vanity is all

THE DESIRES THAT BREAK LOOSE IN MANIA DEFINE OUR OWN HOMO SAPIENS SPECIES

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of human motivation, Human Nature, Mental illness | 4 Comments

All manner of rhetorical flourishes and beautifully constructed phrases can pour out in a torrent. Often there is a magnetic quality to this verbal virtuosity, the meaning (semantics) of which can constitute a brilliantly creative flight of ideas. Beyond the grammar and meaning, the sheer musicality of it can elicit rapt fascination.

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THE AUDIENCE WITHIN US ALL

Filed under: Human Nature, Mental illness

Forty-five years ago, while in my psychiatric residency, I moonlighted at DC General Hospital’s emergency room. I never knew ever knew who would come in the doors down there at the General. The “White House cases” were a staple, a motley collection of characters pulled off the fence surrounding the presidential residence. One evening is …

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SNIT DISORDER

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature

I began my career working in a maximum-security prison with a state-mandated treatment program. One of the inmates there, whose countenance still haunts me from time to time, was a gaunt middle-aged man who used to stand in the corner of the common room and blankly stare out the window all day, chain-smoking. His posture, …

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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Haidt on Us-vs-Them

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Justice | 2 Comments

Below is a TED talk by Jonathan Haidt, the social psychologist who wrote The Righteous Mind, in which he introduced six belief categories: important issues to Democrats are care/harm, liberty/oppression, and fairness/cheating, whereas for Republicans the most important issues are loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/ degradation. In this video he tells us that openness to new …

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