Emotions, Anthony Appiah, Style, Picasso, Originality

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

We now have a Windows app (https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/p/gentlereader/9n424mljpr4p?ocid=badge&rtc=1) for Gentle Reader, our recommended reading app for The Browser, developed jointly with Cronycle. This complements our apps for iPad or iPhone and Mac, available here — Gentle Reader for iPad and iPhone (https://geo.itunes.apple.com/app/gentle-reader/id1240825904?mt=8) and Gentle Reader for Mac (https://geo.itunes.apple.com/app/gentle-reader/id1266427036?mt=12) . Browser subscribers can save and read all of The Browser’s recommended articles effortlessly in Gentle Reader. (When you create your account on Gentle Reader, use the same email address that you use for your Browser account, so that Gentle Reader recognises you as a Browser subscriber.) Android will follow, but please bear with us.


Cal Flyn | Five Books | 12th March 2018

Interview with neuroscientist and psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett about the nature of emotions. “We aren’t born with emotions built into our brains. Our brains build emotions as we need them in a way that’s specific to the situation. What fear looks like, feels like, and how it is caused in your brain differs depending on the situation. Fear is not universal. No emotion is universal. Some cultures have anger, sadness, fear, disgust, happiness and so on, and some cultures don’t” (5,500 words)

As If: Anthony Appiah’s Ideals

Thomas Nagel | New York Review Of Books | 19th March 2018

Discussion of Anthony Appiah’s “As If”, which investigates whether recourse to idealised and otherwise simplified models of real-world problems is on balance helpful, or misleading‚ in philosophy and the social sciences. “One of the clearest examples is Adam Smith’s assumption, for purposes of economic theory, that economic agents are motivated exclusively by self-interest—that they are egoists. Smith knew perfectly well that human motivation was much richer than that” (3,440 words)

Guardian Style Guide: C

David Marsh | Guardian | 31st January 2016

“Canal boats: A narrowboat is the popular type of British canal boat, seven feet wide. Do not call it a barge. A barge is a broader cargo-carrying boat – normally towed. The version with accommodation is usually a Dutch barge. A cruiser is the white-hulled style of boat more commonly seen on rivers; smaller versions are cabin cruisers. The difference between narrowboat and barge is important, particularly if you don’t want to get stuck in a narrow lock somewhere outside Birmingham” (7,080 words)

Picasso’s Nudist Streak

Fiametta Rocco | 1843 | 19th March 2018

Painting nude women — from memory, never from life — was Picasso’s way of dealing with his mid-life crisis. “In 1932 Picasso had recently turned 50. As he painted alone in his studio, his wife ran a busy, fashionable household downstairs. Out in society the artist wore spats and drove a Hispano-Suiza. Picasso hankered after the freedom he’d enjoyed as a young artist. For several months his voluptuous young mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter, had been filling his paintings” (1,200 words)

The Copy Is The Original

Byung-Chul Han | Aeon | 8th March 2018

On contrasting notions of originality and reproduction Eastern and Western culture. Why should Chinese terracotta warriors made ten years ago be thought inferior to ancient ones dug up in Xian? “From the start, the production of replicas of the terracotta warriors proceeded in parallel with the excavations. They were not forgeries. Rather, we might say that the Chinese were trying to restart production — production that from the beginning was not creation but already reproduction” (2,500 words)

Video of the day Les Machines Impossibles

What to expect:

Where your bowling ball goes, after you throw it and before it returns to you (1’30”)

Thought for the day

The aim of argument should not be victory, but progress
Karl Popper

Podcast of the day Fermi’s Paradox | Anatomy Of Next

Michael Solana and guests discuss whether there might be life or Mars, or anywhere else in the Universe
(39m 05s)

Join 150,000+ curious readers who grow with us every day

No spam. No nonsense. Unsubscribe anytime.

Great! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription
Please enter a valid email address!
You've successfully subscribed to The Browser
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
Could not sign in! Login link expired. Click here to retry
Cookies must be enabled in your browser to sign in