Ghost Marketing

From the Editors

Analyses of ghostwritten articles shows them to both exaggerate effectiveness and downplay adverse effects. 

We Have Never Been Disenchanted

Eugene McCarraher

Capitalism has been a form of enchantment, a metamorphosis of the sacred in the raiment of secularity. With money as its ontological marrow, it represents a moral and metaphysical imagination as well as a sublimation of our desire for the presence of divinity in the everyday world.

When Science Went Modern

Lorraine Daston

This was the nightmare of scientific progress: The truths of today would become the falsehoods—or at least the errors—of tomorrow.

Invisible Science

Steven Shapin

The invisibility of embedded science is an apparently paradoxical, but reliable, index of the significance of science for everyday life—for government, for commerce, and, not least, for our sense of self.

Science Anxiety

Ari N. Schulman

There is a long series of instances in which public health agencies have responded to disease outbreaks with dangerous Pollyannaism, seemingly violating their core mission.

Trivial Pursuits

Paul Scherz

The decline of scientific research.

Science and Moral Life

Joseph E. Davis

The successful marketing of the “new science of morality” suggests its considerable allure for the popular imagination.

Minding Our Minds

Joseph E. Davis

Demands on our attention come from the informational environments and shared physical spaces we inhabit. At issue are ethical questions about the conduct of civic life.

The Soul in Itself

Nicholas Cannariato

Gustav Theodor Fechner’s soul neither defies naturalism nor depends on revelation.

Our Mindless and Our Damned

Antón Barba-Kay

Vampire and zombie stories are stories of a new mass folklore. But they have dreamt themselves into us for specific reasons.

What Freud Got Right

Wilfred M. McClay

We might do a better job of living together if we believed that we are meant to do so.

Quantifying Vitality

Jackson Lears

Statistics in the Progressive Era were more than mere signs of a managerial government’s early efforts to sort and categorize its citizens.

Schooling in the Age of Human Capital

Daniel Markovits

Metrics do not and, in fact, cannot measure any intelligible conception of excellence at all

The Calculus of Ought

James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky

Quantification is more than merely a means of communication and persuasion in a fragmented culture.

Social Physics Comes to the Workplace

Joseph E. Davis

Nowhere has the power of disembodied observation become more pervasive than in the workplace.

Into the Whirlpool

Rebecca Lemov

How predictive data put brainwashing on the spin cycle.

Data and the Task of the Humanities

Leif Weatherby

We have automated the society of clues to act on its own divinations, with consequences far beyond the individual.

Tell Me About Your Mother

Claire Jarvis

The ideal mother, as countless novelists have known, is a dead one.

Cannabis as a Cultural Question

James Mumford

How are we ethically to evaluate the practice of getting stoned?

You’ve Been Hacked

Richard Hughes Gibson

Government ties to Big Tech run deep.

Scientific Authority and the Democratic Narrative

Jason Blakely

Democracy and science can be mutually reinforcing only if there is a recognition of the limited authority of each.

Thinking the Worst of Ourselves

Jackson Arn

We might be murderers, and we might not, but isn’t it safer to assume we are and be proven wrong? Maybe not.

The Problem of Perishable Progress

Stuart Whatley and Nicholas Agar

Because so many of our material and technological advances have been inherited, we take them for granted and demand more.

Masks Off

Charlie Riggs

The pandemic-era “doctrine of masks” contained no playfulness or irony.

Sisyphus Gets a Prescription

Carl Elliott

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the health of the community is essential to the health of the individual.


B.D. McClay

Every critique of self-care is true. Unfortunately, you still have to take care of yourself.

Planetary Goggles

Rhoda Feng

Viewing the Anthropocene as “a measure of human impact on the planet” allows us to tell only one story.


Wilfred M. McClay

Mystery gets too little respect.

Spirituality Ascendant

Richard Hughes Gibson

God’s funeral was premature.

A Happier Internet

Jonathan D. Teubner

Social media desperately requires innovation.

Mental Medicine

Joseph E. Davis

More disorder, more screening, more care: the familiar talking points, all dutifully repeated.

From Frankfurt to Fox

Malloy Owen

There is the looming sense that critical theory is somehow near the center of the crisis of our time.

Sex and Privacy

Lily Meyer

The confused politics of discussing sex in public.

The COVID Regime and the Liberal Subject

Matthew B. Crawford

COVID made visible the usually subterranean core of the liberal project, which is not merely political but anthropological.

No Exit

David Bosworth

For many tech billionaires, citizenship is just one more consumer option in a competitive global marketplace.

Language Machinery

Richard Hughes Gibson

The ultimate semantic receivers, selectors, and transmitters are still us.

A Carrier Bag Theory of Biology

Lee Cooper

W.S. Merwin began by digging a hole.

Sorting the Self

Christopher Yates

The self has never been more securely an object of classification than it is today.

The Character of Tragedy

Martha Bayles

Tragedies give pleasure because they make room for art.

The Basis of Everything

Joseph E. Davis

The growing damage to truthfulness reflects something more—not just a personal discrepancy but a deep social discrepancy as well.

Preserving the Wilderness Idea

Brian Treanor

Calling the idea of wilderness into question makes as much sense as asking whether the United States is a democracy.

Immortalizing Words

Ashley C. Barnes

To say that writing novels trained a mind for eternity was a bold professional claim.

Waking From the Dream of Total Knowledge

Daniel Kraft

Considering how relationships of cooperation and perhaps even solidarity might be forged between human beings and animals.

The Man Who Was Not There

Ohad Reiss-Sorokin

The actual exchange between Oppenheimer and Einstein was far less cordial than the film’s version.

Winter Storm Pax and the Power of Names

Claire Maiers

As Winter Storm Pax pushes across the eastern United States this week, I find myself pondering the power of names.

In Defense of Scientific Asteroids

Jeffrey Guhin

Is the science in social science worth defending? The short answer is yes, and the long answer is that it depends on how you define science.

Introducing the Fall Issue: The Cultural Contradictions of Modern Science

Jay Tolson

As the power of science grows, its dominion extends even into areas of our culture where its proclaimed authority is questionable.

In the Sideshadows

Richard Hughes Gibson

Everyone contributes to the pandemic, so all bear responsibility.

Looking Under the Hood of AI’s Dubious Models

Ethan Edwards

Models are only valuable in the long run if we are free to take them apart.

The Wisdom Hypothesis

Matthew J. Milliner

Even defenders of the idea today such as Bruno Latour admit that Gaia in the original Greek context is “a figure of violence."

The Kierkegaardian Leap of Climate Activism

Rhoda Feng

Throughout the book, Sherrell eschews the phrase “climate crisis,” substituting a much more nebulous term: “the Problem.”

What Happened to Family Medicine?

Anna Keating

Trust plays an important role in public health.

The Mechanical Imagination

John Fechtel

In the output of the AI generated image, the technique is there but the techne is not.

The Way Your Mind Ends

Alan Jacobs

The good cop, bad cop routine of the digital age.

The Man for Whom Everything Was a Game

Mark Dunbar

John von Neumann’s life ended the way many of those of his intellectual caliber end: in madness.