Enrico Spolaore (Tufts): The Economics of Political Borders. From Collegium, a special issue on Trade and War: The Neutrality of Commerce in the Inter-State System. Modern humans have created many thousands of distinct cultures — so what will it mean if globalization turns us into one giant, homogenous world culture? A review of Fragile States: War and Conflict in the Modern World by Lothar Brock, Hans-Henrik Holm, Georg Sorensen and Michael Stohl. Worldwatch explores nine polices to help stabilize population growth. Globalisation can work, but only with a unified international plan, with economic and social institutions working across national borders. Invisible hand, greased palm: James Surowiecki on the battle against global corruption. When faced with a popular uprising, a regime typically survives when the military defends it, and falls when the military chooses not to defend — why would a military defect from its regime? Seyla Benhabib on the morality of migration: Immigration pits two moral and legal principles, foundational to the modern state system, against each other — how can they be reconciled?
Brian Earp (Oxford): I Can't Get No (Epistemic) Satisfaction: Why the Hard Problem of Consciousness Entails a Hard Problem of Explanation. Dora Kostakopoulou (Southampton): Defending the Case for Liberal Anationalism. Where the fighting never ends: Jason Zasky goes inside the wide world of war reenactment. The Future of Special Ops: You might think of special operations forces as gunslingers who launch clandestine raids — but the traditional role of spec ops is training soldiers and building nations. A review of The Freedom Paradox: Towards a Post-secular Ethics by Clive Hamilton. From Swans, Michael Barker on a feminist critique of the so-called sexual revolution (and part 2), and on Emma Goldman's sexological obsession. Atlas Obscura visits (another) Bridge to Nowhere, hidden among the Southern California wilderness of the San Gabriel Mountains.
From The University of Virginia Magazine, a look at how social media helped change university history (and a timeline of Teresa Sullivan’s resignation and reinstatement). Should academe be concerned that it loses many of its introverted graduate students — do they not have something to contribute? From The Weekly Standard, as Asian Americans have risen through the academic ranks, some claim that they’ve become the “new Jews”. Does it matter where you go to college? Years of research show that, when it comes to your future paycheck, the name on your degree really does count. Who is the next MIT? There is one element that links the schools that top university rankings: They tend to be old. A new study, the purpose of which some may find delightfully puzzling, looks at the self-portraits scholars put on their home pages. Ted Turner's dad was irate his son chose to major in Greek. The family business: Matthew Reisz speaks to scholars with learned bloodlines about the inspirations, insights and rebellions that come with growing up in the very midst of the academy.
Richard H. Pildes (NYU): Law and the President. Art over culture: A review of Why Lyrics Last: Evolution, Cognition, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Brian Boyd, Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind by Mark Pagel, and The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present by Eric R. Kandel. Scientists read monkeys' minds, see what they're planning to do before they do it. While Vatican insiders jockey for power and speculate on his successor, Joseph Ratzinger has withdrawn to focus on his still-ambiguous legacy. The more people criticize Benedict XVI, the more people flock to listen to him. Rebecca Wesson Darwin launched Garden and Gun in 2007 with the purpose of establishing something that reflected the Southern lifestyle in a sophisticated and charming way.
A new issue of Synthesis Philosophica is out. Kimberley Brownlee (Warwick) and Richard Child (Cambridge): Can the Law Help Us to Be Moral? The place of philosophy: An interview with Gila Sher, a philosopher who looks to fatten up truth in a groovy way. A review of The Necessity of Errors by John Roberts. Alexis Burgess is a groovy indie-rocking philosopher who finds logic and the metaphysics of language the key, what with his deep thoughts on truth, fiction, realism, reference, existence, identity, indeterminacy and all. A review of When Words Are Called For: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy by Avner Baz. J. David Velleman on why it's irrational to regret what might have been. A review of Pursuits of Wisdom: Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus by John M. Cooper. What could leave philosophy? Brian Weatherson wonders (and more). The drama of existentialism: Though written off by many, Sartre, Camus and their cohort still animate some of the deepest philosophical questions we face.
Aleks Farrugia (Malta): Mythistory and the Reinvention of the People. Maxwell Murphey (UC-Riverside): Theoria as Eudaimonia. How to Build an NBA Championship Team: A Stanford undergrad's new super-nerd study suggests that there are really 13 positions in basketball — not just five. Are you responsible for your behavior if your brain “made you do it”? The Great White House Rating Game: A review of Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians by Robert Merry (and more). As prices drop and availability increases, 3D printers are expected to become a feature in many ordinary homes in the coming years. Why do we continue to believe that we can be part of society and still exist apart from social media? When billionaires become educational experts: “Venture philanthropists” push for the privatization of public education.
Abdulla Galadari (AUD): Reincarnation vs. Resurrection: The Debate Ends. Vera Pereira and Rodrigo de Sa-Saraiva (Lisboa) and Luis Faisca (Algarve): Immortality of the Soul as an Intuitive Idea: Towards a Psychological Explanation of the Origins of Afterlife Beliefs. From The American Interest, a review of The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures by Nicholas Wade and Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age by Robert N. Bellah (and more and more and more and more). Cris Campbell on the myth of pristine “primitive” religions. Man the Religious Animal: Christian Smith on how we are naturally but not necessarily religious. From Big Questions Online, does quantum physics make it easier to believe in God? If Satan did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him, not as the ultimate villain but the ultimate scapegoat. How relativism justifies our selfishness: The atheistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche may have been right on the mark in his observations about the best way to undermine Christianity.