Perverse Desire

There's something fascinating about those kids who ate laundry soap as part of a weird “challenge,” or people who deliberately loiter on the steps with the “no loitering” sign. These are strange things to want to do—what are people getting out of them?

Unnecessary Necessities

During the pandemic, you may have been watching Schitt’s Creek. Its characters inspired this month’s pandemic puzzle, which is about how to figure out the ideal balance between feeling like you need a lot to be happy, and feeling like you need very little.

Wanting to Want for Its Own Sake

Here is one of the most surprising findings from social psychology: rewarding a kind of action does not boost motivation to perform that action because rewards provide only extrinsic motivation. So how do we change extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation, the motivation you have to do something for its own sake?

Sexy Beasts

Love it or hate it, Freud’s decades long exploration into the nature and power of human sexuality is something that any philosopher of sex needs to contend with. I turn to this curiously under-explored region of the philosophical landscape in the final installment of my Philosophical Freud series.

How to Keep Your 2018 Resolutions

Hint: It's not about willpower.