cowper horiz 4.png

Articles, Essays, Talks

Articles, Essays, Talks

 

Articles and Essays

How Evil Happens
Essay written for Aeon on the Syndrome E hypothesis: "Is Neuroscience Getting Closer to Explaining Evil Behavior?", published August 2018.

Thoughts Made Visible
Essay written for Lapham’s Quarterly, “States of Mind” issue (Winter 2018).

Dancing with the Hand Review of a modern Bharatanatyam dance performance in New York by choreographer Preeti Vasudevan, published in Indian Quarterly (issue Jan-March 2018).

A Chateau in the Loire Valley
Piece about the restoration and redesign of a house in the Loire valley, published in Architectural Digest (November 2017 issue).

Neuro-News
Response to the 2016 Edge Foundation Annual Question, What do you consider the most interesting scientific news? What makes it important? Anthologized in the resulting book.

Body and Soul

Essay written for Lapham’s Quarterly, “Flesh” issue (Fall 2016).

Paris, Searching for Peace
Written for New York Daily News after the Paris attacks of November 13th, 2015.

The Passage from Normal to Dark
A testimonial written for Politico on the day after the Paris attacks of November 13th, 2015.

Book review: The Most Good You Can Do Review of Peter Singer, The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically, published in Jewish Quarterly (issue Summer 2015).

Metarepresentation
Response to the 2015 Edge Foundation Annual Question: What do you think about machines that think? Anthologized in the resulting book.

The Rights of Spring
Essay on nostalgia for Indian Quarterly (issue January-March 2015)

Indian Summer
Review of John Adams´s opera A Flowering Tree, in Indian Quarterly, (issue July-September 2014).

As A Lute Out Of Tune: Robert Burton’s Melancholy Essay written for the Public Domain Review, 2013.

The Curry Soup
Essay written for the Roundtable Blog of Lapham´s Quarterly, 2011.

Clothes are Transparent
Essay written for issue n. 1 of Garage Magazine, 2011.

The Internet and Slowness
Response to the 2010 Edge Foundation Annual Question, How is the Internet changing the way you think? Anthologized in the resulting book, and selected as one of 8 of the 100 responses in Der Spiegel

Bach’s Art of Fugue
Written for issue 55 of Nexus on Hope and Consolation, 2010.

Great Expectations
Essay on the history of doctors and patients, written for Lapham´s Quarterly, "Medicine" issue (Fall 2009).

Up Close and Personal
Essay on the history of personals for Lapham´s Quarterly, "Eros" issue (Winter 2009).

Wine Psychology
Essay written for the first issue of Tacuinum Vitineum, an Italian journal on the philosophy of wine, 2009. (In English and Italian.)

Speech After Long Silence: Of Poetry and Consciousness
Talk delivered as invited speaker to the 2005 Campbell Corner Poetry Prize Reading, Poets´ House, New York City.

Melancholy and Humoural Passions in Early Modernity
Essay published in a French translation as "La Mélancolie et les passions humorales au début de la modernité", in the catalogue of the exhibition on melancholy shown in Paris and Berlin in 2005-06.

Alternatives in Medicine
Response to an online debate on Spiked: "Complementary and alternative medicine: Why is conventional medicine not enough?"

About "Moral Values"
Written shortly after the 2004 US elections.

On "Intelligent Design"
Written in October 2005.

Computers, Speed and Us
Essay (unpublished) about the Internet, as a counterpart to an online symposium on the impact of the internet on texts, text-e. Originally written for Prospect Magazine.

Book review: Thomas Willis
Review (unpublished) of Carl ZimmerSoul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain - and How It Changed the World. Originally written for the New York Review of Books.

Book review: Undermining Man
Review of Kenan MalikMan, Beast and Zombie: What Science Can and Cannot Tell us About Human Nature, published in the TLS, 9 February 2001.

Book review: Metaphors of Memory
Review of Douwe Draaisma, Metaphors of Memory: A History of Ideas About the Mind, published in the Economist, June 28th, 2001.

On Pellegrino Artusi, Italy’s Victorian chef
Essay (unpublished) about the Italian cookery classic, Pellegrino Artusi’s La scienza in cucina e l´arte di mangiar bene. Originally written for the New York Review of Books.

 

Lectures and Academic

Materialism: A Historico-Philosophical Introduction
Review of book by Charles Wolfe, for HOPOS, 2017.

Epistemic Vices in Modern Medicine: “Assumption and Intuition” and “Calibrating Empathy” Two talks at workshop convened by Quassim Cassam at Warwick University, February 2017.

A New Republic of Letters?
Talk given at conference convened by Gloria Origgi on Global Humanities, Italian Cultural Institute, New York, 2011.

Humoural Bodies and Balanced Minds
Keynote talk at conference convened by Giovanni Frazzetto, Situating Mental Illness: Between Scientific Certainty and Personal Narrative, ICI, Berlin, April 29th, 2011. Watch video of talk and conference here.

La quete de l’équilibre: ame, vertus, humeurs
Published in the French journal Corps (March 2010).

The New Biology and the Self Panel discussion, with psychologist Steven Pinker and anthropologist Melvin Konner, Center for the Humanities at Tufts University, Boston, MA, November 2009. Listen here.

Wine, Body and Soul
Talk given at a conference on the Philosophy of Wine at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo (Piemonte, Italy), in May 2008.

"Just Life in a Nutshell": Humours as Common Sense
Published in The Philosohical Forum (Fall 2008: 39-3), along with the other talks at a symposium convened along with Gloria Origgi on Folk Epistemologies, Italian Academy, Columbia University, October 26th, 2007.

Opaque Humors, Enlightened Emotions, and the Transparent mind
Published in the journal Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics (Harvard University Press), issue 51, spring 2007.

Humoural Passions and Seasoned Cares
Lecture given in 2004 at a conference at Barnard, Medicine Across Cultures: Medicine and the Mind, 600-1000 AD.

Reason and Emotion in the Early Enlightenment
Talk presented in 2003, first at the Italian Academy at Columbia University, then as a University Professors Occasional Lecture at Boston University.

Of Reasons, Humours and Passions: Explanatory Structure and the Mind-Body Problem
The "philosophical manifesto" underlying Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours, presented in 2002 at the Italian Academy, Columbia University, while at work on the humours project as a Fellow there.

Form and Function in the Early Enlightenment
Published in Perspectives on Science, 14:2 (2006), pp. 153-189, based on a chapter from the doctoral thesis.

Deafness, Ideas and the Language of Thought in the Late 1600s
Published in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 13: 2 (2005), pp. 233-262, based on a chapter from the doctoral thesis.

Adam’s Spectacles: Nature, Mind and Body in the Age of Mechanism
Full text (unpublished) of the doctoral thesis (2001).

 

 

 

Powered by Squarespace