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Successor to Claude Levi-Strausa at the College de France, Philippe Descola has become one of the most important anthropologists working today, and Beyond Nature and Culture has been a major influence in European intellectual life since its publication in 2005. Here, finally, it is brought to English-language readers. At its heart is a question central to both anthropology and philosophy: what is the relationship between nature and culture? Culture - as a collective human making, of art, language, and so forth - is often seen as essentially different than nature, which is portrayed as a collective of the nonhuman world, of plants, animals, geology, and natural forces. Descola shows this essential difference to be, however, not only a specifically Western notion, but also a very recent one. Drawing on ethnographic examples from around the world and theoretical understandings from cognitive science, structural analysis, and phenomenology, he formulates a sophisticated new framework, the "four ontologies" - animism, totemism, naturalism, and analogism - to account for all the ways we relate ourselves to nature. By thinking beyond nature and culture as a simple dichotomy, Descola offers nothing short of a fundamental reformulation by which anthropologists and philosophers can see the world afresh.
H.L.A. Hart is among the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, with an especially great influence on the philosophy of law. His 1961 book The Concept of Law has become an enduring classic of legal philosophy, and has also left a significant imprint on moral and political philosophy. In this volume, leading contemporary legal and political philosopher Matthew H. Kramer provides a crystal-clear analysis of Hart's contributions to our understanding of the nature of law. He elucidates and scrutinizes every major aspect of Hart's jurisprudential thinking, ranging from his general methodology to his defense of legal positivism. He shows how Hart's achievement in The Concept of Law, despite the evolution of debates in subsequent decades, remains central to contemporary legal philosophy because it lends itself to being reinterpreted in light of new concerns and interests. Kramer therefore pays particular attention to the strength of Hart's insights in the context of present-day disputes among philosophers over the reality of normative entities and properties and over the semantics of normative statements. This book is an invaluable guide to Hart's thought for students and scholars of legal philosophy and jurisprudence, as well as moral and political philosophy.
In this original and provocative book, Colin Dayan tackles head-on the inexhaustible world, at once tender and fierce, of dogs and humans. We follow the tracks of dogs in the bayous of Louisiana, the streets of Istanbul, and the humane societies of the United States, and in the memories and myths of the humans who love them. Dayan reorients our ethical and political assumptions through a trans-species engagement that risks as much as it promises. She makes a powerful case for questioning what we think of as our deepest-held beliefs and, with dogs in the lead, unsettles the dubious promises of liberal humanism. Moving seamlessly between memoir, case law, and film, Dayan takes politics and animal studies in a new direction-one that gives us glimpses of how we can think beyond ourselves and with other beings. Her unconventional perspective raises hard questions and renews what it means for any animal or human to live in the twenty-first century. Nothing less than a challenge for us to confront violence and suffering even in the privileged precincts of modernity, this searing and lyrical book calls for another way to think the world. Theoretically sophisticated yet aimed at a broad readership, With Dogs at the Edge of Life illuminates how dogs-and their struggles-take us beyond sentimentality and into a form of thought that can make a difference to our lives.
An argument for a Copernican revolution in our consideration of mental features-a shift in which the world-brain problem supersedes the mind-body problem. Philosophers have long debated the mind-body problem-whether to attribute such mental features as consciousness to mind or to body. Meanwhile, neuroscientists search for empirical answers, seeking neural correlates for consciousness, self, and free will. In this book, Georg Northoff does not propose new solutions to the mind-body problem; instead, he questions the problem itself, arguing that it is an empirically, ontologically, and conceptually implausible way to address the existence and reality of mental features. We are better off, he contends, by addressing consciousness and other mental features in terms of the relationship between world and brain; philosophers should consider the world-brain problem rather than the mind-body problem. This calls for a Copernican shift in vantage point-from within the mind or brain to beyond the brain-in our consideration of mental features. Northoff, a neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and philosopher, explains that empirical evidence suggests that the brain's spontaneous activity and its spatiotemporal structure are central to aligning and integrating the brain within the world. This spatiotemporal structure allows the brain to extend beyond itself into body and world, creating the "world-brain relation" that is central to mental features. Northoff makes his argument in empirical, ontological, and epistemic-methodological terms. He discusses current models of the brain and applies these models to recent data on neuronal features underlying consciousness and proposes the world-brain relation as the ontological predisposition for consciousness.
Please note: this book is for students taking the pre-2016 OCR GCE Religious Studies AS and A2 specification. The new book is called Religion and Ethics for OCR: The Complete Resource for the New Specification. Ethics for OCR Religious Studies: The Complete Resource for AS and A2 is an ideal guide for students taking AS and A2 courses in the pre-2016 OCR GCE Religious Studies specification (H172 and H572). Ethics for OCR provides a rigorous and accessible introduction to both historical and contemporary ethical debates. Drawing on insights from recent examiners' reports and mark schemes, and following the OCR course outline closely, Mark Coffey and Dennis Brown's landmark book includes: * Up-to-date discussions of key debates in religious ethics * Ethical theories set in their historical context * Attention given to contemporary developments in law, science, technology, and society * A thorough guide to writing the perfect exam answer * A detailed exposition of OCR's assessment criteria and how best to meet them * Profiles of leading ethical, philosophical and religious thinkers, a chapter by chapter glossary, and helpful chapter summaries * Discussion points, activity boxes and past paper questions The most comprehensive book on the market, Ethics for OCR Religious Studies provides a rigorous and accessible introduction to both historical and contemporary ethical debates, including chapters on sexual and environmental and business ethics. Written with verve and clarity, the book's user-friendly style and attention to detail will help students of all abilities to achieve their best.
For more than 2,000 years utopian visionaries have sought to create a blueprint of the ideal society--from Plato to H. G. Wells, from Cloudcuckooland to Shangri-La. The utopian impulse has generated a vast body of work, encompassing philosophy and political theory, classical literature, and science fiction; yet these utopian dreams have often turned to nightmare, as utopia gives way to its dark reflection, dystopia. Taking the reader on a journey through these imaginary worlds, this work charts the progress of utopian ideas from their origins within the classical world to the rebirth of utopian ideals in the Middle Ages. Later we see the emergence of socialist and feminist ideas; while the 20th century was to be dominated by expressions of totalitarian oppression. Today it is claimed that we are witnessing the death of utopia, as increasingly the ideals that give rise to them are undermined or dismissed. These arguments are explored and evaluated here, as are contemporary examples of utopian thought used to demonstrate the enduring relevance of the utopian tradition.
What happens when we have second thoughts about the epistemic standing of our beliefs, when we stop to check on beliefs which we have already formed or hypotheses which we have under consideration? In the essays collected in this volume, Hilary Kornblith considers this and other questions about self-knowledge and the nature of human reason. The essays draw extensively on work in social psychology to illuminate traditional epistemological issues: in contrast with traditional Cartesian approaches to these issues, Kornblith engages with empirically motivated skeptical problems, and shows how they may be constructively addressed in practical and theoretical terms. As well as bringing together ten previously published essays, the volume contains two entirely new pieces that engage with ideas of self and rational nature. Kornblith's approach lays the foundations for further development in epistemology that will benefit from advances in our understanding of human psychology.
'The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made of atoms which it can use for something else' This is a book about AI and AI risk. But it's also more importantly about a community of people who are trying to think rationally about intelligence, and the places that these thoughts are taking them, and what insight they can and can't give us about the future of the human race over the next few years. It explains why these people are worried, why they might be right, and why they might be wrong. It is a book about the cutting edge of our thinking on intelligence and rationality right now by the people who stay up all night worrying about it. Along the way, we discover why we probably don't need to worry about a future AI resurrecting a perfect copy of our minds and torturing us for not inventing it sooner, but we perhaps should be concerned about paperclips destroying life as we know it; how Mickey Mouse can teach us an important lesson about how to programme AI; and why Spock is not as logical as we think he is.
The world is populated with many different objects, to which we often attribute properties: we say, for example, that grass is green, that the earth is spherical, that humans are animals, and that murder is wrong. We also take it that these properties are things in their own right: there is something in which being green, or spherical, or an animal, or wrong, consists, and that certain scientific or normative projects are engaged in uncovering the essences of such properties. In light of this, an important question arises: what kind of things should we take properties themselves to be? In Properties, Douglas Edwards gives an engaging, accessible, and up-to-date introduction to the many theories of properties available. Edwards charts the central positions in the debate over properties, including the views that properties are universals, that properties are constructed from tropes, and that properties are classes of objects, and assesses the benefits and disadvantages of each. Attempts to deny the existence of properties are also considered, along with `pluralist' proposals, which aim to accommodate the different kinds of properties that are found in various philosophical debates. Properties is the ideal introduction to this topic and will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students wishing to learn more about the important roles that properties have played, and continue to play, in contemporary philosophy.
An argument that representational decision making is more cognitively efficient, allowing an organism to adjust more easily to changes in the environment. Many organisms (including humans) make decisions by relying on mental representations. Not simply a reaction triggered by perception, representational decision making employs high-level, non-perceptual mental states with content to manage interactions with the environment. A person making a decision based on mental representations, for example, takes a step back from her perceptions at the time to assess the nature of the world she lives in. But why would organisms rely on representational decision making, and what evolutionary benefits does this reliance provide to the decision maker? In Efficient Cognition, Armin Schulz argues that representational decision making can be more cognitively efficient than non-representational decision making. Specifically, he shows that a key driver in the evolution of representational decision making is that mental representations can enable an organism to save cognitive resources and adjust more efficiently to changed environments. After laying out the foundations of his argument-clarifying the central questions, the characterization of representational decision making, and the relevance of an evidential form of evolutionary psychology-Schulz presents his account of the evolution of representational decision making and critically considers some of the existing accounts of the subject. He then applies his account to three open questions concerning the nature of representational decision making: the extendedness of decision making, and when we should expect cognition to extend into the environment; the specialization of decision making and the use of simple heuristics; and the psychological sources of altruistic behaviors.
In this highly original book, Markus Gabriel offers an account of the human self that overcomes the deadlocks inherent in the standard positions of contemporary philosophy of mind. His view, Neo-Existentialism, is thoroughly anti-naturalist in that it repudiates any theory according to which the ensemble of our best natural-scientific knowledge is able to account fully for human mindedness. Instead, he shows that human mindedness consists in an open-ended proliferation of mentalistic vocabularies. Their role in the human life form consists in making sense of the fact that the human being does not merely blend in with inanimate nature and the rest of the animal kingdom. Humans rely on a self-portrait that locates them in the broadest conceivable context of the universe. What distinguishes this self-portrait from our knowledge of natural reality is that we change in light of our true and false beliefs about the human being. Gabriel's argument is challenged in this volume by Charles Taylor, Andrea Kern and Jocelyn Benoist. In defending his argument against these and other objections and in spelling out his theory of self-constitution, Gabriel refutes naturalism's metaphysical claim to epistemic exclusiveness and opens up new paths for future self-knowledge beyond the contemporary ideology of the scientific worldview.
Duncan Pritchard offers an original defence of epistemological disjunctivism. This is an account of perceptual knowledge which contends that such knowledge is paradigmatically constituted by a true belief that enjoys rational support which is both factive and reflectively accessible to the agent. In particular, in a case of paradigmatic perceptual knowledge that p, the subject's rational support for believing that p is that she sees that p, where this rational support is both reflectively accessible and factive (i.e., it entails p). Such an account of perceptual knowledge poses a radical challenge to contemporary epistemology, since by the lights of standard views in epistemology this proposal is simply incoherent. Pritchard's aim in Epistemological Disjunctivism is to show that this proposal is theoretically viable (i.e., that it does not succumb to the problems that it appears to face), and also to demonstrate that this is an account of perceptual knowledge which we would want to endorse if it were available on account of its tremendous theoretical potential. In particular, he argues that epistemological disjunctivism offers a way through the impasse between epistemic externalism and internalism, and also provides the foundation for a distinctive response to the problem of radical scepticism.
At least since Athenian trade sanctions helped to spark the Peloponnesian War, economic coercion has been a prominent tool of foreign policy. In the modern era, sovereign states and multilateral institutions have imposed economic sanctions on dictatorial regimes or would-be nuclear powers as an alternative to waging war. They have conditioned offers of aid, loans, and debt relief on recipients' willingness to implement market and governance reforms. Such methods interfere in freedom of trade and the internal affairs of sovereign states, yet are widely used as a means to advance human rights. But are they morally justifiable? Cecile Fabre's Economic Statecraft: Human Rights, Sanctions, and Conditionality provides the first sustained response to that question. For millennia, philosophers have explored the ethics of war, but rarely the ethics of economic carrots and sticks. Yet the issues raised could hardly be more urgent. On what grounds can we justify sanctions, in light of the harms they inflict on civilians? If, as some argue, there is a human right to basic assistance, should donors be allowed to condition the provision of aid on recipients' willingness to do their bidding? Drawing on human rights theories, theories of justifiable harm, and examples such as IMF lending practices and international sanctions on Russia and North Korea, Fabre offers a defense of economic statecraft in some of its guises. An empirically attuned work of philosophy, Economic Statecraft lays out a normative framework for an important tool of diplomacy.
States claim the right to choose who can come to their country. They put up barriers and expose migrants to deadly journeys. Those who survive are labelled 'illegal' and find themselves vulnerable and unrepresented. The international state system advantages the lucky few born in rich countries and locks others into poor and often repressive ones. In this book, Christopher Bertram skilfully weaves a lucid exposition of the debates in political philosophy with original insights to argue that migration controls must be justifiable to everyone, including would-be and actual immigrants. Until justice prevails, states have no credible right to exclude and no-one is obliged to obey their immigration rules. Bertram's analysis powerfully cuts through the fog of political rhetoric that obscures this controversial topic. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the politics and ethics of migration.
After Plato's Forms, and Aristotle's substances, the Stoics posited the fundamental reality of lekta - the meanings of sentences, distinct from the sentences themselves. This is the first time in the tradition of Western philosophy that what is signified is properly distinguished from signs and signifiers. The Stoics on Lekta offers a synoptic treatment of the many implications of this distinction, which grants an existential autonomy to lekta: language can only ever express meanings, but what happens to meanings which are there, ready to be said, but which are never actually expressed? It analyses the deep shift in ontological paradigm required by the presence of lekta in reality, and reveals a truly unique, complex, and consistent cosmic view in which lekta are the keystones of the structure of reality. According to this view, we cannot not speak or think in terms of lekta, and for this reason, they are in fact all there is to say. The Stoics' position ignited many fiery debates in antiquity and continues to do so in the modern era: they were the first to be concerned with questions about language and grammar, and the first to put the relation of language to reality at the heart of the enquiry into human understanding and the place of man in the cosmos. Such questions remain central to life and philosophy to this day, and by explicitly comparing and contrasting the themes and topics discussed to twentieth-century treatments of the status of the proposition, propositional structure, speech act theory, and the relation of attribution of the predicate to a subject-term, this volume seeks to demonstrate the enduring value of a direct Stoic contribution to the contemporary debate.
First published in 1985, D. M. Armstrong's original work on what laws of nature are has continued to be influential in the areas of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Presenting a definitive attack on the sceptical Humean view, that laws are no more than a regularity of coincidence between stances of properties, Armstrong establishes his own theory and defends it concisely and systematically against objections. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Marc Lange, illuminating its continuing importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this influential work is available for a new generation of readers.
An introduction to awe-inspiring ideas at the brink of paradox: infinities of different sizes, time travel, probability and measure theory, and computability theory. This book introduces the reader to awe-inspiring issues at the intersection of philosophy and mathematics. It explores ideas at the brink of paradox: infinities of different sizes, time travel, probability and measure theory, computability theory, the Grandfather Paradox, Newcomb's Problem, the Principle of Countable Additivity. The goal is to present some exceptionally beautiful ideas in enough detail to enable readers to understand the ideas themselves (rather than watered-down approximations), but without supplying so much detail that they abandon the effort. The philosophical content requires a mind attuned to subtlety; the most demanding of the mathematical ideas require familiarity with college-level mathematics or mathematical proof. The book covers Cantor's revolutionary thinking about infinity, which leads to the result that some infinities are bigger than others; time travel and free will, decision theory, probability, and the Banach-Tarski Theorem, which states that it is possible to decompose a ball into a finite number of pieces and reassemble the pieces so as to get two balls that are each the same size as the original. Its investigation of computability theory leads to a proof of Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem, which yields the amazing result that arithmetic is so complex that no computer could be programmed to output every arithmetical truth and no falsehood. Each chapter is followed by an appendix with answers to exercises. A list of recommended reading points readers to more advanced discussions. The book is based on a popular course (and MOOC) taught by the author at MIT.
This is the engaging and accessible intellectual memoir of a leading jurist. It tells the story of the development of his thoughts and writings over sixty years in the context of three continents and addresses the complexities of decolonisation, the troubles in Belfast, the contextual turn in legal studies, rethinking evidence and the implications of globalisation which have been central to his life and research. In propounding his original views as an enthusiastic self-styled 'legal nationalist', Twining maps his ideas of law as a unique discipline, which pervades all spheres of social and political life while combining theory and practice, concepts and values, facts and rules in uniquely fascinating ways. Addressed to academic lawyers generally and to other non-specialists, this story brings out the importance and fascinations of a discipline that has changed, expanded and diversified in the post-War years, with an eye to its future development and potential.
In this short book Peter Sloterdijk offers a genealogy of the concept of freedom from Ancient Greece to the present day. This genealogy is part of a broader theory of the large political body, according to which Sloterdijk argues that political communities arise in response to a form of anxiety or stress. Through a highly original reading of Rousseau's late Reveries of a Solitary Walker, Sloterdijk shows that, for Rousseau, the modern subject emerges as a subject free of all stress, unburdened by the cares of the world. Most of modern philosophy, and above all German Idealism, is an attempt to reign back Rousseau's useless and anarchical subject and anchor it in the cares of the world, in the task of having to produce both the world and itself. In the light of this highly original account, Sloterdijk develops his own distinctive account of freedom, where freedom is conceptualized as the availability for the improbable. This important text, in which Sloterdijk develops his account of freedom and the modern subject, will be of great interest to students and scholars in philosophy and the humanities and to anyone interested in contemporary philosophy and critical theory.
An essential book for all those who conduct animal-based research or are involved in education and training, as well as regulators, supporters, and opponents alike. This fully updated third edition includes discussion of genetically altered animals and associated welfare and ethical issues that surround the breeding programmes in animal based research. The book discusses the origins of vivisection, the advances in human and non-human welfare made possible by animal experimentation, moral objections, and alternatives to the use of animals in research. It also examines the regulatory umbrella under which experiments are conducted in Europe, USA and Australasia. The author highlights the future responsibilities of researchers who will be working with animals, and offers practical advice on experimental design, literature search, consultation with colleagues, and the importance of the ongoing search for alternatives.
Robert C. Stalnaker presents a set of essays on the structure of inquiry. In the first part he focuses on the concepts of knowledge, belief, and partial belief, and on the rules and procedures we use - or ought to use - to determine what to believe, and what to claim that we know. In the second part he examines conditional statements and conditional beliefs, their role in epistemology, and their relations to causal and explanatory concepts, such as dispositions, objective chance, relations of dependence, and independence. A central concern of the book is the interaction of different cognitive perspectives - the ways in which the attitudes of rational agents are or should be influenced by critical reflection on their present cognitive situation, on their own cognitive situations at other times, and on the cognitive situations of others with whom they interact. The general picture that is developed is naturalistic, following Hume in rejecting a substantive role for pure reason in the defense of inductive rules, and in giving causal concepts a central role in the description and explanation of our cognitive practices. However, Stalnaker rejects the side of Hume that aims to reduce concepts involving natural necessity to more basic descriptive concepts. Instead, he argues that the development of inductive rules and practices takes place in interaction with the development of concepts for giving a theoretical description of the world.
Essentialism--roughly, the view that natural kinds have discrete essences, generating truths that are necessary but knowable only a posteriori--is an increasingly popular view in the metaphysics of science. At the same time, philosophers of language have been subjecting Kripke's views about the existence and scope of the necessary a posteriori to rigorous analysis and criticism. Essentialists typically appeal to Kripkean semantics to motivate their radical extension of the realm of the necessary a posteriori; but they rarely attempt to provide any semantic arguments for this extension, or engage with the critical work being done by philosophers of language. This collection brings authors on both sides together in one volume, thus helping the reader to see the connections between views in philosophy of language on the one hand and the metaphysics of science on the other. The result is a book that will have a significant impact on the debate about essentialism, encouraging essentialists to engage with debates about the semantic presuppositions that underpin their position, and, encouraging philosophers of language to engage with the metaphysical presuppositions enshrined in Kripkean semantics.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Do you feel your consciousness, your attention, and your intelligence (not to mention your eyesight) being sucked away, byte by byte, in a deadening tsunami of ill-composed blather, corporate groupthink, commercial come-ons, and other meaningless internet flotsam? Do your work life and your social life, hideously conjoined in your inbox, drag each other down in a surreal cycle of neverending reposts, appointments, and deadlines? Sometime in the mid-1990s, we began, often with some trepidation, to enroll for a service that promised to connect us-electronically and efficiently-to our friends and lovers, our bosses and merchants. If it seemed at first like simply a change in scale (our mail would be faster, cheaper, more easily distributed to large groups), we now realize that email entails a more fundamental alteration in our communicative consciousness. Despite its fading relevance in the lives of the younger generation in the face of an ever-changing array of apps and media, email is probably here to stay, for better or worse. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Knowledge aims to fit the world, and action to change it. In this collection of essays, Onora O'Neill explores the relationship between these concepts and shows that principles are not enough for ethical thought or action: we also need to understand how practical judgement identifies ways of enacting them and of changing the way things are. Both ethical and technical judgement are supported, she contends, by bringing to bear multiple considerations, ranging from ethical principles to real-world constraints, and while we will never find practical algorithms - let alone ethical algorithms - that resolve moral and political issues, good practical judgement can bring abstract principles to bear in situations that call for action. Her essays thus challenge claims that all inquiry must use either the empirical methods of scientific inquiry or the interpretive methods of the humanities. They will appeal to a range of readers in moral and political philosophy.
Across the Euro-Atlantic world, political leaders have been mobilizing their bases with nativism, racism, xenophobia, and paeans to "traditional values," in brazen bids for electoral support. How are we to understand this move to the mainstream of political policies and platforms that lurked only on the far fringes through most of the postwar era? Does it herald a new wave of authoritarianism? Is liberal democracy itself in crisis? In this volume, three distinguished scholars draw on critical theory to address our current predicament. Wendy Brown, Peter E. Gordon, and Max Pensky share a conviction that critical theory retains the power to illuminate the forces producing the current political constellation as well as possible paths away from it. Brown explains how "freedom" has become a rallying cry for manifestly un-emancipatory movements; Gordon dismantles the idea that fascism is rooted in the susceptible psychology of individual citizens and reflects instead on the broader cultural and historical circumstances that lend it force; and Pensky brings together the unlikely pair of Tocqueville and Adorno to explore how democracies can buckle under internal pressure. These incisive essays do not seek to smooth over the irrationality of the contemporary world, and they do not offer the false comforts of an easy return to liberal democratic values. Rather, the three authors draw on their deep engagements with nineteenth-and twentieth-century thought to investigate the historical and political contradictions that have brought about this moment, offering fiery and urgent responses to the demands of the day.
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