What were the circumstances that led to the development of our cognitive abilities from a primitive hominid to an essentially modern human? The answer to this question is of profound importance to understanding our present nature. Since the steep path of our cognitive development is the attribute that most distinguishes humans from other mammals, this is also a quest to determine human origins. This collection of outstanding scientific problems and the revelation of the many ways they can be addressed indicates (...) the scope of the field to be explored and reveals some avenues along which research is advancing. Distinguished scientists and researchers who have advanced the discussion of the mind and brain contribute state-of-the-art presentations of their field of expertise. Chapters offer speculative and provocative views on topics such as body, culture, evolution, feelings, genetics, history, humor, knowledge, language, machines, neuroanatomy, pathology, and perception. This book will appeal to researchers and students in cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy. * Includes a contribution by Noam Chomsky, one of the most cited authors of our time. (shrink)
The book reveals different dimensions of modeling in the historical sciences. Papers collected in the first part (Ontology of the Historical Process) consider different models of historical reality and discuss their status. The second part (Modeling in the Methodology of History) presents various forms of idealization in historiographic research. The papers in the third part (Modeling in the Research Practice) present various models of past reality (e.g. of Poland, Central Europe and the general history of the feudal system) put forward (...) by historians. Other papers consider the status of scientific laws and historical generalizations. The volume will be of interest to those who study analytical philosophy of history, methodology of history and social sciences, social philosophy as well as theory and history of historiography. (shrink)
Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy ) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned—a defense project—going wrong, but none (...) of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines , concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (shrink)
The Greek State.--The Greek woman.--On music and words.--Homer's contest.--The relation of Schopenhauer's philosophy to a German culture.--Philosophy during the tragic age of the Greeks.--On truth and falsity in their ultramoral sense.
This latest volume in the Oxford Readings in Feminism series consists of an exciting collection of articles addressing key questions for feminism and cultural studies. Encompassing both classic articles and challenging new work, Feminism and Cultural Studies is organized thematically and addresses commodification, women and labor, mass culture, fantasy and ideas of home.
Semantic Leaps explores how people combine knowledge from different domains in order to understand and express new ideas. Concentrating on dynamic aspects of on-line meaning construction, Coulson identifies two related sets of processes: frame-shifting and conceptual blending. Frame-shifting is semantic reanalysis in which existing elements in the contextual representation are reorganized into a new frame. Conceptual blending is a set of cognitive operations for combining partial cognitive models. By addressing linguistic phenomena often ignored in traditional meaning research, Coulson explains how (...) processes of cross-domain mapping, frame-shifting, and conceptual blending enhance the explanatory adequacy of traditional frame-based systems for natural language processing. The focus is on how the constructive processes speakers use to assemble, link, and adapt simple cognitive models underlie a broad range of productive language behavior. (shrink)
In addition, this book contains tools that, in principle, can search a set of algorithms to see whether a problem is solvable, or more specifically, if it can be solved by an algorithm whose computations are efficient.
The three Socratic theses.--The Socratic quest.--The Platonic quest.--The Socratic paradox: the dualism of Plato.--Psychology.--The doctrine of ideas.--Science and cosmogony.--Metaphysics.--Conclusion.
Feminist theory is a central strand of cultural studies. This book explores the history of feminist cultural studies from the early work of Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, through the 1970s Women's Liberation Movement. It also provides a comprehensive introduction to the contemporary key approaches, theories and debates of feminist theory within cultural studies, offering a major re-mapping of the field. It will be an essential text for students taking courses within both cultural studies and (...) women's studies departments. (shrink)
This Oxford Reader seeks to introduce some of the main philosophical questions raised by the Greek and Roman philosophers of classical antiquity. Selections from the writings of ancient philosophers are interspersed with Terence Irwin's incisive commentary, and sometimes with contributions from modern philosophers expounding relevant philosophical positions or discussing particular aspects of classical philosophy. The arrangement of the book is thematic, rather than chronological, allowing the reader to focus on philosophical problems and ideas, but a general introduction places philosophers and (...) schools within their historical context. Irwin brings together contributions which shaped debates about knowledge, freedom, ethics, politics, and religious belief - debates which continue to be contested today, 2500 years from their conception. (shrink)
A lively dialogue between a foreign philosopher and a powerful statesman, Plato's Laws reflects the essence of the philosopher's reasoning on political theory and practice. It also embodies his mature and more practical ideas about a utopian republic. Plato's discourse ranges from everyday issues of criminal and matrimonial law to wider considerations involving the existence of the gods, the nature of the soul, and the problem of evil. Translated by the distinguished scholar Benjamin Jowett, this edition is an authoritative choice (...) for students of philosophy, political science, and literature. (shrink)
This book is a definitive reference source for the growing, increasingly more important, and interdisciplinary field of computational cognitive modeling, that is, computational psychology. It combines breadth of coverage with definitive statements by leading scientists in this field. Research in computational cognitive modeling explores the essence of cognition through developing detailed, process-based understanding by specifying computational mechanisms, structures, and processes. Computational models provide both conceptual clarity and precision at the same time. This book substantiates this approach through overviews and many (...) examples. (shrink)
The volume advances research in the philosophy of technology by introducing contributors who have an acute sense of how to get beyond or reframe the epistemic, ontological and normative limitations that currently limit the fields of philosophy of technology and science and technology studies.
Presents an introduction to philosophy in the ancient world, discussing the writings of the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as well as the teachings of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and the early Jewish and Christian authors.
An important volume connecting classical studies with feminism, Feminism and Ancient Philosophy provides an even-handed assessment of the ancient philosophers' discussions of women and explains which ancient views can be fruitful for feminist theorizing today. The papers in this anthology range from classical Greek philosophy through the Hellenistic period, with the predominance of essays focusing on topics such as the relation of reason and the emotions, the nature of emotions and desire, and related issues in moral psychology. The volume contains (...) some new, ground-breaking essays on Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, as well as previously published pieces by established scholars like Martha Nussbaum and Julia Annas. It promises to be of interest to an interdisciplinary audience including those working in classics, ancient philosophy, and feminist theory. (shrink)
This book presents the first detailed analysis of the way Greek philosophers treated mental conflict. The ancient Greeks considered mental conflict as the condition of a divided mind consciously torn between contrary desires or beliefs. Greek philosophers offered a variety of formulations for mental conflict, either as a reason that fails to be resolute or as a split soul that houses a play of forces. Studying the treatment of mental conflict by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics, A. W. Price (...) demonstrates how the arguments of the Greeks are still relevant to current philosophical discussion. Reflecting upon their accounts can alert us to the elusiveness at once of mental reality and of the understanding by which we hope to capture and transform it. (shrink)
"In this book a noted physiologist and neuroscientist introduces the concept of simplexity, the set of solutions living organisms find that enable them to deal with information and situations, while taking into account past experiences and ...
My personal odyssey -- Tripping the night fantastic. Who-and what-am I? -- The journey home. Take me to the river-- -- The being human -- White crows : mystics, savants, and other harbingers of human potential. Mystic mind (or how to crack open the cranium) -- Wake up! Greek philosophy breaks the trance -- The ultimate cage match : philosophy, science, and religion (or togas, Bibles, and microscopes : why can't we all just get along?) -- Homo anxious : I (...) think, therefore I worry. Mindfulness walk : "being" without thinking -- Why philosophy matters-and how it just might save your life! Am I a neuron in the mind of God? -- Reality bites -- The physical world : the tip of the reality iceberg. More to reality than meets the eye -- Real deal reality : beyond sense and beyond reason. Beyond logic : riddles and paradoxes. Pyramids, togas, and cosmic consciousness -- Pythagoras squared : who was this mystic mathemagician? Infinity : the ultimate mind trip -- Good vibrations : Pythagoras and the big beat. The cosmic symphony : music from the universal orchestra -- Escaping Plato's cave -- Plato's retreat-from the material world. the universe as one big thought -- On the nature of change : the more things change--. Change : the great illusion -- Death : the new birth. Incubation (or how death can transform your life) -- Yes, but what does it all mean? -- New science and old wisdom -- Musings from my dissertation -- Some final thoughts. (shrink)
Neural Geographies draws together recent feminist and deconstructive theories, early Freudian neurology and contemporary connectionist theories of cognition. In this original work, Elizabeth A. Wilson explores the convergence between Derrida, Freud and recent cognitive theory to pursue two important issues: the nature of cognition and neurology, and the politics of feminist and critical interventions into contemporary scientific psychology. This book seeks to reorient the usual presumptions of critical studies of the sciences by addressing the divisions between the static and the (...) changeable; the natural and the political; the neuro-cognitive and the cultural that have been traditional to both scientific and critical accounts of neurology and cognition. (shrink)
This second Companion deals with the ancient theories of the psyche. The essays range over more than eight hundred years of psychological inquiry and provide critical analyses not only of the ancient discussions of the nature of the psyche and its states, but of such central topics as perception, subjectivity, the explanation of action, and what it is to be a person. In examining the wide variety of psychological theories offered by the ancient thinkers, from the increasingly complex materialism of (...) the Presocratics and Hellenists to the dualism of Plato and Plotinus, the collection demonstrates that psychology had become a wide-ranging and sophisticated discipline long before Descartes. (shrink)
Being 'biblical' : contexts and starting points -- Jesus of Nazareth : great moral teacher or friend of sinners? -- Paul : follower or founder? -- Mark : suffering for the kingdom -- Matthew : being truly righteous -- Luke-Acts : a universal concern -- John : teaching the truth in love -- Apartheid : an ethical and generic challenge to reading the New Testament.
Fred Feldman's fascinating new book sets out to defend hedonism as a theory about the Good Life. He tries to show that, when carefully and charitably interpreted, certain forms of hedonism yield plausible evaluations of human lives. Feldman begins by explaining the question about the Good Life. As he understands it, the question is not about the morally good life or about the beneficial life. Rather, the question concerns the general features of the life that is good in itself for (...) the one who lives it. Hedonism says (roughly) that the Good Life is the pleasant life. After showing that received formulations of hedonism are often confused or incoherent, Feldman presents a simple, clear, coherent form of sensory hedonism that provides a starting point for discussion. He then presents a catalogue of classic objections to hedonism, coming from sources as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Brentano, Ross, Moore, Rawls, Kagan, Nozick, Brandt, and others. One of Feldman's central themes is that there is an important distinction between the forms of hedonism that emphasize sensory pleasure and those that emphasize attitudinal pleasure. Feldman formulates several kinds of hedonism based on the idea that attitudinal pleasure is the Good. He claims that attitudinal forms of hedonism - which have often been ignored in the literature -- are worthy of more careful attention. Another main theme of the book is the plasticity of hedonism. Hedonism comes in many forms. Attitudinal hedonism is especially receptive to variations and modifications. Feldman illustrates this plasticity by formulating several variants of attitudinal hedonism and showing how they evade some of the objections. He also shows how it is possible to develop forms of hedonism that are equivalent to the allegedly anti-hedonistic theory of G. E. Moore and the Aristotelian theory according to which the Good Life is the life of virtue, or flourishing. He also formulates hedonisms relevantly like the ones defended by Aristippus and Mill. Feldman argues that a carefully developed form of attitudinal hedonism is not refuted by objections concerning 'the shape of a life'. He also defends the claim that all of the alleged forms of hedonism discussed in the book genuinely deserve to be called 'hedonism'. Finally, after dealing with the last of the objections, he gives a sketch of his hedonistic vision of the Good Life. (shrink)