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Until very recently, no society had seen marriage as anything other than a conjugal partnership: a male-female union. What Is Marriage? identifies and defends the reasons for this historic consensus and shows why redefining civil marriage as something other than the conjugal union of husband and wife is a mistake. Originally published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, this book's core argument quickly became the year's most widely read essay on the most prominent scholarly network in the social sciences. Since then, it has been cited and debated by scholars and activists throughout the world as the most formidable defense of the tradition ever written. Now revamped, expanded, and vastly enhanced, What Is Marriage? stands poised to meet its moment as few books of this generation have. Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George offer a devastating critique of the idea that equality requires redefining marriage. They show why both sides must first answer the question of what marriage really is. They defend the principle that marriage, as a comprehensive union of mind and body ordered to family life, unites a man and a woman as husband and wife, and they document the social value of applying this principle in law. Most compellingly, they show that those who embrace same-sex civil marriage leave no firm ground-none-for not recognizing every relationship describable in polite English, including polyamorous sexual unions, and that enshrining their view would further erode the norms of marriage, and hence the common good. Finally, What Is Marriage? decisively answers common objections: that the historic view is rooted in bigotry, like laws forbidding interracial marriage; that it is callous to people's needs; that it can't show the harm of recognizing same-sex couplings or the point of recognizing infertile ones; and that it treats a mere "social construct" as if it were natural or an unreasoned religious view as if it were rational.
A guide to identifying, nurturing and growing our insight and creativity for more effective thinking. We know that our minds are capable of great things because, every now and then, they come out with a very brilliant idea or two. However, our minds are also tantalisingly unpredictable, spending worryingly large stretches of time idling or distracting themselves. This is a book about how to optimise these beautiful yet fitful instruments so that they can more regularly and generously produce the sort of insights and ideas we need to fulfil our potential - and achieve the contentment we deserve. We learn - among other things - how to grasp fragile and flighty thoughts before they disappear through anxiety and fear, at what times of day to try to work and for how long, how to make use of our boredom and instincts - and how to overcome timid and predictable approaches to the largest problems.
Abstract concepts are often embodied through metaphor. For example, we talk about moving through time in metaphorical terms, as if we were moving through space, allowing us to 'look back' on past events. Much of the work on embodied metaphor to date has assumed a single set of universal, shared bodily experiences that motivate our understanding of abstract concepts. This book explores sources of variation in people's experiences of embodied metaphor, including, for example, the shape and size of one's body, one's age, gender, state of mind, physical or linguistic impairments, personality, ideology, political stance, religious beliefs, and linguistic background. It focuses on the ways in which people's experiences of metaphor fluctuate over time within a single communicative event or across a lifetime. Combining theoretical argument with findings from new studies, Littlemore analyses sources of variation in embodied metaphor and provides a deeper understanding of the nature of embodied metaphor itself.
Combining ideas from philosophy, artificial intelligence, and neurobiology, Daniel Dennett leads the reader on a fascinating journey of inquiry, exploring such intriguing possibilities as: Can any of us really know what is going on in someone else's mind? What distinguishes the human mind from the minds of animals, especially those capable of complex behaviour? If such animals, for instance, were magically given the power of language, would their communities evolve an intelligence as subtly discriminating as ours? Will robots, once they have been endowed with sensory systems like those that provide us with experience, ever exhibit the particular traits long thought to distinguish the human mind, including the ability to think about thinking? Dennett addresses these questions from an evolutionary perspective. Beginning with the macromolecules of DNA and RNA, the author shows how, step-by-step, animal life moved from the simple ability to respond to frequently recurring environmental conditions to much more powerful ways of beating the odds, ways of using patterns of past experience to predict the future in never-before-encountered situations. Whether talking about robots whose video-camera "eyes" give us the powerful illusion that "there is somebody in there" or asking us to consider whether spiders are just tiny robots mindlessly spinning their webs of elegant design, Dennett is a master at finding and posing questions sure to stimulate and even disturb.
This volume begins with excerpts from Aquinas' commentary on De Anima, excerpts that proceed from a general consideration of soul as common to all living things to a consideration of the animal soul and, finally, to what is peculiar to the human soul. These are followed by the Treatise on Man, Aquinas' most famous discussion of human nature, but one whose organization is dictated by theological concerns and whose philosophical importance is thus best appreciated when seen as presented here: within the historical philosophical framework of which it constitutes a development. Aquinas' discussions of the will and the passions follow, providing fruitful points of comparison with other philosophers.
It seems quite natural to explain the activities of human and non-human animals by referring to their special faculties. Thus, we say that dogs can smell things in their environment because they have perceptual faculties, or that human beings can think because they have rational faculties. But what are faculties? In what sense are they responsible for a wide range of activities? How can they be individuated? How are they interrelated? And why are different types of faculties assigned to different types of living beings? The six chapters in this book discuss these questions, covering a wide period from Plato up to contemporary debates about faculties as modules of the mind. They show that faculties were referred to in different theoretical contexts, but analyzed in radically different ways. Some philosophers, especially Aristotelians, made them the cornerstone of their biological and psychological theories, taking them to be basic powers of living beings. Others took them to be inner causes that literally produce activities, while still others provided a purely functional explanation. The chapters focus on various models, taking into account Greek, Arabic, Latin, French, German and Anglo-American debates. They analyze the role assigned to faculties in metaphysics, philosophy of mind and epistemology, but also the attack that was often launched against the assumption that faculties are hidden yet real features of living beings. The short "Reflections" inserted between the chapters make clear that faculties were also widely discussed in literature, science and medicine.
Over the centuries, the idea of the self has both fascinated and confounded philosophers. From the ancient Greeks, who problematized issues of identity and self-awareness, to Locke and Hume, who popularized minimalist views of the self, to the efforts of postmodernists in our time to decenter the human subject altogether, the idea that there is something called a self has always been in steady decline. But for Richard Sorabji, this negation of the self is dispiriting. In "Self," he sets out to recover the rich variety of positive accounts of the self from Antiquity right up to the present, while offering his own inspiring view of what precisely the self might be.Drawing on Eastern religion, classical Antiquity, and Western philosophy, Sorabji proceeds to tackle a number of thematic debates that have preoccupied philosophers over the ages, including the concept of the self, its sameness and mutability, the idea of the resurrection of the body and spirit, and the fear of death. According to Sorabji, the self is not an undetectable soul or ego, but an embodied individual whose existence is plain to see. It is also neither a linguistic creation nor a psychological fiction, but something that owns both a consciousness and a body. Ultimately, Sorabji argues, the demise of a positive idea of the self stems from much older and more pervasive problems of identity than we realize. Through an astute reading of this tradition, he helps us come to terms with our uneasiness about the subject in an account that will be at the forefront of philosophical debates for years to come.
In his exciting and original view of the universe, Itzhak Bentov
has provided a new perspective on human consciousness and its
limitless possibilities. Widely known and loved for his delightful
humor and imagination, Bentov explains the familiar world of
phenomena with perceptions that are as lucid as they are thrilling.
He gives us a provocative picture of ourselves in an expanded,
conscious, holistic universe.
In a virtuoso display of erudition, thoughtfulness and humour, Terry Eagleton teases apart the concept of hope as it has been (often mistakenly) conceptualised over six millennia, from ancient Greece to today. He distinguishes hope from simple optimism, cheeriness, desire, idealism or adherence to the doctrine of Progress, bringing into focus a standpoint that requires reflection and commitment, arises from clear-sighted rationality, can be cultivated by practice and self-discipline, and which acknowledges but refuses to capitulate to the realities of failure and defeat. Authentic hope is indubitably tragic, yet Eagleton also argues for its radical implications as 'a species of permanent revolution, whose enemy is as much political complacency as metaphysical despair'. It is a means of facing the future without devaluing the moment or obviating the past. Traversing centuries of thought about the many modes of hoping - from Ernst Bloch's monumental work through the Stoics, Aquinas, Marx and Kierkegaard, among others - this penetrating book throws new light on religious faith and political ideology as well as issues such as the problem of evil, the role of language and the meaning of the past. Hope Without Optimism is a brilliantly engaged, impassioned chronicle of human belief and desire in an increasingly uncertain world.
Weaving together philosophy, social science, neuroscience, and personal anecdotes bestselling author Christopher Phillips (Socrates Cafe) offers here a radically different approach to the traditional boundaries between childhood and adulthood. Phillips reveals how rather than lapse into adulthood, we can achieve what the Greeks of old call arete-all-around excellence-when we look to children and youth as a lodestar for our development. Childhood is our primary launching pad, a time of life when learning is more intense than at any other, when we gain the critical knowledge and skills that can help ensure that we remain adaptable. This book weaves together the thinking of philosophers from across the ages who make the unsettling assertion that with the passage of time we are apt to shrink mentally, emotionally, and cognitively. If we follow what has become an all-too-common course, we denature our original nature-which brims with curiosity, empathy, reason, wonder, and a will to experiment and understand-and we regress, our sense of who we are will become fuzzier and everyone in our orbit will pay a price. Mounting evidence shows that we begin our lives with a moral, intellectual, and creative bang, and in this groundbreaking, heavily researched, and highly engaging volume, Christopher Phillips makes the provocative case that childhood isn't merely a state of becoming, while adulthood is one of being, as if we've "arrived" and reached the summit. His life-changing proposition is that if we embrace the defining qualities of youth, we're not destined to become frail, dispirited, or unhinged, we'll grow in a way defined by wonder, curiosity, imaginativeness, playfulness, and compassion-in essence, unlimited potential.
In times of crisis, we all ask, "What's the point?". It turns out the answer to the question is hidden in plain sight and is connected to the fundamental purpose and very essence of our existence. There is only one point in living but it may not be what you think. "Paul Koberg doesn't shy away from the tough questions. His answers to 'what is ego?', what is evil?' and 'is life simply the absence of death?' will fascinate and engage you. In today's times of crisis, Paul Koberg's book is a gift. Recommended for readers who appreciate a deep look into the deep questions of life." Reviewed by Stacie Haas for Readers' Favorite - 5 Stars
'I LOVED it!' Claudia Winkleman on Twitter 'This book couldn't be more needed right now!' Nigella Lawson on Twitter ______________ When was the last time that reading the news made you feel good? Dear Reader, I know what you're thinking, is it some kind of macabre joke? Has she been in a coma? How can Ruby Wax write a book about good news when the world is facing the worst disaster since the Plague? Let me explain. I began writing in 2018, back when the world's worries were somewhat different. Climate change, greedy bankers, exam results, crap politicians, mental health: these are still HUGE ISSUES, but even the ancient soothsayers reading pig entrails couldn't have predicted this. This is my new mission: to share the green shoots of hope peeping through the soil of civilization. Literacy is at an all-time high, world-hunger is likely to be eradicated this century, technological improvements are saving lives - just to scratch the surface. I've talked to everyone from leaders to scientists to tech geniuses. I've done the research and practiced what I preach. And my conclusion? Behind the clouds, the sun still shines. So here's to the shoots - may they become a blueprint for how the world can shift for the good. Hopefully we'll learn from them. Love, Ruby
This book brings together philosophical approaches to cooperation and collective agency with research into human-machine interaction and cooperation from engineering, robotics, computer science and AI. Bringing these so far largely unrelated fields of study together leads to a better understanding of collective agency in natural and artificial systems and will help to improve the design and performance of hybrid systems involving human and artificial agents. Modeling collective agency with the help of computer simulations promises also philosophical insights into the emergence of collective agency. The volume consists of four sections. The first section is dedicated to the concept of agency. The second section of the book turns to human-machine cooperation. The focus of the third section is the transition from cooperation to collective agency. The last section concerns the explanatory value of social simulations of collective agency in the broader framework of cultural evolution.
This is a comprehensive review of the psychological literature on wisdom by leading experts in the field. It covers the philosophical and sociocultural foundations of wisdom, and showcases the measurement and teaching of wisdom. The connection of wisdom to intelligence and personality is explained alongside its relationship with morality and ethics. It also explores the neurobiology of wisdom, its significance in medical decision-making, and wise leadership. How to develop wisdom is discussed and practical information is given about how to instil it in others. The book is accessible to a wide readership and includes virtually all of the major theories of wisdom, as well as the full range of research on wisdom as it is understood today. It takes both a basic-science and applied focus, making it useful to those seeking to understand wisdom scientifically, and to those who wish to apply their understanding of wisdom to their own work.
Is rationality a well-defined human universal such that ideas and behaviour can everywhere be judged by a single set of criteria? Or are the rational and the irrational simply cultural constructs? This study provides an alternative to both options. The universalist thesis underestimates the variety found in sound human reasonings exemplified across time and space and often displays a marked Eurocentric bias. The extreme relativist faces the danger of concluding that we are all locked into mutually unintelligible universes. These problems are worse when certain concepts, often inherited from ancient Greek thought, especially binaries such as nature and culture, or the literal and the metaphorical, are not examined critically. Drawing on a variety of disciplines, from philosophy to cognitive science, this book explores what both ancient societies (Greece and China especially) and modern ones (as revealed by ethnography) can teach us concerning the heterogeneity of what can be called rational.
What is human happiness and how can we promote it? These questions are central to human existence and Happiness Explained draws on scientific research from economics, psychology, and philosophy, as well as a range of other disciplines, to outline a new paradigm in which human flourishing plays a central role in the assessment of national and global progress. It shows why the traditional national income approach is limited as a measure of human wellbeing and demonstrates how the contributors to happiness, wellbeing, and quality of life can be measured and understood across the human life course. Discussing wide-ranging aspects, from parenting, decent employment, friendship, education, and health in old age, through to money, autonomy, and fairness, as well as personal strategies and governmental polices used in the pursuit of happiness, it offers a science-based understanding of human flourishing. Written by an economist involved in helping governmental organisations move 'beyond GDP', Happiness Explained shows how a wide range of factors that contribute to better and happier lives and how, together, they provide a new blueprint for the assessment of progress in terms of personal wellbeing.
This book discusses key figures in history in the context of their time, takes students on a carefully-formulated, chronological journey through the build-up of psychology from ancient times to the present, and seeks to draw students into the way science is done, rather than merely presenting them with historical fact. Students will learn not only the 'what', but the 'why' of the history of psychology and will acquire the necessary background historical material to fully understand those concepts. Organized around a series of paradigms-a shift from scholasticism to rationalism or empiricism, and a shift from idealism to materialism-the book seeks to portray psychology as an on-going, evolving process, rather than a theory.
Until fairly recently, only serial killers and lunatics had profiles. Yet today, almost everyone is profiled through social media, mobile phones, and a multitude of other methods. But where does the idea of "profiling" come from, how has it changed over time, and what are its implications? In this book, Andreas Bernard examines contemporary profiling's roots in late-nineteenth-century criminology, psychology, and psychiatry. Data collection techniques previously used exclusively by police or to identify groups of people are now applied to all individuals in society. GPS transmitters and measuring devices are now unconsciously embraced to have fun, communicate, make money, or even find a partner. Drawing perceptive parallels between modern technologies and their antecedents, Bernard shows how we have unwittingly internalized what were once instruments of external control and repression. This illuminating genealogy of contemporary digital culture will be of interest to students and scholars in media and communication, and to anyone concerned about the power technologies hold over our lives.
The New Mechanical Philosophy argues for a new image of nature and of science-one that understands both natural and social phenomena to be the product of mechanisms, and that casts the work of science as an effort to discover and understand those mechanisms. Drawing on an expanding literature on mechanisms in physical, life, and social sciences, Stuart Glennan offers an account of the nature of mechanisms and of the models used to represent them. A key quality of mechanisms is that they are particulars - located at different places and times, with no one just like another. The crux of the scientist's challenge is to balance the complexity and particularity of mechanisms with our need for representations of them that are abstract and general. This volume weaves together metaphysical and methodological questions about mechanisms. Metaphysically, it explores the implications of the mechanistic framework for our understanding of classical philosophical questions about the nature of objects, properties, processes, events, causal relations, natural kinds and laws of nature. Methodologically, the book explores how scientists build models to represent and understand phenomena and the mechanisms responsible for them. Using this account of representation, Glennan offers a scheme for characterizing the enormous diversity of things that scientists call mechanisms, and explores the scope and limits of mechanistic explanation.
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