philosophy

Your Brain on Drugs: Five Questions for David Presti

More than 550 Berkeley students take your course Drugs and the Brain every year. What do you hope your students take away from the class?

Respect for the power of drugs, and specifically that all drugs are poisons as well as medicines. This is embedded in the ancient Greek word pharmakon. The origin of our words pharmacy, pharmaceutical, and pharmacology, it means both medicine and poison. While the ancients appreciated this dual property of drugs, it is often overlooked, even forgotten, in contemporary society. Read more about Your Brain on Drugs: Five Questions for David Presti »

From the Spring 2017 Virtue and Vice issue of California.

Is Santa Real? Comedy Writer Earning a Ph.D. in Philosophy’s Eye-Opening Conclusion

When it comes to the existence of Santa Claus, it’s tough to find reliable sources. A quick Google search will lead you to theories ranging from Santa being a commercialized hoax used to sell Coca-Cola, to Santa being a shaman stoned on psychedelic mushrooms. These explanations, mixed in with the usual Illuminati and CIA conspiracies, aren’t of much help when your kids get to that pesky age where skepticism becomes as cool as Ugg boots and Legos. Wait, those are still cool, right? Read more about Is Santa Real? Comedy Writer Earning a Ph.D. in Philosophy's Eye-Opening Conclusion »

Philosophy’s Popularity Soars: Devotees Find It’s More Than ‘An Interesting Path to Poverty’

When students decide to major in philosophy, they are often greeted with shock, bewilderment and parental dismay. And always a few jokes.

Such as: “How do you get a group of philosophers off your doorstep? You order pizza and then throw it outside your yard.” Read more about Philosophy's Popularity Soars: Devotees Find It's More Than 'An Interesting Path to Poverty' »

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