Pseudoscience and pseudo-philosophy

Here are some examples of really, really bad science and philosophy

by Massimo Pigliucci

My Philosophy as Way of Life (PWOL) series of essays has now being going on since July 2018, and has produced 403 articles and counting. Naturally, people have a tendency to focus on the latest entries, but — if I may be forgiven for saying so — some of the early ones are worth reading as well. Which is why I am proposing this occasional series meant to highlight early PWOL entries grouped by interesting themes.

Today we are going to revisit some essays on what philosophers refer to as the demarcation problem: how do we distinguish between science and pseudoscience? And, I might add, how do we, analogously, separate philosophy from pseudophilosophy? I have written a couple of books on this that you may want to check out. The term “pseudo” is, of course, pejorative, so some people may object to the entire enterprise. But I think it’s pretty fair to say, for instance, that fundamental physics clearly is science while astrology, for example, just as clearly is pseudoscience. Which doesn’t mean there aren’t intermediate, more complex cases that may require in-depth discussion. Take a look at this sampler and see what you think. (Follow the links for the full text.) … (continue at Medium)

How to practice Stoicism

A collection of articles on implementing the wisdom of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius in our daily life

by Massimo Pigliucci

My Philosophy as Way of Life (PWOL) series of essays has now being going on since July 2018, and has produced 393 articles and counting. Naturally, people have a tendency to focus on the latest entries, but — if I may be forgiven for saying so — some of the early ones are worth reading as well. Which is why I am proposing this occasional series meant to highlight early PWOL entries grouped by interesting themes.

Today we are going to revisit the practice of Stoicism. There is a large literature on this out there, but I believe the articles grouped below are going to be particularly useful if you don’t want just a bunch of more or less random “life hacks” but are interested in Stoic philosophy as a coherent, lifelong practice. Enjoy, and keep working toward becoming the best human being you can! (Follow the links for the full text.) … (continue at Medium)

The Inner Citadel: The philosophy of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius

A detailed summary of Pierre Hadot’s classic book, which helped put Stoicism and ancient Greco-Roman philosophy back on the map

by Massimo Pigliucci

My Philosophy as Way of Life (PWOL) series of essays has now being going on since July 2018, and has produced 388 articles and counting. Naturally, people have a tendency to focus on the latest entries, but — if I may be forgiven for saying so — some of the early ones are worth reading as well. Which is why I am proposing this occasional series meant to highlight early PWOL entries grouped by interesting themes.

Today we are going to revisit a whopping nine essays I wrote about a highly impactful book authored by French scholar Pierre Hadot and entitled The Inner Citadel: the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Despite the subtitle, the book is just as much about the famous emperor-philosopher as it is about the major Stoic teacher who influenced him: Epictetus. Hadot’s book has been instrumental in putting not only Stoicism, but practical Hellenistic philosophy, back on the map, and you will hardly gain a better understanding of either Marcus or Epictetus by reading anything else about them. … (continue at Medium)