Cody Delistraty

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    The Hidden Link Between Morality and Language

    Tragedy can strike us any time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the best of it. When Frank’s dog was struck and killed by a car in front of his house, he grew curious what Fido might taste like. So he cooked him up and ate him for dinner. It was a harmless decision, […]

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    Why Theories of Everything Are Ill-Conceived

    The police don’t often sympathize with speeding drivers, but if you’re a quantum gravity physicist who was distracted by a grand epiphany while driving at night, you might have a better chance. “The Italian policeman asked me politely if I was crazy to drive at that speed,” writes the Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli in his […]

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    Westworld Is Strikingly Real: AI Could Be Conscious and Unpredictable

    Westworld recently wrapped its first season with a few stunning twists and a stunning statistic: With a 12-million-viewer average, it was the most-watched first season of an original HBO show in the network’s history. Westworld concerns a perverse theme park, styled in the fashion of the American Old West. The park’s “hosts,” artificially intelligent beings […]

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    Why Abstract Art Stirs Creativity in Our Brains

    Are art and science of distinctly different cultures? The former often seems fixated on human experience, the latter on physical processes. In his most recent book, Reductionism in Art and Brain Science: Bridging the Two Cultures, published this year, the Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel argues that such a separation no longer exists. The best-known […]

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    You Can’t Upload Your “Self” Into Virtual Reality

    In his 2003 book, Being No One, Thomas Metzinger contends there is no such thing as a “self.” Rather, the self is a kind of transparent information-processing system. “You don’t see it,” he writes. “But you see with it.”Metzinger has given a good amount of thought to the nature of our subjective experience—and how best […]

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    Why David Hume Is So Hot Right Now

    David Chalmers, co-director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness at New York University, once undertook something odd for a philosopher: He conducted an international poll. In November 2009, he and his then-PhD advisee, David Bourget, asked over 2,500 of their colleagues—professors and graduate students alike—among other things, with which dead thinker they most […]

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    Happiness Is About Living the Good Life—However You Define It

    The American dream is a self-oriented one. Fulfilling it means getting everything you want out of life. But it is not necessarily a call to live selfishly. It is a call to sanctify what you can achieve and desire—to ennoble the pursuit of happiness. This way of understanding happiness—getting what you want—is hardly unique to […]

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    Yes, It Matters What You Wear to an Exam

    In May 2015, an official vote was held by the Oxford University Student Union about clothing policy. It was over whether to keep “subfusc,” a traditional uniform dating back to the mid-seventeenth century—comprised of a dark suit or skirt, black shoes, white shirt, and a white or black bow tie or ribbon—mandatory for exams. The […]

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    The Hidden Connection Between Morality and Language

    Are people are more likely to act less emotionally and more rationally when speaking their second language?