Forget Survival of the Fittest: It Is Kindness That Counts

A psychologist probes how altruism, Darwinism and neurobiology mean that we can succeed by not being cutthroat.Why do people do good things? Is kindness hard-wired into the brain, or does this tendency arise via experience? Or is goodness some combination of nature and nurture? Dacher Keltner, director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Laboratory, investigates these questions from multiple angles, and often generates results that are both surprising and challenging. In his new book, Born to Be

The Mind in Matter

The first volume of Stout’s Gifford Lecture series, Mind and Matter, is a metaphysical treatise intended to clear the way for the second series, entitled God and Nature. In the book one he explores the metaphysical difficulties surrounding two of the most fundamental questions of philosophy: the existence of the mind and existence of the material world. Determining that most metaphysical theories are inadequate for this purpose, Stout ultimately concludes the necessity of enlisting ‘Common
Demi Powell

Nature: The Ultimate Remedy for Stress and Burnout

Here’s a modern paradox: People report that they feel significantly happier outdoors than they do indoors, yet we spend less than 5 percent of our waking hours in nature. Such were the findings of a recent study published in the journal Global Environmental Change, which used an iPhone app called Mappiness to track the location and corresponding emotional state of over 20,000 participants. These results are troubling yet unsurprising; Nature is becoming increasingly foreign to our culture
Demi Powell

How an Ancient Singing Tradition Helps People Cope With Trauma in the Modern World

Riitta Excell wore a pair of homemade wool socks: white with red floral patterns and rounded blue toes. Around her were women sipping tea and enjoying plum pastries and chicken feta pie. They wore homemade wool socks, as well.It was nearly 3 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, and Pirkko Fihlman’s living room on the outskirts of Helsinki was filled with black-and-white family photos, porcelain figurines of angels and birds, and embroidered rococo chairs. The clink of tea cups fell silent, and then
Demi Powell