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Philosophical Issues

Books on Philosophy Issues


Death and other penalties: philosophy in a time of mass incarceration
by Adelsberg, Geoffrey

9780823265305Geoffrey Adelsberg (Editor); Lisa Guenther; Scott ZemanDeath and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass IncarcerationMass incarceration is one of the most pressing ethical and political issues of our time. In this volume, philosophers join activists and those incarcerated on death row to grapple with contemporary U.S. punishment practices and draw out critiques around questions of power, identity, justice, and ethical responsibility. This work takes shape against a backdrop of disturbing trends: The United States incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other country in the world. A disproportionate number of these prisoners are people of color, and, today, a black man has a greater chance of going to prison than to college. The United States is the only Western democracy to retain the death penalty, even after decades of scholarship, statistics, and even legal decisions have depicted a deeply flawed system structured by racism and class oppression. Motivated by a conviction that mass incarceration and state execution are among the most important ethical and political problems of our time, the contributors to this volume come together from a diverse range of backgrounds to analyze, critique, and envision alternatives to the injustices of the U.S. prison system, with recourse to deconstruction, phenomenology, critical race theory, feminism, queer theory, and disability studies. They engage with the hyper-incarceration of people of color, the incomplete abolition of slavery, the exploitation of prisoners as workers and as "raw material" for the prison industrial complex, the intensive confinement of prisoners in supermax units, and the complexities of capital punishment in an age of abolition. The resulting collection contributes to a growing intellectual and political resistance to the apparent inevitability of incarceration and state execution as responses to crime and to social inequalities. It addresses both philosophers and activists who seek intellectual resources to contest the injustices of punishment in the United States. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - HV8699.U5 D337 2015
Death and other penalties: philosophy in a time of mass incarceration Book Cover




The moral defense of homosexuality
by Meyers, Chris

9781442249318Chris MeyersThe Moral Defense of Homosexuality: Why Every Argument Against Gay Rights FailsChris Meyers takes the reader on a careful, rational, sustained criticism of arguments about the immorality of homosexuality. Meyers refutes anti-gay arguments by showing that they are based on unreasonable or demonstrably false ideas about the nature of morality. Working through the morality arguments against homosexuality, Meyers shows how the nature of morality demands impartial, overriding reasons to act. He argues that morality is not grounded in visceral feelings of disgust, commands from the scriptures, or mysterious Platonic essences. In clear, convincing discussion, Meyers examines morality to promote the moral logic of granting rights to all people, no matter their sexual orientation. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - HQ76.5 .M49 2015
The moral defense of homosexuality Book Cover




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
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - H97 .C624 2015
Philosophy, ethics, and public policy: an introduction Book Cover




Mainstreaming torture: ethical approaches in the post-9/11 United States
by Gordon, Rebecca

9780199336432Rebecca GordonMainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United StatesThe terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 reopened what many people in America had long assumed was a settled ethical question: Is torture ever morally permissible? Within days, some began to suggest that, in these new circumstances, the new answer was ''yes.'' Rebecca Gordon argues thatSeptember 11 did not, as some have said, ''change everything,'' and that institutionalized state torture remains as wrong today as it was on the day before those terrible attacks. Furthermore, U.S. practices during the ''war on terror'' are rooted in a history that began long before September 11, ahistory that includes both support for torture regimes abroad and the use of torture in the jails and prisons of this country.Gordon argues that the most common ethical approaches to torture - utilitarianism and deontology (ethics based on adherence to duty) - do not provide sufficient theoretical purchase on the problem. Both approaches treat torture as a series of isolated actions that arise in moments of extremity,rather than as an ongoing, historically and socially embedded practice. She advocates instead a virtue ethics approach, based in part on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre. Such an approach better illumines torture's ethical dimensions, taking into account the implications of torture for human virtueand flourishing. An examination of torture's effect on the four cardinal virtues - courage, temperance, justice, and prudence (or practical reason) - suggests specific ways in which each of these are deformed in a society that countenances torture. Mainstreaming Torture concludes with the observation that if the United States is to come to terms with its involvement in institutionalized state torture, there must be a full and official accounting of what has been done, and those responsible at the highest levels must be held accountable. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - HV8599.U6 G67 2014
Mainstreaming torture: ethical approaches in the post-9/11 United States Book Cover




Stay: a history of suicide and the arguments against it
by Hecht, Jennifer Michael

9780300209365Jennifer Michael HechtStay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against ItWorldwide, more people die by suicide than by murder, and many more are left behind to grieve. Despite distressing statistics that show suicide rates rising, the subject, long a taboo, is infrequently talked about. In this sweeping intellectual and cultural history, poet and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht channels her grief for two friends lost to suicide into a search for history's most persuasive arguments against the irretrievable act, arguments she hopes to bring back into public consciousness. nbsp; From the Stoics and the Bible to Dante, Shakespeare, Wittgenstein, and such twentieth-century writers as John Berryman, Hecht recasts the narrative of our "secular age" in new terms. She shows how religious prohibitions against self-killing were replaced by the Enlightenment's insistence on the rights of the individual, even when those rights had troubling applications. This transition, she movingly argues, resulted in a profound cultural and moral loss: the loss of shared, secular, logical arguments against suicide. By examining how people in other times have found powerful reasons to stay alive when suicide seems a tempting choice, she makes a persuasive intellectual and moral case against suicide. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - HV6545 .H372 2013
Stay: a history of suicide and the arguments against it Book Cover




The philosophy of pornography: contemporary perspectives
by Coleman, Lindsay; Held, Jacob M

9781442235960Jacob M. Held (Editor); Lindsay Coleman (Editor)Philosophy of Pornography: Contemporary PerspectivesFor many individuals, pornography is a troubling and problematic issue. Regardless of how the public views this topic, one thing is clear: Pornography is as prevalent and accessible as smartphones and laptop computers. Indeed, beyond traditional hardcore material, a pornographic sensibility permeates many aspects of culture--from tween and young teen fashions to television and commercially successful films. In fact, pornography is so widespread that more often than not it is taken as a given in our modern social space. However, the thought of engaging in intellectual discussions about the topic strikes many--particularly scholars--as beneath them. And yet something this impactful, this definitive of modern culture, needs to be laid open to scrutiny. In The Philosophy of Pornography: Contemporary Perspectives, Lindsay Coleman and Jacob M. Held offer a collection of essays covering a wide range of viewpoints--from issues of free speech and porn's role in discrimination to the impact of porn on sexuality. These essays investigate the philosophical implications of pornography as a part of how we now seek to conceive and express our sexuality in contemporary life. Contributors to this volume discuss: opornography as a component of gender and sexual socialization oecological understandings of sexually explicit media osubordination, sexualization, and speech ofeminism and pornography opornography's depiction of love and friendship oblack women and pornography oplayfulness and creativity in porn Because its subject matter--sex, gender, interpersonal relationships, and even love--is reflective of who we are and what kind of society we want to create, pornography demands serious treatment. So whether one chooses to accept pornography as a fact of modern culture or not, this collection of timely essays represents a variety of voices in the ongoing debate. As such, The Philosophy of Pornography will be of interest to not only those who are engaged in porn studies but also to an audience educated in and conversant with recent trends in philosophy. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - HQ471 .P46 2014
The philosophy of pornography: contemporary perspectives Book Cover




Climate Change and Philosophy: Transformational Possibilities
by Irwin, Ruth

9781441186867Ruth Irwin (Editor)Climate Change and Philosophy: Transformational PossibilitiesClimate Change and Philosophy presents ten original essays by an international team of expert contributors, exploring the important contribution philosophical inquiry can make to contemporary debates to do with climate change and the global environment. Examining this hugely topical issue through the lens of environmental philosophy, political theory, philosophy of technology, philosophy of education and feminist theory, these essays interrogate some of the presumptions that inform modernity and our interaction with natural processes. The book asks fundamental questions about human nature and, more importantly, the concept of 'nature' itself. The conceptual frameworks presented here contribute to an understanding of the processes of change, of social transformation, and the means of adapting to the constraints that problems such as climate change pose. The book proposes a way of beginning the important task of rethinking the relationship between humanity and the natural environment. Through enquiry into the basic philosophical principles that inform modern society, each author asserts that reflection informs change and that change is both required and possible in the context of the environmental crisis facing us today. - Description from Syndetics
Online
Climate Change and Philosophy: Transformational Possibilities Book Cover




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
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - BF431 .C47 2013
Matter and consciousness Book Cover




Biotechnology and the human good
by Mitchell, C. Ben

9781589011380C. Ben Mitchell; Edmund D. Pellegrino; Jean Bethke Elshtain; John F. Kilner; Scott B. RaeBiotechnology and the Human GoodSome of humankind's greatest tools have been forged in the research laboratory. Who could argue that medical advances like antibiotics, blood transfusions, and pacemakers have not improved the quality of people's lives? But with each new technological breakthrough there comes an array of consequences, at once predicted and unpredictable, beneficial and hazardous. Outcry over recent developments in the reproductive and genetic sciences has revealed deep fissures in society's perception of biotechnical progress. Many are concerned that reckless technological development, driven by consumerist impulses and greedy entrepreneurialism, has the potential to radically shift the human condition--and not for the greater good. Biotechnology and the Human Good builds a case for a stewardship deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian theism to responsibly interpret and assess new technologies in a way that answers this concern. The authors jointly recognize humans not as autonomous beings but as ones accountable to each other, to the world they live in, and to God. They argue that to question and critique how fields like cybernetics, nanotechnology, and genetics might affect our future is not anti-science, anti-industry, or anti-progress, but rather a way to promote human flourishing, common sense, and good stewardship. A synthetic work drawing on the thought of a physician, ethicists, and a theologian, Biotechnology and the Human Good reminds us that although technology is a powerful and often awe-inspiring tool, it is what lies in the heart and soul of who wields this tool that truly makes the difference in our world. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - TP248.23 .B566 2007
Online
Biotechnology and the human good Book Cover




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
Online
 Minds and Computers: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence Book Cover




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
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - B105 .A55 A545 2015
Online
Animal ethics and philosophy: questioning the orthodoxy Book Cover




The God of Philosophy: An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
by Jackson, Roy

9781844655007Roy JacksonThe God of Philosophy: An Introduction to the Philosophy of ReligionFor centuries philosophers have argued about the existence and nature of God. Do we need God to explain the origins of the universe? Can there be morality without a divine source of goodness? How can God exist when there is so much evil and suffering in the world? All these questions and many more are brought to life with clarity and style in The God of Philosophy. The arguments for and against God's existence are weighed up, along with discussion of the meaning of religious language, the concept of God and the possibility of life after death. This new edition brings the debate right up to date by exploring the philosophical arguments of the new atheists such as Richard Dawkins, as well as considering what the latest discoveries in science can tell us about why many believe in the existence of the divine. - Description from Syndetics
Online
The God of Philosophy: An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion Book Cover




Superintelligence: paths, dangers, strategies
by Bostrom, Nick

9780199678112Nick BostromSuperintelligence: Paths, Dangers, StrategiesA New York Times bestseller Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - Q335 .B685 2014
Superintelligence: paths, dangers, strategies Book Cover





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