The Situationist

Archive for April 4th, 2009

Situationism in the Blogosphere – February Part III

Posted by aferris on April 4, 2009

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during February 2009. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.)

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From Frontal Cortex: “The Color of Creativity

The brain is like a Swiss Army knife, stuffed full of different mental tools that are well suited to different situations. Sometimes, we want to flex the prefrontal cortex, and really exert our rational muscles. And then there are other situations (like picking a strawberry jam) where thinking too much can be a real problem, and we should rely instead of the subtle signals emanating from the emotional brain.” Read more . . .

From The Garden of Forking Paths: “Terminological Differences

Given the interest generated by Tamler’s recent post on free will skepticism, I thought I would try to keep the discussion going by posting something about a related issue that I have often found puzzling.  On the surface, it is obvious enough what distinguishes libertarians, on the one hand, from compatibilists, semi-compatibilists, and revisionists, on the other hand.  The later, unlike the former, believe that we could be free and/or morally responsible even if determinism were true.  Similarly, it is obvious enough what distinguishes libertarians from free will skeptics.  The former, unlike the later, believe that we are both free and desert-based responsible.Read more . . .

From Mind Hacks: “Hello, my name is Trouble

Time magazine has an interesting article on links between given names and behaviour, with a new study finding children with unpopular names are more likely to be get in trouble with the law. This doesn’t mean that being called an unusual name causes criminality – the article notes that boys with unpopular names are likelier to live in single-parent households and be poorer, which are also known to be linked to higher levels of offending.” Read more . . .

From Mind Hacks: “Reigning in the extended mind

Philosopher Jerry Fodor has written a sceptical and entertaining review of a new book on the extended mind hypothesis – the idea that that we use technology to offload our mental processes and that such tools can be thought of as extensions of the mind itself. The book in question is by fellow philosopher Andy Clark and is entitled Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action and Cognitive Extension.”  Read more . . .

From We’re Only Human: “Try A Little Powerlessness

“Self-control is one of our most cherished values. We applaud those with the discipline to regulate their appetites and actions, and we try hard to instill this virtue in our children. Think of the slogans: Just say no. Just do it. We celebrate the power of the mind to make hard choices and keep us on course. But what if we can’t just do it? What if “it” is too difficult or our strategy for success is misguided? Is it possible that willpower might actually be an obstacle rather than a means to happiness and harmony? Can we have too much of a good thing?” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click on the “Blogroll” category in the right margin.

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