Freedom Evolves

Freedom Evolves Author Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN-10 9781101572665
Release 2004-01-27
Pages 368
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Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers “yes!” Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original arguments—drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy—that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally. In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.



Freedom Evolves

Freedom Evolves Author Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN-10 9780141949802
Release 2004-02-26
Pages 368
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Dennett shows that human freedom is not an illusion; it is an objective phenomenon, distinct from all other biological conditions and found in only one species - us. There was a time on this planet when it didn't exist, quite recently in fact. It had to evolve like every other feature of the biosphere, and it continues to evolve today. Dennett shows that far from there being an incompatibility between contemporary science and the traditional vision of freedom and morality, it is only recently that science has advanced to the point where we can see how we came to have our unique kind of freedom.



Freedom Evolves

Freedom Evolves Author Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN-10 9780140283891
Release 2004-02-26
Pages 368
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Daniel Dennett shows that human freedom is not an illusion; it is an objective phenomenon, distinct from all other biological conditions and found in only one species - us. He argues that it is only recently that science has advanced to the point where we can see how we came to have our freedom.



Elbow Room

Elbow Room Author D. C. Dennett
ISBN-10 9780262527798
Release 2015-08-07
Pages 248
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A landmark book in the debate over free will that makes the case for compatibilism.



Free Will

Free Will Author Sam Harris
ISBN-10 9781451683479
Release 2012-03-06
Pages 96
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A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion. In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.



Distributed Cognition and the Will

Distributed Cognition and the Will Author Don Ross
ISBN-10 9780262681698
Release 2007
Pages 369
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Philosophers and behavioral scientists discuss what, if anything, of the traditionalconcept of individual conscious will can survive recent scientific discoveries that humandecision-making is distributed across different brain processes and through the socialenvironment.



Breaking the Spell

Breaking the Spell Author Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN-10 9780141903132
Release 2007-03-29
Pages 464
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Few forces in the world are as potent as religion: it comforts people in their suffering and inspires them to both magnificent and terrible deeds. In this provocative and timely book, Daniel C. Dennett seeks to uncover the origins of religion and discusses how and why different faiths have shaped so many lives, whether religion is an addiction or a genuine human need, and even whether it is good for our health. Arguing passionately for the need to understand this multifaceted phenomenon, Breaking the Spell offers a truly original – and comprehensive – explanation for faith.



Beyond Freedom and Dignity

Beyond Freedom and Dignity Author Burrhus Frederic Skinner
ISBN-10 1603844163
Release 2002-03-01
Pages 240
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In this profound and profoundly controversial work, a landmark of 20th-century thought originally published in 1971, B. F. Skinner makes his definitive statement about humankind and society. Insisting that the problems of the world today can be solved only by dealing much more effectively with human behavior, Skinner argues that our traditional concepts of freedom and dignity must be sharply revised. They have played an important historical role in our struggle against many kinds of tyranny, he acknowledges, but they are now responsible for the futile defense of a presumed free and autonomous individual; they are perpetuating our use of punishment and blocking the development of more effective cultural practices. Basing his arguments on the massive results of the experimental analysis of behavior he pioneered, Skinner rejects traditional explanations of behavior in terms of states of mind, feelings, and other mental attributes in favor of explanations to be sought in the interaction between genetic endowment and personal history. He argues that instead of promoting freedom and dignity as personal attributes, we should direct our attention to the physical and social environments in which people live. It is the environment rather than humankind itself that must be changed if the traditional goals of the struggle for freedom and dignity are to be reached. Beyond Freedom and Dignity urges us to reexamine the ideals we have taken for granted and to consider the possibility of a radically behaviorist approach to human problems--one that has appeared to some incompatible with those ideals, but which envisions the building of a world in which humankind can attain its greatest possible achievements.



Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking Author Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN-10 9780393348781
Release 2014-05-05
Pages 512
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The philosophy professor behind Breaking the Spell and Consciousness Explained offers exercises and tools to stretch the mind, offering new ways to consider, discuss and argue positions on dangerous subject matter including evolution, the meaning of life and free will.



Consciousness Explained

Consciousness Explained Author Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN-10 9780316439480
Release 2017-02-07
Pages 528
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"Brilliant...as audacious as its title....Mr. Dennett's exposition is nothing short of brilliant." --George Johnson, New York Times Book Review Consciousness Explained is a a full-scale exploration of human consciousness. In this landmark book, Daniel Dennett refutes the traditional, commonsense theory of consciousness and presents a new model, based on a wealth of information from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence. Our current theories about conscious life-of people, animal, even robots--are transformed by the new perspectives found in this book.



Net of Magic

Net of Magic Author Lee Siegel
ISBN-10 0226756874
Release 1991-06-11
Pages 455
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Vast like the subcontinent itself and teeming with outrageous and exotic characters, Net of Magic is an enthralling voyage through the netherworld of Indian magic. Lee Siegel, scholar and magician, uncovers the age-old practices of magic in sacred rites and rituals and unveils the contemporary world of Indian magic of street and stage entertainers. Siegel's journeys take him from ancient Sanskrit texts to the slums of New Delhi to find remnants of a remarkable magical tradition. In the squalid settlement of Shadipur, he is initiated into a band of Muslim street conjurers and performs as their shill while they tutor him in their con and craft. Siegel also becomes acquainted with Hindu theatrical magicians, who claim descent from court illusionists and now dress as maharajahs to perform a repertoire of tricks full of poignant kitsch and glitz. Masterfully using a panoply of narrative sleights to recreate the magical world of India, Net of Magic intersperses travelogue, history, ethnography, and fiction. Siegel's vivid, often comic tale is crowded with shills and stooges, tourists and pickpockets, snake charmers and fakirs. Among the cast of characters are Naseeb, a poor Muslim street magician who guides Siegel into the closed circle of itinerant performers; the Industrial Magician, paid by a bank, who convinces his audience to buy traveler's checks by making twenty-rupee notes disappear; the Government Magician, who does a trick with condoms to encourage family planning; P. C. Sorcar, Jr., the most celebrated Indian stage magician; and the fictive Professor M. T. Bannerji, the world's greatest magician, who assumes various guises over a millennium of Indian history and finally arrives in the conjuring capital of the world—Las Vegas. Like Indra's net—the web of illusion in which Indian performers ensnare their audience—Net of Magic captures the reader in a seductive portrayal of a world where deception is celebrated and lies are transformed into compelling and universal truths.



From Bacteria to Bach and Back The Evolution of Minds

From Bacteria to Bach and Back  The Evolution of Minds Author Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN-10 9780393242089
Release 2017-02-07
Pages 448
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One of America’s foremost philosophers offers a major new account of the origins of the conscious mind. How did we come to have minds? For centuries, this question has intrigued psychologists, physicists, poets, and philosophers, who have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled ability to create, imagine, and explain. Disciples of Darwin have long aspired to explain how consciousness, language, and culture could have appeared through natural selection, blazing promising trails that tend, however, to end in confusion and controversy. Even though our understanding of the inner workings of proteins, neurons, and DNA is deeper than ever before, the matter of how our minds came to be has largely remained a mystery. That is now changing, says Daniel C. Dennett. In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, his most comprehensive exploration of evolutionary thinking yet, he builds on ideas from computer science and biology to show how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. Part philosophical whodunit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett’s legendary career at the forefront of philosophical thought. In his inimitable style—laced with wit and arresting thought experiments—Dennett explains that a crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Language, itself composed of memes, turbocharged this interplay. Competition among memes—a form of natural selection—produced thinking tools so well-designed that they gave us the power to design our own memes. The result, a mind that not only perceives and controls but can create and comprehend, was thus largely shaped by the process of cultural evolution. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers, scientists, and thinkers, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain anyone eager to make sense of how the mind works and how it came about.



Gut Feelings

Gut Feelings Author Gerd Gigerenzer
ISBN-10 9780141906317
Release 2008-08-09
Pages 288
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Think less – and know more. A sportsman can catch a ball without calculating its speed or distance. A group of amateurs beat the experts at playing the stock market. A man falls for the right woman even though she’s ‘wrong’ on paper. All these people succeeded by trusting their instincts – but how does it work? In Gut Feelings psychologist and behavioural expert Gerd Gigerenzer reveals the secrets of fast and effective decision-making. He explains that, in an uncertain world, sometimes we have to ignore too much information and rely on our brain’s ‘short cut’, or heuristic. By explaining how intuition works and analyzing the techniques that people use to make good decisions – whether it’s in personnel selection or heart surgery – Gigerenzer will show you why gut thinking can change your world.



Breakdown of Will

Breakdown of Will Author George Ainslie
ISBN-10 0521596947
Release 2001-03-19
Pages 258
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Argues that our responses to the threat of our own inconsistency determine the fabric of human culture.



Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic

Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic Author B. Alan Wallace
ISBN-10 9780231530323
Release 2011-12-20
Pages 256
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Renowned Buddhist philosopher B. Alan Wallace reasserts the power of shamatha and vipashyana, traditional Buddhist meditations, to clarify the mind's role in the natural world. Raising profound questions about human nature, free will, and experience versus dogma, Wallace challenges the claim that consciousness is nothing more than an emergent property of the brain with little relation to universal events. Rather, he maintains that the observer is essential to measuring quantum systems and that mental phenomena (however conceived) influence brain function and behavior. Wallace embarks on a two-part mission: to restore human nature and to transcend it. He begins by explaining the value of skepticism in Buddhism and science and the difficulty of merging their experiential methods of inquiry. Yet Wallace also proves that Buddhist views on human nature and the possibility of free will liberate us from the metaphysical constraints of scientific materialism. He then explores the radical empiricism inspired by William James and applies it to Indian Buddhist philosophy's four schools and the Great Perfection school of Tibetan Buddhism. Since Buddhism begins with the assertion that ignorance lies at the root of all suffering and that the path to freedom is reached through knowledge, Buddhist practice can be viewed as a progression from agnosticism (not knowing) to gnosticism (knowing), acquired through the maintenance of exceptional mental health, mindfulness, and introspection. Wallace discusses these topics in detail, identifying similarities and differences between scientific and Buddhist understanding, and he concludes with an explanation of shamatha and vipashyana and their potential for realizing the full nature, origins, and potential of consciousness.



A Doll s House

A Doll s House Author Henrik Ibsen
ISBN-10 9781559368506
Release 2016-06-06
Pages 96
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"In [Wilder's] A Doll's House . . . the relationship of dialogue to action is very special, like nothing that had been heard on stage before."—David Hammond, PlayMakers Repertory Company Not staged since its Broadway premiere starring Ruth Gordon in 1937, the first-ever publication of this adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic drama is revitalized through the shrewd lens of American drama master, Thornton Wilder. With his famous, clarifying dialogue, Wilder uproots this classic from Norway and funnels it through an American lens. The marriage of Ibsen's famed naturalistic style melds with Wilder's knack for emotional nuance to create a rich, demonstrative edition of the revered standard A Doll's House. Henrik Ibsen has often been referred to as the father of realistic drama. The Norwegian playwright is best known for his major works Brand, Peer Gynt, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Ghosts, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, and The Master Builder. Thornton Wilder was an accomplished novelist and playwright in the twentieth century. Two of his four major plays garnered Pulitzer Prizes, Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1943). His play The Matchmaker was later adapted into the record-breaking musical Hello, Dolly! The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of his seven novels, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, and his next-to-last novel, The Eighth Day received the National Book Award (1968). Our Town continues to be the most produced American play in the world.



Moral Machines

Moral Machines Author Wendell Wallach
ISBN-10 0199705968
Release 2008-11-19
Pages 288
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Computers are already approving financial transactions, controlling electrical supplies, and driving trains. Soon, service robots will be taking care of the elderly in their homes, and military robots will have their own targeting and firing protocols. Colin Allen and Wendell Wallach argue that as robots take on more and more responsibility, they must be programmed with moral decision-making abilities, for our own safety. Taking a fast paced tour through the latest thinking about philosophical ethics and artificial intelligence, the authors argue that even if full moral agency for machines is a long way off, it is already necessary to start building a kind of functional morality, in which artificial moral agents have some basic ethical sensitivity. But the standard ethical theories don't seem adequate, and more socially engaged and engaging robots will be needed. As the authors show, the quest to build machines that are capable of telling right from wrong has begun. Moral Machines is the first book to examine the challenge of building artificial moral agents, probing deeply into the nature of human decision making and ethics.