Johan De Smedt (Ghent) and Helen De Cruz (Leuven): Toward an Integrative Approach of Cognitive Neuroscientific and Evolutionary Psychological Studies of Art. Where is art now? Leaving the art world to decide what art is doesn’t resolve the issue of quality. A review of A Brief History of the Artist from God to Picasso by Paul Barolsky. A matter of interpretation: Is all art history Western art history? Jessa Crispin on the tricky issue of ownership in art: A review essay. From The American Scholar, Edwin M. Yoder, Jr. on The Faux Arts: Variations on a theme of deception. The Curious Case of the Le Guennec Picassos: How did an elderly French electrician stumble across $60 million in lost art? After the shock is gone: Pity the poor artist trying to get a rise out of an audience today. A review of Art in Three Dimensions by Noel Carroll. Understanding uncertainty: David Spiegelhalter on pure randomness in art. From First Things, Matthew Milliner on the neglected fireplace: Protestantism and the arts. Away, then, with the jelly creatures: Noah Berlatsky on Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, and why Puritans hate art. Can there be such a thing as “Unitarian art”? After all, there is Christian art, Buddhist art, Islamic art, and so on. Why art should matter to Christians: Three ways to keep from losing a vital connection to God. Restoring the "American Sistine Chapel": How Sargent’s Synagogue provoked a nation.

Winston P. Nagan Levin (Florida): Legal Theory and the Anthropocene Challenge: The Implications of Law, Science, and Policy for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Climate Change. From Arts & Opinion, disgust and intimacy: Tatiana Buzekova and Monika Isova on the social and sexual implications of disgust; and sickness, banking and being: Disease and illness are the pharmaceutical industry's best friends. Simon Schama profiles Arianna Huffington, new media entrepreneur. An interview with Anne Conover Heller, author of Ayn Rand and the World She Made. A look at the 7 most horrifying cost cutting measures of all-time. Why is outdoor gear so ugly? The weird world of performance outerwear. Can modern science help us to create heroes? That's the lofty question behind the Heroic Imagination Project. Will we ever learn just to be content? We're stuck on a treadmill of envy, acquisition and dissatisfaction — worse, developing nations are copying our unsustainable ways. How digital maps are changing the landscape of the 21st century: Mapmakers have more power than ever, but who are the mapmakers? From NYRB, James Gleick on how the word “information” has grown urgent and problematic, a signpost seen everywhere, freighted with new meaning and import. A review of Fraser's Penguins: A Journey to the Future in Antarctica by Fen Montaigne. My Zombie, Myself: Chuck Klosterman on why modern life feels rather undead.

Ismael Hossein-Zadeh (Drake): Militarization of the World: The Case of Iran. A study finds Al Jazeera helps shape political identity of Arabs. The first chapter from The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East by Timur Kuran. Secret liaisons in the Middle East: Every city is different on a gay writer’s eye-opening tour. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to Hezbollah reveals the deepening isolation of the Shia in Lebanon. Can soccer solve a separatist problem in Yemen? Rap and metal on Planet Islam: James M. Dorsey on the booming voice of pent-up Middle Eastern anger. In the Arab world, as elsewhere, the Internet opens up new freedoms and opportunities for democracy — blogging involves playing with fire. In Abu Dhabi and Qatar, large-scale cultural projects, particularly museums, are being planned and built in an effort to reshape corners of the modern Arab world. A review of Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why it Matters by James Zogby. Sultan of the Muslim World: Why the AKP’s Turkey will be the East’s next leader. Why can't Arabs and Iranians just get along? The 14 centuries of bad blood behind the WikiLeaks cables. What does Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the world’s most influential Islamic movement, really want? During 2009’s post-election protests in Tehran, one man is struck into a commitment to the cause. WikiLeaks: Mohammadbagher Forough on the tortuous politics of the Middle East and Iran. Qatar's Balancing Act: The Arab nation is keeping close ties with the US while building its relationship with Iran.

Randall Morck (Alberta) and Bernard Yin Yeung (NYU): Corporatism and the Ghost of the Third Way. From TNR, which languages should liberal arts be about in 2010? John McWhorter wonders. A radical new idea: what if we tested laws before passing them? For the first time since World War II, German combat troops are being stationed in France. Most observers agree that the Cancun deal is a tremendous achievement for UN climate process. “The” unbearable “whiteness” of “science”: How would you feel as a chemist if professional meetings were dominated by alchemists? (and more) You might call it a policy of don’t bark, don’t smell: U.S. soldiers and Marines are smuggling dogs and cats onto bases across Afghanistan. Now that literary journalism is all but gone from magazines, many writers are choosing to walk a perilous tightrope to books — good luck with that. The jihadists want to destroy all that is good about America, but, frankly, the Catholic League may beat them to it. The joyless or the jobless: Should governments pursue happiness rather than economic growth? One of the most curious intellectual developments of the past decade has been that quantitative social scientists — economists and psychologists, most especially — have become philosophers of happiness. Philosophers are the smartest humanists, physicists the smartest scientists, economists the smartest social scientists.

From Democracy, a symposium on America 2021: Jobs and the Economy. Gilles d'Aymery on why the economy is not coming back (in three parts). From The Monkey Cage, a roundtable on Larry Bartels' Unequal Democracy. If America is to be rescued, the American people must be mobilized — but today, the money is mobilized and the people are not. The new American oligarchy: Creating a country of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. A book salon on Matt Taibbi's Griftopia (and more). Workless: The price of a social safety net is low taxes for the wealthy — the cost is unsustainable. A review of The Trouble with Billionaires by Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks. How should America improve its economy? Don't ask Americans for guidance. Fred Siegel reviews three books on the powerful political elites of America. Here's 15 mind-blowing charts about wealth and inequality in America. David Leonhardt on how resistance to the expansion of the social safety net stems from tension between two competing traditions in the American economy. Tyler Cowen on the inequality that matters: Most claims about inequality are groundless — one, however, is not. One of the great enduring mysteries of American politics is why Republicans attach so much importance to cutting taxes for the rich. Jim Manzi on how unbundling components — and understanding each one separately — can open up the path to achieving the goals of the welfare state in a modern environment. Though John Adams railed against it more than two centuries ago, we now find ourselves in a new age of aristocratic despotism. Notes from the Moral Underground: Andrew Oxford on how and why Americans are subverting their economy.

Pablo Jimenez (ANU): EU Citizenship and Political Identity: The Demos and Telos Problems. Marek Hlavac (Georgetown): Less than a State, More than an International Organization: The Sui Generis Nature of the European Union. A "Manifesto of the Appalled Economists" offers a critical presentation of ten premises that still inspire decisions of public authorities all over Europe every day — these are pseudo “obvious facts” which are in fact unfair and ineffective measures, against which we propose twenty-two counterproposals. Barry Eichengreen on how resolving the euro crisis is both easier and more difficult than is commonly supposed. How to resign from the euro club: The barriers to leaving are high but could still be crawled over by a country determined to leave. All together now? Daniel Gros on arguments for a big-bang solution to Eurozone problems. A review of When the Luck of the Irish Ran Out: The World’s Most Resilient Country and Its Struggle to Rise Again by David J. Lynch. Halla Tomasdottir on a feminine response to Iceland's financial crash. Religious Poland sees rise in secularism. Finland loses its religion: In a mass exodus following a gay rights debate on national television, over 40,000 people have given up their membership of the church. Founded in Minsk, Belarus, the European Humanities University may be unique in the world in that it operates today completely as a university in exile. German comic writers are departing from the seriousness of their own lives and discovering humor.

The future isn't dead — we simply overtook it. Camp Wolters is a decaying military base deactivated in the 70s, now visited by urban explorers and military enthusiasts. If human morality is an evolutionary adaptation and if neuroscientists can identify specific brain circuitry governing moral judgment, can scientists determine what is, in fact, right and wrong? A "Great Debate" symposium at Arizona State University. A look at 5 myths about federal workers. WikiFailed States: What the cables reveal about the world’s toughest places. An interview with John Pilger: Why do so many journalists beat the drums of war and peddle propaganda? The states that can say no: Conservative legislators take lessons on how to subvert the feds. The war in Afghanistan is a case of what not to do in an ethnic conflict. From Vision, do the ancient truths that defined daily life for the Hebrews have any relevance millennia later? Dispatches from the Last Frontier: An aggressive Web site covers Alaska and searches for profitability. Far offshore, a rash of close calls: Data from regulators around the world suggest that after years of improvement, the offshore-drilling industry's safety record declined over the past two years. Consumers go online to get better prices, but Web merchants have their own tricks. Is the Better Business Bureau a protection racket? An interview with Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's president-elect.

Steve Toms (York): Calculating Profit: A Historical Perspective on the Development of Capitalism. A review of Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World by Deirdre McCloskey (and more and more and more and more). Matthew Richardson on how market failure cannot be resolved without regulation. A review of The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World by Greg Ip. How can we understand a world that has proven far more complex than the most advanced economic models assumed? The question is far from academic (and more by Justin Fox). Theories tell you what something is; models tell you merely what something is partially like. The first chapter from Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics by Kaushik Basu. We are not going to shop our way out of this mess, so what will return our economy to full-throttled life? Here are some ideas — some of them a little out there — from academics. A review of The Financial Crisis: Who is to Blame? by Howard Davies. What happens if we view the market as sacred space — Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” and all? Jeff Madrick reviews Seeds of Destruction: Why the Path to Economic Ruin Runs Through Washington, and How to Reclaim American Prosperity by Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro; Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis by Anatole Kaletsky; and Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future by Robert B. Reich.

Richard Albert (BC): The Constitutional Politics of Presidential Succession. From Democracy, Michael Berube on The Science Wars Redux: Fifteen years after the Sokal Hoax, attacks on “objective knowledge” that were once the province of the left have been taken up by the right. To have is to owe: David Graeber on Mesopotamian usury, Vedic accounting, American Jubilee — excavating the history of fiscal debt. Mr. Magazine interviews Rick Stengel, managing editor of Time. The first chapter from Diversity and Complexity by Scott E. Page. Highfliers: Why the manufacture of private jets is still big business. Making unions matter again: For too long, unions have mistaken access for power — they need to get back to organizing and activating members. The Jesus factor of the iPhone: New media, religion and the intertextual circulation of meaning. Crisis Junkies: After the tax deal vote, get ready for another fiscal apocalypse. As newspapers decline, niche publications prosper. "We'll never eliminate risk": TSA Chief John Pistole says he's more interested in people than the items they carry. A sense of cleanliness: As far as morality goes, disgust has received a lot of attention, and there has been a lot of work on it. Scott McLemee reviews That’s Offensive! Criticism, Identity, Respect by Stefan Collini. A review of Fame: What the Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity by Tom Payne (and more).

From the latest issue of Plato, a review of Socrates on Friendship and Community: Reflections on Plato’s Symposium, Phaedrus, and Lysis by Mary P. Nichols and Eros in Plato, Rousseau, and Nietzsche: The Politics of Infinity by Laurence D. Cooper. Kung Fu for Philosophers: Thoughts on East, West and a Chinese philosophical tradition that is more practical than metaphysical. A review of Philosophy Bites: 25 Philosophers on 25 Intriguing Subjects by Nigel Warburton (and more). A group of philosophers is experimenting with an approach we call “field philosophy”, which plays on the difference between lab science and field science. What philosophy tells us about the happiness index: Thinkers from Bentham to Heidegger saw measuring happiness as more than just a box-ticking exercise. Boxing and Aristotle: Gordon Marino on philosophical lessons learned on the ropes. From Philosophy Now, an amoral manifesto: Joel Marks concludes his special column explaining why he’s abandoning morality (and part 2). A surprising study shows that classic (pre-1900) ethics books are twice as likely to go missing as other philosophy books. From TPM, "ideas of the century" include Michael Ruse on evolution and ethics; Ingrid Robeyns on the capability approach; and Nina Power on the equality of intelligence. The Lie Guy: Philosopher Clancy Martin takes a detour through deception in his search for truth. Revolutions in logic (of various kinds) have certainly occurred in the past — perhaps we are on the brink of another.