How is it possible to think new thoughts? What is creativity and can science explain it? And just how did Coleridge dream up the creatures of The Ancient Mariner? When The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms was first published, Margaret A. Boden's bold and provocative exploration of creativity broke new ground. Boden uses examples such as jazz improvisation, chess, story writing, physics, and the music of Mozart, together with computing models from the field of artificial intelligence to uncover the (...) nature of human creativity in the arts. The second edition of The Creative Mind has been updated to include recent developments in artificial intelligence, with a new preface, introduction and conclusion by the author. It is an essential work for anyone interested in the creativity of the human mind. (shrink)
In a compelling chronicle of her search to understand Beauvoir's philosophy in The Second Sex, Margaret A. Simons offers a unique perspective on Beauvoir's wide-ranging contribution to twentieth-century thought. She details the discovery of the origins of Beauvoir's existential philosophy in her handwritten diary from 1927; uncovers evidence of the sexist exclusion of Beauvoir from the philosophical canon; reveals evidence that the African-American writer Richard Wright provided Beauvoir with the theoretical model of oppression that she used in The Second (...) Sex; shows the influence of The Second Sex in transforming Sartre's philosophy and in laying the theoretical foundations of radical feminism; and addresses feminist issues of racism, motherhood, and lesbian identity. Simons also draws on her experience as a Women's Liberation organizer as she witnessed how women used The Second Sex in defining the foundations of radical feminism. Bringing together her work as both activist and scholar, Simons offers a highly original contribution to the renaissance of Beauvoir scholarship. (shrink)
What is the mind? How does it work? How does it influence behavior? Some psychologists hope to answer such questions in terms of concepts drawn from computer science and artificial intelligence. They test their theories by modeling mental processes in computers. This book shows how computer models are used to study many psychological phenomena--including vision, language, reasoning, and learning. It also shows that computer modeling involves differing theoretical approaches. Computational psychologists disagree about some basic questions. For instance, should the mind (...) be modeled by digital computers, or by parallel-processing systems more like brains? Do computer programs consist of meaningless patterns, or do they embody (and explain) genuine meaning? (shrink)
The applications of Artificial Intelligence lie all around us; in our homes, schools and offices, in our cinemas, in art galleries and - not least - on the Internet. The results of Artificial Intelligence have been invaluable to biologists, psychologists, and linguists in helping to understand the processes of memory, learning, and language from a fresh angle.As a concept, Artificial Intelligence has fuelled and sharpened the philosophical debates concerning the nature of the mind, intelligence, and the uniqueness of human beings. (...)Margaret A. Boden reviews the philosophical and technological challenges raised by Artificial Intelligence, considering whether programs could ever be really intelligent, creative or even conscious, and shows how the pursuit of Artificial Intelligence has helped us to appreciate how human and animal minds are possible. (shrink)
The truth can be dangerous. It is because they realise this that the Roman Catholic Church forbid cremation. Cremation is, of course, theologically permissible, and in times of epidemic the Church allows it. But in normal times it is forbidden — Why? The reason is that the Church fears the influence of the image associated with it. It is difficult enough for the faithful to accept the notion of bodily resurrection after having seen a burial . But the image of (...) the whole body being consumed by flames and changing within a few minutes to a heap of ashes is an even more powerful apparent contradiction of the theological claim of bodily resurrection at the Day of Judgement. In short, instead of relying only on abstract theological argument, which very likely would not convince their flock in any case, the Church deals with this threat to faith by attacking the concrete image. (shrink)
This interdisciplinary collection of classical and contemporary readings provides a clear and comprehensive guide to the many hotly-debated philosophical issues at the heart of artificial intelligence.
There are vast ethical, legal, and social differences between natural death and euthanasia. In Death Talk Margaret Somerville argues that legalizing euthanasia would cause irreparable harm to society's value of respect for human life, which in secular societies is carried primarily by the institutions of law and medicine. Death has always been a central focus of the discussion that we engage in as individuals and as a society in searching for meaning in life. Moreover, we accommodate the inevitable reality (...) of death into the living of our lives by discussing it, that is, through "death talk." Until the last twenty years this discussion occurred largely as part of the practice of organized religion. Today, in industrialized western societies, the euthanasia debate provides a context for such discussion and is part of the search for a new societal-cultural paradigm. Seeking to balance the "death talk" articulated in the euthanasia debate with "life talk," Somerville identifies the very serious harms for individuals and society that would result from accepting euthanasia. A sense of the unfolding euthanasia debate is captured through the inclusion of Somerville's responses to or commentaries on several other authors' contributions. (shrink)
This new volume in the acclaimed Oxford Readings in Philosophy sereis offers a selection of the most important philosophical work being done in the new and fast-growing interdisciplinary area of artificial life. Artificial life research seeks to synthesize the characteristics of life by artificial means, particularly employing computer technology. The essays here explore such fascinating themes as the nature of life, the relation between life and mind, and the limits of technology.
Margaret Boden presents a series of essays in which she explores the nature of creativity in a wide range of art forms. Creativity is the generation of novel, surprising, and valuable ideas. Boden identifies three forms of creativity each eliciting a different form of surprise.
The posthumously published diaries and letters of Beauvoir and Sartre challenge the traditional account of Beauvoir as Sartre's philosophical follower. They show Sartre drawing on Beauvoir's account of relations with the Other in her metaphysical novel, She Came to Stay, as he began writing Being and Nothingness, and point to an unexplored Beauvoirean lineage of existentialism, including Bergson as well as Hegel, Kierkegaard, Husserl and Heidegger, and the African-American writer, Richard Wright.
This book offers an historical and critical guide to the concepts of the post-modern and the post-industrial. It brings admirable clarity and thoroughness to a discussion of the many different uses made of the term post-modern across a number of different disciplines (including literature, architecture, art history, philosophy, anthropology and geography). It also analyses the concept of the post-industrial society to which the concept of the post-modern has often been related. Dr Rose discusses the work of many theorists in the (...) area, including Hassan, Lyotard, Jameson and the architectural historian Charles Jencks, and also looks at analyses and uses of the concepts of the post-modern and post-industrial by Frampton, Portoghesi, Peter Fuller and others. (shrink)
Addressing central questions in the debate about Foucault's usefulness for politics, including his rejection of universal norms, his conception of power and power-knowledge, his seemingly contradictory position on subjectivity and his ...
Feminist philosophy seems to conflict with traditional philosophical methodology. For example, some uses of the concept of gender by feminist philosophers seem to commit the genetic fallacy. I argue that use of the concept of gender need not commit the genetic fallacy, but that the concept of gender is problematic on other grounds.
Since her death in 1986 and the publication of her letters and diaries in 1990, interest in the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir has never been greater. In this engaging and timely volume, Margaret A. Simons and an international group of philosophers present 16 essays that reveal Beauvoir as one of the century’s most important and influential thinkers. As they set Beauvoir’s work into dialogue with Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Foucault, Levinas, and others, these essays consider questions such as Beauvoir’s (...) philosophical relationship with Sartre; her ethic of the erotic; her views on marriage, motherhood, and female friendship; and her interpretations of oppression and liberation. This book discusses the full range of Beauvoir’s work, including The Second Sex, her unpublished diaries, autobiographical writings, novels, and philosophical essays, and broadens the scope and interpretive context of her unique philosophy. Contributors are Nancy Bauer, Debra Bergoffen, Suzanne Laba Cataldi, Edward Fullbrook, Eva Gothlin, Sara Heinämaa, Laura Hengehold, Stacy Keltner, Michèle Le Doeuff, Ann Murphy, Shannon M. Mussett, Margaret A. Simons, Ursula Tidd, Andrea Veltman, Karen Vintges, Julie Ward, Gail Weiss. (shrink)
This paper explores contract cheating from the perspectives of researchers at three post-secondary institutions in Alberta, Canada, describing their efforts to develop and advance awareness of, interventions against, and responses to contract cheating at their respective institutions. Contract cheating is when a third party produces or completes academic work for a student, and the student then presents the work as their own. The student might have personal connections to the third party, or the student might pay a fee and outsource (...) the academic work to the third party. All three institutions are experiencing an increase in the incidence of contract cheating, which is consistent with trends at colleges and universities across Canada and the world. Contract cheating is not a new phenomenon, but it is a growing one, due in part to students having access to thousands of online companies offering to help them with their academic work. This paper examines personal narratives from four researchers and identifies five key themes: types of contract cheating, students, awareness, evidence and policy implications, and educational development. (shrink)
The topic of this chapter, the early philosophical influence of Henri Bergson (1859-1941) on Simone de Beauvoir, may surprise those who remember Beauvoir’s reference to Bergson in her Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter where she denies Bergson’s importance. She writes there of her interests in 1926: “I preferred literature to philosophy, and I would not have been at all pleased if someone had prophesized that I would become a kind of Bergson; I didn’t want to speak with that abstract voice (...) which, whenever I heard it, failed to move me.” But in this case, as in so many others, Beauvoir’s diaries present a very different picture. Her unpublished 1926 diary, written when Beauvoir was eighteen years old and beginning her study of philosophy, contains several pages of quotations from Bergson’s Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness (1889), which Beauvoir describes, in an entry dated August 16, as “a great intellectual intoxication.” The entry continues: “whereas in reading other philosophers I have the impression of witnessing more or less logical constructions, here finally I am touching palpable reality and encountering life. Not only myself, but art, the truths suggested by poets, and everything that I studied this year is magnificently explained. Simply a call to intuition…. in short the method that I spontaneously apply when I want to know myself and the most difficult problems disappear. How many things [there are] in the 180 pages of Bergson’s The immediate givens of consciousness” Intriqued by this diary passage, I began analyzing Beauvoir’s early philosophy for evidence of Bergson’s influence, focusing on Bergson’s three most important texts: Time and FreeWill (1889), Matter and Memory: An Essay on the Relation of the Body to the Mind (1896), and Creative Evolution (1907). My analysis uncovered evidence of Bergson’s influence in several of Beauvoir’s important early texts, especially She Came to Stay, Beauvoir’s metaphysical novel written from 1937 to 1941, but also Beauvoir’s essays in existential ethics and The Second Sex (1949). Indeed Bergson now seems to me to be a key to understanding the roots of Beauvoir’s philosophy. In this paper, I will narrow my focus to Bergson’s philosophical methodology, and its influence on She Came to Stay, identifying three Bergsonian elements of Beauvoir’s philosophical methodology. First of all, Beauvoir takes seriously Bergson's criticism of intellectual understanding and accepts his implicit challenge to do philosophy through the novel. Secondly, Beauvoir shares with Bergson a methodological interest in exposing distortions in perception and thinking. Finally, they both rely on a methodological turn to immediate experience, which discloses our freedom. Beauvoir did not follow Bergson completely or uncritically. She did not follow him, for example, in the vitalist system building of Creative Evolution or the mysticism of his later work, Two Sources of Morality and Religion. In Beauvoir’s short story cycle, When Things of the Spirit Come First, written from 1935-37, which Beauvoir describes as “clarifying the genesis” of her later work, (QPS, viii) she satirizes her early intellectual passions, including Paul Claudel’s morality of feminine self-sacrifice, André Breton’s Surrealism, and Bergson's philosophy. Furthermore, Beauvoir’s early work, including She Came to Stay, focuses on an aspect of reality ignored by Bergson’s early work, i.e. the problem of the opposition of self and other. (shrink)
In a time of globalization, what does an inclusive feminist politics entail? This accessible volume addresses the key issues in, and most significant challenges for, contemporary transnational feminist politics and political theory. Ideal for courses in Gender and Globalization, Transnational Feminism and Feminist Theory.
Thinking About Sexual Harassment aims to provide the information necessary for careful, critical thinking about the concept of sexual harassment. Part I traces the construction of the concept of sexual harassment from the first public uses of the term through its definitions in the law, in legal cases, and in empirical research. Part II analyses philosophical definitions of sexual harassment and a number of issues that have arisen in the law, including the reasonable woman standard and whether same-sex harassment should (...) be considered sex discrimination. (shrink)
New technologies are changing our lives radically and quickly. New biotechnologies are moving to commercial uses faster than government regulators or private citizens can monitor. This tension manifests itself in the current debates over xenotransplantation technologies in medicine. The possibility of removing cells, tissues, and organs from animals and transplanting them into human beings is startling and unnerving. Natural immunesystem barriers between species, and even between individuals within a species, are formidable. Typically, transplantation results in violent rejection and death of (...) the grafted organ. But despite the natural barriers to transplantation, xenotransplantation aims specifically to overcome them.In this paper, I will discuss applications of xenograft technology, which raises clinical risks, ethical concerns, and policy issues. I conclude with a set of specific recommendations. As a recent letter to the journal Nature puts it, there is a “split between those who want to get it right, and those who want to get it right now.” No one knows what all the risks, benefits, and unintended consequences of xenotransplantation will be. (shrink)
This book offers an original and challenging study of Marx's contact with the visual arts, aesthetic theories, and art policies in nineteenth-century Europe. It differs from previous discussions of Marxist aesthetic theory in looking at Marx's views from an art-historical rather than from a literary perspective, and in placing those views in the context of the art practices, theories, and policies of Marx's own time. Dr Rose begins her work by discussing Marx's planned treatise on Romantic art of 1842 against (...) the background of the philosophical debates, cultural policies, and art practices of the 1840s, and looks in particular at the patronage given to the group of German artists known as the 'Nazarenes' in those years, who are discussed in relation to both the English Pre-Raphaelites, popular in the London known to Marx, and to the Russian Social Realists of the 1860s. The author goes on to consider claims of twentieth-century Marxist art theories and practices to have represented Marx's own views on art. The book the conflicting claims made on Marx's views by the Soviet avant-garde Constructivists of the 1920s and of the Socialist Realists who followed them are considered, and are related back to the aesthetic theories and practices discussed in the earlier chapters. (shrink)
What is creativity? One new idea may be creative, whereas another is merely new: What's the difference? And how is creativity possible? These questions about human creativity can be answered, at least in outline, using computational concepts. There are two broad types of creativity, improbabilist and impossibilist. Improbabilist creativity involves novel combinations of familiar ideas. A deeper type involves METCS: the mapping, exploration, and transformation of conceptual spaces. It is impossibilist, in that ideas may be generated which – with respect (...) to the particular conceptual space concerned – could not have been generated before. The more clearly conceptual spaces can be defined, the better we can identify creative ideas. Defining conceptual spaces is done by musicologists, literary critics, and historians of art and science. Humanist studies, rich in intuitive subtleties, can be complemented by the comparative rigour of a computational approach. Computational modelling can help to define a space, and to show how it may be mapped, explored, and transformed. Impossibilist creativity can be thought of in “classical” Al terms, whereas connectionism illuminates improbabilist creativity. Most Al models of creativity can only explore spaces, not transform them, because they have no self-reflexive maps enabling them to change their own rules. A few, however, can do so. A scientific understanding of creativity does not destroy our wonder at it, nor does it make creative ideas predictable. Demystification does not imply dehumanization. (shrink)
Intentionality is characteristic of many psychological phenomena. It is commonly held by philosophers that intentionality cannot be ascribed to purely physical systems. This view does not merely deny that psychological language can be reduced to physiological language. It also claims that the appropriateness of some psychological explanation excludes the possibility of any underlying physiological or causal account adequate to explain intentional behavior. This is a thesis which I do not accept. I shall argue that physical systems of a specific sort (...) will show the characteristic features of intentionality. Psychological subjects are, under an alternative description, purely physical systems of a certain sort. The intentional description and the physical description are logically distinct, and are not intertranslatable. Nevertheless, the features of intentionality may be explained by a purely causal account, in the sense that they may be shown to be totally dependent upon physical processes. (shrink)
In December 1924 when Simone de Beauvoir almost certainly wrote her essay analyzing Claude Bernard's "Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine," a classic text in the philosophy of science, she was a 16 yr old student in a senior-level philosophy class at a private Catholic girls' school. Given the popular conception of existentialism as anti science, Beauvoir's early interest in science, reflected in her baccalaureate successes as well as her paper on Bernard, may be surprising. But her enthusiasm for (...) Bernard is unmistakable. We have identified three themes in Beauvoir's essay that reappear in her later work, including the valuing of philosophical doubt. (shrink)