Solitons, i.e. solitary localized waves with particle-like behaviour, and multi-solitons occur virtually everywhere. There is a good reason for that in that there is a solid, albeit somewhat heuristic argument which says that for wave-like phenomena the 'soliton approximation' is the next one after the linear one. It is also not too difficult via some searching in the voluminous literature - many hundreds of papers on solitons each year - to write down a long list of equations which admit soliton (...) solutions and which model phenomena ranging over all the physical, biological, chemical and geological sciences as well as engineering. Yet, when lecturing on (mathematical) aspects of solitons I have found it not so easy to go beyond listing these equations. Largely because of lack of a book like this, which discusses where and how solitons arise, how they behave, whether or not they are stable and in what sense, which discusses approximate solitons and solitons in multidimensional spaces (which in a first simple natural formulation cannot exist), which discusses soliton (computer) experiments; all this for a wide range of phenomena especially in connection with solid state physics. There is a great deal of analytic material as well as there is especially a considerable collection of challenges for theoretical understanding. A great deal of the material covered in this book has not appeared in the monographic literature before. The phenomenology of solitons is very rich indeed. (shrink)
In this unique monograph, based on years of extensive work, Chatterjee presents the historical evolution of statistical thought from the perspective of various approaches to statistical induction. Developments in statistical concepts and theories are discussed alongside philosophical ideas on the ways we learn from experience.
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)
Gareth Matthews suggests that we can better understand the nature of philosophical inquiry if we recognize the central role played by perplexity. The seminal representation of philosophical perplexity is in Plato's dialogues; Matthews examines the intriguing shifts in Plato's attitude to perplexity and suggests that these may represent a course of philosophical development that philosophers follow even today.
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.
With armed conflict in the Persian Gulf now upon us, Harvard archaeologist Steven LeBlanc takes a long-term view of the nature and roots of war, presenting a controversial thesis: The notion of the "noble savage" living in peace with one another and in harmony with nature is a fantasy. In Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage , LeBlanc contends that warfare and violent conflict have existed throughout human history, and that humans have never lived in ecological balance (...) with nature. The start of the second major U.S. military action in the Persian Gulf, combined with regular headlines about spiraling environmental destruction, would tempt anyone to conclude that humankind is fast approaching a catastrophic end. But as LeBlanc brilliantly argues, the archaeological record shows that the warfare and ecological destruction we find today fit into patterns of human behavior that have gone on for millions of years. Constant Battles surveys human history in terms of social organization-from hunter gatherers, to tribal agriculturalists, to more complex societies. LeBlanc takes the reader on his own digs around the world -- from New Guinea to the Southwestern U.S. to Turkey -- to show how he has come to discover warfare everywhere at every time. His own fieldwork combined with his archaeological, ethnographic, and historical research, presents a riveting account of how, throughout human history, people always have outgrown the carrying capacity of their environment, which has led to war. Ultimately, though, LeBlanc's point of view is reassuring and optimistic. As he explains the roots of warfare in human history, he also demonstrates that warfare today has far less impact than it did in the past. He also argues that, as awareness of these patterns and the advantages of modern technology increase, so does our ability to avoid war in the future. (shrink)
Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger was one of the most distinguished scientists of the twentieth century; his lectures on the history and philosophy of science are legendary. 'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism' makes available for the first time in many years the text of two of Schrödinger's most famous lecture series. 'Nature and the Greeks' offers a comprehensive historical account of the twentieth-century scientific world picture, tracing modern science back to the earliest stages of Western philosophic thought. 'Science (...) and Humanism' addresses some of the most fundamental questions of the century: what is the value of scientific research? and how do the achievements of modern science affect the relationship between material and spiritual matters? A foreword by Roger Penrose sets the lectures in a contemporary context, and affirms they are as relevant today as when they were first published. (shrink)
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)
Prologue -- The Greek stones speak : toward an archaeology of consciousness -- Singing the muses' song : myth, wisdom, and speech -- Physis, kosmos, logos : presocratic thought and the emergence of nature-consciousness -- Sophistical wisdom, Socratic wisdom, and the political life -- Civic wisdom, divine wisdom : Socrates, Plato, and two visions for the Athenian citizen -- Speculative wisdom, practical wisdom : Aristotle and the culmination of Hellenic thought -- Epilogue.
Globalization is often described as the spread of western culture to other parts of the world. How accurate is the depiction of "cultural" flow? In Counterworks , ten anthropologists examine the ways in which global processes have affected particular localities where they have carried out research. They challenge the validity of anthropological concepts of culture in the light of the pervasive connections which exist between local and global factors everywhere. Rather than assuming that the world is culturally diverse, this book (...) proposes that culture is itself a representation of the similarities and differences recognized between forms of social life. The authors address issues of globalization in terms of diverse histories and traditions of knowledge, which may include the construction of difference as cultural. In its attention to specific local situations, such as Bali, Cuba, Bolivia, Greece, Kenya and the Maoris in New Zealand, Counterworks argues that the apparent opposition between strong westernizing, global forces and weak concept of culture, which supposes cultures to be integrated and possessed of essential properties, need rethinking in a contemporary world where a marked sense of culture has become a wide-spread property of people's social knowledge. This book will have wide appeal to anthropologists, to students of comparative studies in history, religion and language, and to anyone interested in the phenomenon of postmodernism. (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 ...
This book argues that Josiah Royce bequeathed to philosophy a novel idealism based on an ethico-religious insight.This insight became the basis for an idealistic personalism, wherein the Real is the personal and a metaphysics of community is the most appropriate approach to metaphysics for personal beings, especially in an often impersonal and technological intellectual climate. -/- The first part of the book traces how Royce constructed his idealistic personalism in response to criticisms made by George Holmes Howison. That personalism is (...) interpreted as an ethical and panentheistic one, somewhat akin to Charles Hartshorne's process philosophy. The second part investigates Royce's idealistic metaphysics in general and his ethico-religious insight in particular. In the course of these investigations, the author examines how Royce's ethico-religious insight could be strengthened by incorporating the philosophical theology of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Emmanuel Levinas's ethical metaphysics. The author concludes by briefly exploring the possibility that Royce's progressive racial anti-essentialism is, in fact, a form of cultural, antiblack racism and asks whether his cultural, antiblack racism taints his ethico-religious insight. (shrink)
A timely book that uses science fiction to provoke reflection and discussion on philosophical issues From the nature of mind to the ethics of AI and neural enhancement, science fiction thought experiments fire the philosophical imagination, encouraging us to think outside of the box about classic philosophical problems and even to envision new ones. Science Fiction and Philosophy explores puzzles about virtual reality, transhumanism, whether time travel is possible, the nature of artificial intelligence, and topics in neuroethics, among other timely (...) issues. This thought-provoking volume is suitable for students and general readers but also examines new and more advanced topics of interest to seasoned philosophers and scientists. Susan Schneider is Assistant Professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and an Affiliated Faculty Member at the Institutes for Research in Cognitive Science and Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. (shrink)
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 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)
Bringing together the work of Hannah Arendt, poststructuralist and hermeneutic theories of narrative, and feminist standpoint theory, this book examines the role of narrative in both ideological and critical political thinking. The book recasts feminist affirmations (and critiques) of "marginal experience" by situating experience and identity within a theory of narrative and it identifies the specific narrative strategies that impede, and those that facilitate, feminist and democratic struggles.
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.
The essays in this volume examine the nature of human flourishing and its relationship to a variety of other key concepts in moral theory. Some of them trace the link between flourishing and human nature, asking whether a theory of human nature can allow us to develop an objective list of goods that are of value to all agents, regardless of their individual purposes or aims. Some essays look at the role of friendships or parent-child relationships in a good life, (...) or seek to determine whether an ethical theory based on human flourishing can accommodate concern for others for their own sake. Other essays analyze the function of families or other social-political institutions in promoting the flourishing of individuals. Still others explore the implications of flourishing for political theory, asking whether considerations of human flourishing can help us to derive principles of social justice. (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.