Oxford’s Free Course Critical Reasoning For Beginners Will Teach You to Think Like a Philosopher
“When I was younger, I often found myself disagreeing with something I’d read or heard, but couldn’t explain exactly why. Despite being unable to pinpoint the precise reasons, I had a strong sense that the rules of logic were being violated. After I was exposed to critical thinking in high school and university, I learned to recognize problematic arguments, whether they be a straw man, an appeal to authority, or an ad hominem attack. Faulty arguments are all-pervasive, and the mental biases that underlie them pop up in media coverage, college classes, and armchair theorizing. Want to learn how to avoid them? Look no further than Critical Reasoning For Beginners, the top rated iTunesU collection of lectures led by Oxford University’s Marianne Talbot.”
RSA Animate – The Truth About Dishonesty
In this RSA Animate, Dan Ariely explores the circumstances under which someone would lie and what effect deception has on society at large. The video is taken from a lecture given by Dan Ariely as part of the RSA’s free public events program.
Are You with the Right Mate?
“Sooner or later, there comes a moment in all relationships when you lie in bed, roll over, look at the person next to you and think it’s all a dreadful mistake, says Boston family therapist Terrence Real. It happens a few months to a few years in. “It’s an open secret of American culture that disillusionment exists. I go around the country speaking about ‘normal marital hatred.’ Not one person has ever asked what I mean by that. It’s extremely raw.”
What to do when the initial attraction sours? “I call it the first day of your real marriage,” Real says. It’s not a sign that you’ve chosen the wrong partner. It is the signal to grow as an individual—to take responsibility for your own frustrations. Invariably, we yearn for perfection but are stuck with an imperfect human being. We all fall in love with people we think will deliver us from life’s wounds but who wind up knowing how to rub against us.
A new view of relationships and their discontents is emerging. We alone are responsible for having the relationship we want. And to get it, we have to dig deep into ourselves while maintaining our connections. It typically takes a dose of bravery—what Page calls “enlightened audacity.” Its brightest possibility exists, ironically, just when the passion seems most totally dead. If we fail to plumb ourselves and speak up for our deepest needs, which admittedly can be a scary prospect, life will never feel authentic, we will never see ourselves with any clarity, and everyone will always be the wrong partner.”
TED’s Best Of The Week! Eleanor Longden: The voices in my head
To all appearances, Eleanor Longden was just like every other student, heading to college full of promise and without a care in the world. That was until the voices in her head started talking. Initially innocuous, these internal narrators became increasingly antagonistic and dictatorial, turning her life into a living nightmare. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, hospitalized, drugged, Longden was discarded by a system that didn’t know how to help her. Longden tells the moving tale of her years-long journey back to mental health, and makes the case that it was through learning to listen to her voices that she was able to survive.
Eleanor Longden overcame her diagnosis of schizophrenia to earn a master’s in psychology and demonstrate that the voices in her head were “a sane reaction to insane circumstances.
Never give up, Harvard Business Review
“I’ve always repeated the mantra “never, never, never, never give up.” These words of Winston Churchill’s have rallied me for years; they are a core tenet of our family motto, and hang, framed, on the wall just inside the front door of our home. But I’ve started to wonder if not giving up is sufficient. (…)Dreaming is at the heart of disruption. Whether we want to disrupt an industry or our personal status quo, in order to make that terrifying leap from one learning curve to the next, we must dream. The good news is that the causal mechanism for achieving our dreams is always, always, always showing up: and as we show up, our future will too.”
R (Relationship) related
“His love for himself is so strong he does not need to gain the acceptance of others by trying to be something he is not. His strength is not physical so much as it is in the clarity of his mind and emotions. These are character strengths that a woman not only admires, but feels safe with. (…)When a man is distant emotionally or physically from her it may bring up feelings of loneliness, or fear of a break up. Seeking this type of emotional safety can lead to emotional drama.(…) By discouraging him to do other things she is increasing their time together. It is possible the man ends up feeling guilty for having done the “wrong” thing that caused her to be upset. (…)A woman can choose to wait for a man with the character and integrity that she respects and wants. But as she waits she should prepare herself as well. Being with a man of integrity will not be like being with other men. He will be seeking a partner that will treat him with the same level of unconditional love with which he treats himself. If she brings her judgments, fears, and emotional reactions to the relationship, he may decide that he would rather be with someone else.”
“We talked a lot about embracing uncertainty, especially because all of us were surrounded by doubt and fear as graduation loomed closer and our futures were seemingly blank. I learned not to interpret the future as empty, but as open, full of possibilities, full of opportunities waiting for me to be the key player. We often interpret the unknown as bad or scary, but it is all in the viewer’s perception. Just as you can choose to see the glass half full instead of empty, so can you choose to view the future as brimming with possibilities instead of emptiness.”
TED’s best for the week:
How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?
“Vulnerability pushed, I pushed back. I lost the fight, but probably won my life back.”
Book of the week!
Thomas Mann – The Magic Mountain
While combining opposed principles: intellect and sensibility, spirit and nature, intrinsic and extrinsic, the main character of this novel succeeds to gain important cognition about the essence of life. “Death is just a moment in life and nothing more” says Hans Castorp paradoxically, in a near death experience. Thus, spiritual education, abundance of mythological allusions and ironical inversions accompany this masterpiece of realistic yet grotesque narration. As we see in the selected quotes below:
“Passionate—that means to live for the sake of living. But one knows that you all live for sake of experience. Passion, that is self-forgetfulness. But what you all want is self-enrichment.”
“Who then was the orthodox, who the freethinker? Where lay the true position, the true state of man? Should he descend into the all-consuming all-equalizing chaos, that ascetic-libertine state; or should he take his stand on the “Critical-Subjective,” where empty bombast and a bourgeois strictness of morals contradicted each other? Ah, the principles and points of view constantly did that; it became so hard for Hans Castorp’s civilian responsibility to distinguish between opposed positions, or even to keep the premises apart from each other and clear in his mind, that the temptation grew well-nigh irresistible to plunge head foremost into Naphtha’s “morally chaotic All.”
Here’s a short clip, part of a movie that was made based on the book (from 1982):
Person of the week!
“In twenty years I’ve never had a day when I didn’t have to think about someone else’s needs. And this means the writing has to be fitted around it.”
“Always remember that when a man goes out of the room, he leaves everything in it behind… When a woman goes out she carries everything that happened in the room along with her.”