Daily decision making is often rooted in motivational conflict. Understanding the causes of our conflicting motivations may lead us to make decisions with greater ease and certainty. Luckily, Ancient Greek philosopher Plato provides us with a framework by which we can understand and analyze our motivations. Using this framework, we can think more critically about why we are inclined to decide and act a certain way.

To Plato, motivational conflicts are inherently built into our soul. In Book IV of the Republic, Plato explicitly outlines how we can tie motivational conflict to the metaphysics of the soul. Plato conceives of…


Consciousness is the most fundamental and elusive facet of the human existence. In conversation, we refer to consciousness as the property of our minds that produces the richness of the lived experience. Colloquially, we agree that consciousness is physically grounded in our brain — though many argue simply having a brain is not a sufficient condition for consciousness. At best, we have a fuzzy sense of the causal and definitional properties of consciousness: even though consciousness is an essential part of the human existence, we have little understanding of precisely what consciousness is and how it is produced.

I’ll roughly…


Quantum mechanics is the field of physics that seeks to understand the movement and interaction of subatomic particles, such as quarks, hadrons, and gluons. In 1926, Erwin Schrödinger made a significant contribution to quantum mechanics when he successfully derived the psi-function. Later coined Schrödinger’s Equation, the psi-function describes the wave function of a quantum mechanical system. In describing the world with the psi-function, Schrödinger contributed one of the deepest philosophical problems of our time.

The general form of Schrödinger’s Equation as a function of time. |X> is the physics notation for a vector X.

Gloss on Quantum Mechanics (as relevant to Philosophy)

“Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.” …


What’s the underlying computer hardware hiding behind your keyboard? In this article, I’ll provide an introductory overview of the basics of computer architecture typically covered in a first undergraduate course. I’ll cover:

  1. How computers represent information.
  2. The basic circuitry used to process and store information.
  3. How the pieces of circuitry fit together to form your computer’s processor and memory.

Understanding the fundamentals of computer architecture is really about understanding the fundamentals of abstraction, and you will see how the basic components of the architecture are used to build more complex ones. …

Jillian Ross

Researching interpretable, ethical, and efficient AI at MIT. Previously computer science and philosophy at Columbia University.

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