Becoming a wizard in the Harry Potter series was not all fun and games. In fact it was more like life or death for Harry and the gang. I wanted to go to Hogwarts like every other kid and the closest any of us will ever get to that is by reading the books, watching the movies, and visiting the theme park in Florida (which I am doing this summer- can’t wait!). Another way to learn like a wizard is to read like a Hogwarts student.
Bloggers on Measure of Doubt ponder what kind of books would make up the average wizard student’s required book list. They propose that “Ravenclaws would be interested in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and mathematics; Gryffindors in combat, ethics, and democracy; Slytherins in persuasion, rhetoric, and political machination; and Hufflepuffs in productivity, happiness, and the game theory of cooperation.” While Hogwarts students saved the wizarding and muggle world, they were students after all and would have had to do plenty of reading.
Two of PUP’s books made the list for Hogwarts students on Measure of Doubt’s post.
The Virtues of Our Vices: A Modest Defense of Gossip, Rudeness, and Other Bad Habits is assigned to Slytherin.
Are there times when it’s right to be rude? Can we distinguish between good and bad gossip? Am I a snob if I think that NPR listeners are likely to be better informed than devotees of Fox News? Does sick humor do anyone any good? Can I think your beliefs are absurd but still respect you?
In The Virtues of Our Vices, philosopher Emrys Westacott takes a fresh look at important everyday ethical questions–and comes up with surprising answers. He makes a compelling argument that some of our most common vices–rudeness, gossip, snobbery, tasteless humor, and disrespect for others’ beliefs–often have hidden virtues or serve unappreciated but valuable purposes. For instance, there are times when rudeness may be necessary to help someone with a problem or to convey an important message. Gossip can foster intimacy between friends and curb abuses of power. And dubious humor can alleviate existential anxieties.
Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind is required reading for Hufflepuffs.
We’re all hypocrites. Why? Hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind.
Robert Kurzban shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind’s design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly, they don’t always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves.
This modular, evolutionary psychological view of the mind undermines deeply held intuitions about ourselves, as well as a range of scientific theories that require a “self” with consistent beliefs and preferences. Modularity suggests that there is no “I.” Instead, each of us is a contentious “we”–a collection of discrete but interacting systems whose constant conflicts shape our interactions with one another and our experience of the world.
What other PUP books would make it onto the book list for prospective Gryffindors, Slytherins, Ravenclaws, and Hufflepuffs? Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll roll out some of this spring’s book that would surely be on Hogwarts students’ book list for the semester! Keep coming back to see which house you belong in and what books are on your reading list.