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Philosophy

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Animal ethics and philosophy: questioning the orthodoxy
by Aaltola, Elisa; Hadley, John

9781783481828Elisa Aaltola (Editor); John Hadley (Editor)Animal Ethics and Philosophy: Questioning the OrthodoxyDebate in animal ethics needs reenergizing. To date, philosophers have focused on a relatively limited number of specific themes whilst leaving metaphilosophical issues that require urgent attention largely unexamined. This timely collection of essays brings together new theory and critical perspectives on key topics in animal ethics, foregrounding questions relating to moral status, moral epistemology and moral psychology. Is an individualistic approach based upon capacities the best way to ground the moral status of non-human animals or should philosophers pursue relational perspectives? What does it mean to "know" animals and "speak" for them? What is the role of emotions such as disgust, empathy, and love, in animal ethics and how does emotion inform the rationalism inherent in analytic animal ethics theory? The collection aims to broaden the scope of animal ethics, rendering it more inclusive of important contemporary philosophical themes and pushing the discipline in new directions. - Description from Syndetics
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Minds and Computers: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
by Carter, Matt

9780748629305Matt CarterMinds and Computers: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Artificial IntelligenceCould a computer have a mind? What kind of machine would this be? Exactly what do we mean by 'mind' anyway?The notion of the 'intelligent' machine, whilst continuing to feature in numerous entertaining and frightening fictions, has also been the focus of a serious and dedicated research tradition. Reflecting on these fictions, and on the research tradition that pursues 'Artificial Intelligence', raises a number of vexing philosophical issues. Minds and Computers introduces readers to these issues by offering an engaging, coherent, and highly approachable interdisciplinary introduction to the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence. Readers are presented with introductory material from each of the disciplines which constitute Cognitive Science: Philosophy, Neuroscience, Psychology, Computer Science, and Linguistics. Throughout, readers are encouraged to consider the implications of this disparate and wide-ranging material for the possibility of developing machines with minds. And they can expect to develop a foundation for philosophically responsible engagement with A.I., a sound understanding of Philosophy of Mind and of computational theory, and a good feel for cross-disciplinary analysis.Features:*A solid foundation in the Philosophy of Mind*A broadly interdisciplinary purview*A directed philosophical focus*A clear and accessible explanation of technical material with abundant exercises*A glossary of terms - Description from Syndetics
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Matter and consciousness
by Churchland, Paul M

9780262519588Paul M. ChurchlandMatter and Consciousness An updated edition of an authoritative text showing the relevance for philosophy of mind of theoretical and experimental results in the natural sciences. In Matter and Consciousness , Paul Churchland presents a concise and contemporary overview of the philosophical issues surrounding the mind and explains the main theories and philosophical positions that have been proposed to solve them. Making the case for the relevance of theoretical and experimental results in neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence for the philosophy of mind, Churchland reviews current developments in the cognitive sciences and offers a clear and accessible account of the connections to philosophy of mind. For this third edition, the text has been updated and revised throughout. The changes range from references to the iPhone's "Siri" to expanded discussions of the work of such contemporary philosophers as David Chalmers, John Searle, and Thomas Nagel. Churchland describes new research in evolution, genetics, and visual neuroscience, among other areas, arguing that the philosophical significance of these new findings lies in the support they tend to give to the reductive and eliminative versions of materialism. Matter and Consciousness , written by the most distinguished theorist and commentator in the field, offers an authoritative summary and sourcebook for issues in philosophy of mind. It is suitable for use as an introductory undergraduate text. - Description from Syndetics
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Philosophy, ethics, and public policy: an introduction
by Cohen, Andrew I

9780415814171Andrew I. CohenPhilosophy, Ethics, and Public Policy: an IntroductionWhat makes a policy work? What should policies attempt to do, and what ought they not do? These questions are at the heart of both policy-making and ethics. Philosophy, Ethics and Public Policy: An Introduction examines these questions and more. Andrew I. Cohen uses contemporary examples and controversies, mainly drawn from policy in a North American context, to illustrate important flashpoints in ethics and public policy, such as: public policy and globalization: sweatshops; medicine and the developing world; immigration marriage, family and education: same-sex marriage; women and the family; education and Intelligent Design justifying and responding to state coercion: torture; reparations and restorative justice the ethics of the body and commodification: the human organ trade, and factory farming of animals. Each chapter illustrates how ethics offers ways of prioritizing some policy alternatives and imagining new ones. Reflecting on various themes in globalization, markets, and privacy, the chapters are windows to enduring significant debates about what states may do to shape our behavior. Overall, the book will help readers understand how ethics can frame policymaking, while also suggesting that sometimes the best policy is no policy. Including annotated further reading, this is an excellent introduction to a fast-growing subject for students in Philosophy, Public Policy, and related disciplines. - Description from Syndetics
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Would you kill the fat man?: the trolley problem and what your answer tells us about right and wrong
by Edmonds, David

9780691165639David EdmondsWould You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and WrongA runaway train is racing toward five men who are tied to the track. Unless the train is stopped, it will inevitably kill all five men. You are standing on a footbridge looking down on the unfolding disaster. However, a fat man, a stranger, is standing next to you: if you push him off the bridge, he will topple onto the line and, although he will die, his chunky body will stop the train, saving five lives. Would you kill the fat man? The question may seem bizarre. But it's one variation of a puzzle that has baffled moral philosophers for almost half a century and that more recently has come to preoccupy neuroscientists, psychologists, and other thinkers as well. In this book, David Edmonds, coauthor of the best-selling Wittgenstein's Poker , tells the riveting story of why and how philosophers have struggled with this ethical dilemma, sometimes called the trolley problem. In the process, he provides an entertaining and informative tour through the history of moral philosophy. Most people feel it's wrong to kill the fat man. But why? After all, in taking one life you could save five. As Edmonds shows, answering the question is far more complex--and important--than it first appears. In fact, how we answer it tells us a great deal about right and wrong. - Description from Syndetics
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Engaging Buddhism: why it matters to philosophy
by Garfield, Jay L

9780190204334Jay L. GarfieldEngaging Buddhism: Why It Matters to PhilosophyThis is a book for scholars of Western philosophy who wish to engage with Buddhist philosophy, or who simply want to extend their philosophical horizons. It is also a book for scholars of Buddhist studies who want to see how Buddhist theory articulates with contemporary philosophy. EngagingBuddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy articulates the basic metaphysical framework common to Buddhist traditions. It then explores questions in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, phenomenology, epistemology, the philosophy of language and ethics as they are raised and addressed in a variety ofAsian Buddhist traditions. In each case the focus is on philosophical problems; in each case the connections between Buddhist and contemporary Western debates are addressed, as are the distinctive contributions that the Buddhist tradition can make to Western discussions. Engaging Buddhism is not anintroduction to Buddhist philosophy, but an engagement with it, and an argument for the importance of that engagement. It does not pretend to comprehensiveness, but it does address a wide range of Buddhist traditions, emphasizing the heterogeneity and the richness of those traditions. The bookconcludes with methodological reflections on how to prosecute dialogue between Buddhist and Western traditions. - Description from Syndetics
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Solitary confinement: social death and its afterlives
by Guenther, Lisa

9780816679591Lisa GuentherSolitary Confinement: Social Death and Its Afterlives Prolonged solitary confinement has become a widespread and standard practice in U.S. prisons--even though it consistently drives healthy prisoners insane, makes the mentally ill sicker, and, according to the testimony of prisoners, threatens to reduce life to a living death. In this profoundly important and original book, Lisa Guenther examines the death-in-life experience of solitary confinement in America from the early nineteenth century to today's supermax prisons. Documenting how solitary confinement undermines prisoners' sense of identity and their ability to understand the world, Guenther demonstrates the real effects of forcibly isolating a person for weeks, months, or years. Drawing on the testimony of prisoners and the work of philosophers and social activists from Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Frantz Fanon and Angela Davis, the author defines solitary confinement as a kind of social death. It argues that isolation exposes the relational structure of being by showing what happens when that structure is abused--when prisoners are deprived of the concrete relations with others on which our existence as sense-making creatures depends. Solitary confinement is beyond a form of racial or political violence; it is an assault on being. A searing and unforgettable indictment, Solitary Confinement reveals what the devastation wrought by the torture of solitary confinement tells us about what it means to be human--and why humanity is so often destroyed when we separate prisoners from all other people. - Description from Syndetics
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Why does the world exist?: an existential detective story
by Holt, Jim

9780871403599Jim HoltWhy Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective StoryTackling the "darkest question in all of philosophy" with "raffish erudition" (Dwight Garner, New York Times), author Jim Holt explores the greatest metaphysical mystery of all: why is there something rather than nothing? This runaway bestseller, which has captured the imagination of critics and the public alike, traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. Holt adopts the role of cosmological detective, traveling the globe to interview a host of celebrated scientists, philosophers, and writers, "testing the contentions of one against the theories of the other" (Jeremy Bernstein, Wall Street Journal). As he interrogates his list of ontological culprits, the brilliant yet slyly humorous Holt contends that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God versus the Big Bang. This "deft and consuming" (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times) narrative humanizes the profound questions of meaning and existence it confronts. - Description from Syndetics
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Philosophy: an illustrated history of thought
by Jackson, Tom

9780985323073Tom JacksonPhilosophy: An Illustrated History of Thought (Ponderables 100 Ideas That Changed Histoy - Who Did What When)Here is the essential guide to philosophy. Philosophy: An Illustrated History of Thought is an authoritative yet fun reference book and timeline on the compilation of human knowledge. Both art and science attempt answers to the big questions -- what is truth, how to be good, and where did we come from? -- but philosophy is the interpreter we use to verify it all. We need it to make sense of the simplest math and the most esoteric poetry, and it has even created a science of information itself. We begin our journey at the boundary of myth and reason, and along the way we visit the thoughts of the most high-flying of minds who could see that nothing, not ever-changing words, limitless numbers, or mystical visions, were beyond examination.Philosophy contains 100 chronological articles that recount the inspirations of great thinkers including Epicurus, St. Anselm, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Chalmers, and Nick Bostrom. Far from being the work of dead geniuses, Philosophy is today at the heart of our battle to make sense of the quantum Universe. Philosophy embraces the paradox, and we present the most mind-boggling conundrums the last 3,000 years has to offer: Includes summaries of the fields of philosophy, setting out the basics in jargon-busting and lighthearted text. The life stories behind the great philosophers give further insight to their work. Philosophy also contains a 12-page Timeline History of Philosophy. - Description from Syndetics
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Aristotle: his life and school
by Natali, Carlo; Hutchinson, D. S

9780691096537D. S. Hutchinson (Editor); Carlo NataliAristotle: His Life and SchoolThis definitive biography shows that Aristotle's philosophy is best understood on the basis of a firm knowledge of his life and of the school he founded. First published in Italian, and now translated, updated, and expanded for English readers, this concise chronological narrative is the most authoritative account of Aristotle's life and his Lyceum available in any language. Gathering, distilling, and analyzing all the evidence and previous scholarship, Carlo Natali, one of the world's leading Aristotle scholars, provides a masterful synthesis that is accessible to students yet filled with evidence and original interpretations that specialists will find informative and provocative. Cutting through the controversy and confusion that have surrounded Aristotle's biography, Natali tells the story of Aristotle's eventful life and sheds new light on his role in the foundation of the Lyceum. Natali offers the most detailed and persuasive argument yet for the view that the school, an important institution of higher learning and scientific research, was designed to foster a new intellectual way of life among Aristotle's followers, helping them fulfill an aristocratic ideal of the best way to use the leisure they enjoyed. Drawing a wealth of connections between Aristotle's life and thinking, Natali demonstrates how the two are mutually illuminating. For this edition, ancient texts have been freshly translated on the basis of the most recent critical editions; indexes have been added, including a comprehensive index of sources and an index to previous scholarship; and scholarship that has appeared since the book's original publication has been incorporated. - Description from Syndetics
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Big Ideas Simply Explained: Philosophy
by Numerous Authors

9780756668617690472068617Dorling Kindersley Publishing StaffThe Philosophy BookAn essential introduction to the history, concepts, and thinking behind philosophy that demystifies what can often be daunting subject matter, laid out in DK's signature visual style. Are the ideas of Ren#65533; Descartes, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes still relevant today? The Philosophy Book unpacks the writings and ideas of more than 100 of history's biggest thinkers, taking you on a journey from Ancient Greece to modern day. Explore feminism, rationalism, idealism, existentialism, and other influential movements in the world of philosophy. From Socrates to Confucius to Julia Kristeva, The Philosophy Book breaks down difficult concepts using innovating graphics that pop off the page alongside creative typography. Cutting through the haze of academia and untangling complicated theories to show how our social, political, and ethical ideas are formed, The Philosophy Book contextualizes the information around time periods, innovative thinkers, method, and philosophical approach. With graphics, clear writing, a philosopher directory, and a vocabulary glossary, The Philosophy Book is a perfect and comprehensive introduction to a complicated and fascinating subject. Series Overview: Big Ideas Simply Explained series uses creative design and innovative graphics, along with straightforward and engaging writing, to make complex subjects easier to understand. These award-winning books provide just the information needed for students, families, or anyone interested in concise, thought-provoking refreshers on a single subject. - Description from Syndetics
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