Collective Intelligence is the Root of Human Progress

By Raya Bidshahri / 11.08.2017 The Underestimated Role of Collectivity Many of us intuitively think about intelligence as an individual trait. As a society, we have a tendency to praise individual game-changers for accomplishments that would not be possible without their teams, often tens of thousands of people that work behind the scenes to make[…]

The Unexpected Benefits of Getting Lost in Translation

‘You can never, in American public life, underestimate the advantages of complete and total incomprehensibility.’ Kissinger meets Anwar Sadat in 1976. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Edward Gibson / 09.25.2017 Professor of Cognitive Science Massachusetts Institute of Technology About 20 per cent of the United States population (60 million out of 300 million people) are[…]

Split the Brain, Split the Person

Charles Bell The Anatomy of the Brain. / Wellcome Images By Dr. Yaïr Pinto / 09.26.2017 Cognitive Psychologist and Physicist Assistant Professor of Psychology University of Amsterdam The brain is perhaps the most complex machine in the Universe. It consists of two cerebral hemispheres, each with many different modules. Fortunately, all these separate parts are not[…]

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Four Layers of Consciousness

By Thich Nhat Hanh / 09.14.2017 The Inner Workings of Our Minds Abhidharma, Buddhism’s map of the mind, is sometimes treated as a topic of merely intellectual interest. In fact, says Thich Nhat Hanh, identifying the different elements of consciousness, and understanding how they interact, is essential to our practice of meditation. The Vietnamese Zen[…]

What Can Avicenna Teach Us about the Mind-Body Problem?

Illustration by Fumitake Uchida By Dr. Peter Adamson / 09.09.2016 Professor of Philosophy Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Philosophers of the Islamic world enjoyed thought experiments. If the heavens vanished, they wondered, would time continue to pass? If existence were distinct from essence, would that mean that existence itself must exist? Can God turn your[…]

The Cognitive Sciences: One or Many?

“Close up of The Thinker” / Photo by Brian Hillegas, Creative Commons By Dr. Michael RW Dawson Professor of Psychology University of Alberta Introduction When experimental psychology arose in the nineteenth century, it was a unified discipline. However, as the experimental method began to be applied to a larger and larger range of psychological phenomena,[…]