths report to feel good, and that does not prove homeopaths […]

Consilience - The Unity of Knowledge by Edward Wilson

Consilience

  ISBN: 978-0679768678 READ: 2016-08-24 AUTHOR: Edward O. Wilson     Consilience is one of the four cardinal principles of the scientific method: theories which prove to conform with established knowledge from other disciplines have shown greater profitability in prediction and experimental evidence than those which don’t. Others, by authors’ canons, are parsimony, generality, and predictiveness. […]

The Big Picture

  ISBN:978-0525954828 READ: 2016-08-05 AUTHOR: Sean Carroll     Pretending to draw a Big Picture could be seen as somehow pretentious. Still, Carroll accomplishes to put together a quite detailed state-of-art of what science can currently tell us about who we are. Carroll defines his system of thought “poetic naturalism”: a picture of the universe […]

The Mindful Geek

  ISBN: 978-0692475386 READ: 2016/08/2016 AUTHOR: Michael W. Taft     Meditation has the intrinsic connotation of being an exquisitely subjective experience. How could a skeptic tackle it in a positive way, bringing it on the forefront of objective investigation? Being a meditation practitioner myself, I intended to find any critical rebuttal of the practice. After […]