Science is a Collective Human Endeavor – And That’s Beautiful

A philosopher of science once told me, “Science is like a big, ornate building. Unless you’re an Einstein or a Newton, all you can do is etch away at a little flourish on the building’s facade - and then you die.” Though bleak, his thought did speak to a curious truth about the lives of … Continue reading Science is a Collective Human Endeavor – And That’s Beautiful

The Future of Spirituality

What will spirituality look like in 100 years? What will it look like when technology is fully woven into the fabric of our world and our biology, when our scientific understanding of the world and of ourselves will have progressed far beyond what we can imagine? What will the temples of such a world look like? Or its … Continue reading The Future of Spirituality

The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 2

Go back to Part 1.  In Part 1 of this series on the ethics of cognitive enhancement, I pointed out that it is not logical to deny people access to new methods of cognitive enhancement as they become available, because such methods would not be categorically different from methods of cognitive enhancement that are currently legal and … Continue reading The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 2

The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 1

"Smart drugs" like Adderall and Modafinil are just the beginning of the cognitive enhancement revolution. Though they were initially developed to alleviate the symptoms of cognitive disorders, these and similar drugs are increasingly being used by the cognitively healthy to boost memory, focus, and wakefulness over long periods of work. With the commercial use of … Continue reading The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 1

Mind Uploading and Personal Identity

Post-humanists envision a future in which human minds can be “uploaded” – uploaded to virtual environments, uploaded to new biological bodies, or uploaded to totally robotic bodies. Every sign in the rapid advance of neuroscience suggests that we should begin taking this idea seriously. Reflecting on the prospect of mind uploading, Princeton neuroscience professor Michael Graziano … Continue reading Mind Uploading and Personal Identity

Ancient Greek Philosophy and the Birth of Neuroscience

We recognize today that of all ancient civilizations, the Greeks were the most advanced in mathematics, engineering, and astronomy, and that their achievements in these fields went unrivaled until the Renaissance. We know, for example, that Aristarchus proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system and offered a reasonably accurate estimation of the size of the … Continue reading Ancient Greek Philosophy and the Birth of Neuroscience