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Thomas Nagel

What is it Like to Be a Fly?

Francis Levy | Posted 06.28.2016 | Books
Francis Levy

So the big difference is language which mediates and translates emotion into thought and also is one of the factors that enables human consciousness to be uniquely self-reflexive. We look at higher brain functions as a gift (which they most certainly are), but might it not be said that animals, who lack such filters, have a better idea of what's going on?

What is it like to be an Octopus?

Boria Sax | Posted 05.26.2016 | Religion
Boria Sax

To imagine yourself an octopus, you must perhaps divide your very consciousness into at least seven parts, six arms or more and a head. To imagine this, you might think of seven friends or brothers, so close that they seem to be "inseparable."

God Redux

Francis Levy | Posted 12.03.2014 | Science
Francis Levy

In a Times Op-Ed piece entitled "God, Darwin and My College Biology Class" (NYT, 9/27/14), David P. Barash, an evolutionary biologist and professor of...

What Is It Like to Be Sam Harris?

Rabbi Adam Jacobs | Posted 12.02.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Adam Jacobs

It's difficult to assert, as Harris does, that if people just think about it enough, they will come to understand that their most basic sense of consciousness is not really there. The advantage of such an approach is that it conveniently elides the conclusions that many would be drawn to make.

Snowden Didn't Take Away Our Privacy, But We Can Still Reclaim It

Gloria Yu | Posted 12.29.2013 | Politics
Gloria Yu

In light of the fact that our behavior fails to align with our purported principles, we are compelled to reassess the value of privacy to American life and what we can do if we hope to reclaim it.

The Afterlife Reified

Francis Levy | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Francis Levy

NYU has produced eminent scholars in the fields of philosophy and law. The late Ronald Dworkin and Thomas Nagel are two of the most notable examples. ...

Nature's Riddle

Francis Levy | Posted 11.05.2013 | Science
Francis Levy

In a review of Ullica Segerstrale's biography of the evolutionary biologist William D. Hamilton, ("Inclusive Fitness," TLS, 8/2/13), Nature's Oracle: ...

Do We Live in a Universe Hospitable to Our Aspirations?

Lee Smolin | Posted 07.08.2013 | Science
Lee Smolin

Our belief in the value of human aspirations has been often challenged by voices claiming that all these valued aspects of our humanity must be illusions. Can on construct a scientific conception of the world that permits a hopeful view of the human future?

The 7 Things Everyone Wants

Rabbi Adam Jacobs | Posted 02.26.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Adam Jacobs

The interesting thing about these ideas -- the things we most desperately want out of life -- is that they are all functions of mind, and it's clear that the human species can eat, live and reproduce just fine in the complete absence of them.

A Response to Critics

Sam Harris | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Sam Harris

Among the many quandaries a writer must face after publishing a controversial book is the question of how, or whether, to respond to criticism.