from month 03/2018

Why do we flip coins ? Random draws as personal decision-making devices under uncertainty

- For my undergraduate, I was completely undecided between medicine and engineering. I liked both and could not make up my mind. - How did you decide? - I flipped a coin. Heads for medicine and tails for engineering. - You did not! - I did. The coin landed on tails and I heard myself thinking, “Let’s do best of three”. And that is how I realized what I really wanted. - By doing the best of three? - Of course not. There was no need anymore. I knew I wanted to do medicine.

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Rethinking ostension: (2) Attention manipulation

I believe we relevance theorists missed something important in considering ostension only in the context of what we called ostensive-inferential communication. Ostension, I want to suggest, is more diverse and widespread....

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How Can a Painting Make One Lose One’s Faith?

In 1867, the deeply religious Fyodor Dostoyevsky visited the Basel Art Museum and saw for the first time the original of Hans Holbein’s painting The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb. His wife later reported in her memoirs that the painting had such a powerful emotional effect on the writer that, in violation of the museum’s rules, he stepped on a chair to take a closer look. His face turned white, she recalled, and she had to drag him away from the painting fearing he would have an epileptic fit.  “Such a picture might make one lose one’s faith,” Dostoyevsky later told her. ...

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