Henry David Thoreau The American author Henry David Thoreau is best known for his magnum opus Walden, or Life in the Woods ; second to this in popularity is his essay, “Resistance to Civil Government” , which was later republished posthumously as “Civil Disobedience” . His fame largely rests on his role as a … Continue reading Thoreau, Henry David →.
In his new book, "The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe," Robert J. Richards argues that Charles Darwin's true evolutionary roots lie in the German Romantic biology that flourished around the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is argued that Richards is quite wrong in this claim and that Darwin's roots are in the British society within which he was born, educated, and lived.
Artificial intelligence is poised to eliminate millions of jobs, from finance to truck driving. But artisanal products are valued precisely because of their human origins, and thus have some inherent “immunity” from AI job loss. At the same time, artisanal labor, combined with technology, could potentially help to democratize the economy, allowing independent, small-scale businesses to flourish. Could AI, robotics and related automation technologies enhance the economic viability and environmental sustainability of these beloved crafting professions, perhaps even expanding their niche (...) to replace some job loss in other sectors? In this paper, we compare the problems created by the current mass production economy and potential solutions from an artisanal economy. In doing so, the paper details the possibilities of utilizing AI to support hybrid forms of human–machine production at the microscale; localized and sustainable value chains at the mesoscale; and networks of these localized and sustainable producers at the macroscale. In short, a wide range of automation technologies are potentially available for facilitating and empowering an artisanal economy. Ultimately, it is our hope that this paper will facilitate a discussion on a future vision for more “generative” economic forms in which labor value, ecological value and social value can circulate without extraction or alienation. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses.
Michael Hunter, The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle. With contributions by Edward B. Davis, Harriet Knight, Charles Littleton and Lawrence M. Principe. Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Pp. xiii + 674. US$139.95/£70.00 HB. -/- The publication by Michael Hunter of this revised edition of the catalogue of the Boyle Papers contributes admirably to the renaissance in Boyle studies which has taken place over the past decade and a half. Robert Boyle (1627–91), arguably (...) the most influential British scientist of the late seventeenth century, was a pioneering experimenter, profound thinker, and figure-head of the new science in its early years of development. This volume brings together the materials necessary for understanding the Boyle archive, one of the most important archives from this period, which has been at the Royal Society since 1769. (shrink)
Simon Blackburn has not shied away from the use of vivid imagery in developing, over a long and prolific career, a large-scale philosophical vision. Here one might think, for instance, of ‘Practical Tortoise Raising’ or ‘Ramsey's Ladder’ or ‘Frege's Abyss’. Blackburn develops a ‘quasi-realist’ account of many of our philosophical and everyday commitments, both theoretical (e.g., modality and causation) and practical (e.g., moral judgement and normative reasons). Quasi-realism aims to provide a naturalistic treatment of its targeted phenomena while earning the (...) right to deploy all of the ‘trappings’ of realism—i.e., while eschewing any idea that our normal thought and talk about such phenomena are pervasively in error. The quasi-realist project is that of explaining how (as Huw Price puts it here) ‘the folk come to “talk the realist talk” without committing ourselves—us theorists, as it were—to “walking the metaphysical walk”’ (p. 136). Quasi-realism, too, can speak of truth, facts, properties, belief, knowledge, and so on. The imagery in this collection also abounds, though, in capturing a different view of quasi-realism: No fewer than three of the contributors picture Blackburn as wanting to have his cake and eat it too (Louise Antony asking, in addition, ‘Who doesn't? It's cake’ [p. 19]). (shrink)
Davidson claims that the basis for all semantic notions is the successful communication. This paper aims at exploring the consequences that this statement has for the notions of both meaning and language. And as a result, it explains why communication is not grounded on conventions or norms.