What’s New

Stephen Asma signs contract with Harvard University Press to publish new book The Evolution of Mind: Affective Roots of Culture and Cognition (with co-author Dr. Rami Gabriel).

Two of Asma's articles for the New York Times ("The Myth of Universal Love" and "The Enigma of Chinese Medicine") have been included in the new book The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments (Liveright, 2015) http://www.amazon.com/The-Stone-Reader-Philosophy-Arguments/dp/1631490710

Stephen Asma was a Fulbright Scholar 2013/2014, Beijing PRC. He taught “American Philosophy” at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Spring 2014, and lectured throughout mainland China (regarding scientific and Buddhist perspectives on the mind/brain).



1. The Improvising Ape: the evolution of imagination (University of Chicago Press (Spring 2017).

2. Against Fairness  University of Chicago Press (Nov. 2012). Translated into Korean in 2013. 


1. “Monsters on the Brain: An Evolutionary Epistemology of Horror” in the journal Social Research (edited by Arien Mack, The New School for Social Research), Vol. 81, No. 4, Winter 2014.

2. “The Believers” in The Chronicle of Higher Education; Chronicle Review, January 28, 2014.

3. “From China, with Pragmatism” in The New York Times, The Stone. June 8, 2014.

4. “The Trouble with Tiger Culture: A Consideration of U.S. Cultural Adaptations” in The Chronicle of Higher Education; Chronicle Review, February 3, 2014.

5. “Look Not Upon Them! Maternity and the Monstrous Imagination” in the Morbid Anatomy Anthology (Morbid Anatomy Press, 2014)

 6. “Families Made us Human:  The Evolution of Emotional Modernity” in Aeon digital magazine, November 7, 2013.

7. “The Enigma of Chinese Medicine” in The New York Times, The Stone, September 28, 2013.

8. “Affirmative Action Jumps the Shark” in Inside Higher Education, July 8, 2013.

9. “You Are an Abstraction: Mistakes of Metaphysical Individualism” in 3 Quarks Daily, June 24, 2013.

10. “The Myth of Universal Love” in The New York Times, The Stone, January 5, 2013.

11. “Animal Spirits: The Evolution of Emotion” in Aeon digital magazine, February 6, 2013. 

12. “Affective Neuroscience and the Philosophy of Self” in “Philosophical Implications of Affective Neuroscience” Journal of Consciousness Studies Vol. 19, No 3-4, pp. 26-36, 2012.


         "The Redemptive Body: A Theology of Anatomy" Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn NY, June 4, 2016.

       “Philosophers and Monkey Kings: Classical Roots of Chinese Popular Culture” Chicago Cultural Center, November 3, 2014.

         "Tiger Mothers and Family Culture: Asian and American Differences” Philosophy Department, Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China, July 6, 2014.

       “Buddhism, Brains, and Intentionality” Philosophy Department, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. June 25, 2014.

       “Buddhism, Neuroscience and the Self” Philosophy Department, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, June 4th, 2014.

         “Understanding American Music: One Guitar,” invited lecture, United States Embassy “American Center” Beijing, China. May 27, 2014.

         “Evolution of Mind: The Emotional-Social Complex” Biology Department, Southwest University, Chongqing, China, May 20, 2014.

         “Buddhism, Transcendence and the Urban Landscape” Loyola University Museum of Art, October 15, 2013.

         “Body Language, Gut Feelings, and Gossip: The Evolution of Social Intelligence” Chicago Cultural Center, May 1, 2013.

         “Buddhism and the Brain” University of Macau, Philosophy and Religion Department, April 22, 2013.

         “Karma and Craving: Buddhist Perspectives on Sin” NIU Art Museum, January 24, 2013.

       “Monsters and the Moral Imagination” Invited lecture at Brown University, American Studies Department, April 19, 2012.

         “The Logic of Natural History Collecting” Invited lecture at Brown University, Public Humanities Program, John Nicholas Brown Center, April 20, 2012.