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Figments Of Reality

Author : Ian Stewart
ISBN : 0521663830
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 32.16 MB
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Addressing the nature of free will and humanity itself, the authors argue that the mind, consciousness, and culture have evolved interdependently to create the human species and show how the mind is constantly adjusting to its environment. UP.
Category: Psychology

The Collapse Of Chaos

Author : Ian Stewart
ISBN : 9780141938288
Genre : Science
File Size : 44.84 MB
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Do we live in a simple or a complex universe? Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart explore the ability of complicated rules to generate simple behaviour in nature through 'the collapse of chaos'. 'The most startling, thought-provoking book I've read all year. I was pleased to learn that most of the things I thought I knew were wrong' -- Terry Pratchett
Category: Science

Genes Genesis And God

Author : Holmes Rolston
ISBN : 052164674X
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 41.68 MB
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Holmes Rolston challenges the sociobiological orthodoxy that would naturalize science, ethics, and religion. The book argues that genetic processes are not blind, selfish, and contingent, and that nature is therefore not value-free. The author examines the emergence of complex biodiversity through evolutionary history. Especially remarkable in this narrative is the genesis of human beings with their capacities for science, ethics, and religion. A major conceptual task of the book is to relate cultural genesis to natural genesis. There is also a general account of how values are created and transmitted in both natural and human cultural history. The book is written by one of the most well-respected figures in the philosophy of biology and religion.
Category: Philosophy

Nature S Magic

Author : Peter Corning
ISBN : 113944218X
Genre : Science
File Size : 25.76 MB
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Nature's Magic, first published in 2003, presents a bold vision of the evolutionary process from the Big Bang to the 21st century. Synergy of various kinds is not only a ubiquitous aspect of the natural world but it has also been a wellspring of creativity and the 'driver' of the broad evolutionary trend toward increased complexity, in nature and human societies alike. But in contrast with the many theories of emergence or complexity that rely on some underlying force or 'law', the 'Synergism Hypothesis', as Peter Corning calls it, is in essence an economic theory of biological complexity; it is fully consistent with mainstream evolutionary biology. Corning refers to it as Holistic Darwinism. Among the many important insights that are provided by this new paradigm, Corning presents a scenario in which the human species invented itself; synergistic, behavioral and technological innovations were the 'pacemakers' of our biological evolution. Synergy has also been the key to the evolution of complex modern societies, he concludes.
Category: Science

Evolutionary Epistemology Language And Culture

Author : Nathalie Gontier
ISBN : 9781402033957
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 87.70 MB
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For the first time in history, scholars working on language and culture from within an evolutionary epistemological framework, and thereby emphasizing complementary or deviating theories of the Modern Synthesis, were brought together. Of course there have been excellent conferences on Evolutionary Epistemology in the past, as well as numerous conferences on the topics of Language and Culture. However, until now these disciplines had not been brought together into one all-encompassing conference. Moreover, previously there never had been such stress on alternative and complementary theories of the Modern Synthesis. Today we know that natural selection and evolution are far from synonymous and that they do not explain isomorphic phenomena in the world. ‘Taking Darwin seriously’ is the way to go, but today the time has come to take alternative and complementary theories that developed after the Modern Synthesis, equally seriously, and, furthermore, to examine how language and culture can merit from these diverse disciplines. As this volume will make clear, a specific inter- and transdisciplinary approach is one of the next crucial steps that needs to be taken, if we ever want to unravel the secrets of phenomena such as language and culture.
Category: Philosophy

The Return Of Science

Author : Philip Pomper
ISBN : 0742521613
Genre : History
File Size : 56.94 MB
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In this collection of essays, historians discuss the applications of evolutionary theory to cultural, social, economic and political phenomena. William H. McNeill presents a magisterial statement about the convergence of the sciences toward an evolutionary worldview. Several contributors offer support for this thesis. Anthropologist Donald Brown and archaeologist Albert Naccache bring together the realms of biology and culture in examinations of evolved human features and modes of evolution. Demographer Noel Bonneuil and neuroscientist Alonso Pena apply mathematics to historical evolutionary processes such as the decision-making of human agents and cultural diffusion.
Category: History

Secrets Of The Mind

Author : A.G. Cairns-Smith
ISBN : 9781461215103
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 74.88 MB
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Written in a provocative, witty, and highly accessible style, this is not only a splendid general introduction to the central questions of consciousness and brain science, but also an answer to some of them. The author -- noted Glaswegian chemist A.G. Cairns-Smith -- believes our feelings and sensations are not simply alternative descriptions of neural events but have themselves evolved and have physical effects in the brain as well as physical causes. Secrets of the Mind portrays a vision of the world as it may come to be seen by a future science. Sand, sea water, air, and the atoms from which such materials are made are now well understood by science, but the same can not be said of our personal feelings, our sensations and emotions. Science tells us that these too must be forms of quantum energy if they evolved, yet is only now beginning to explain how.
Category: Philosophy

Science Vs Religion

Author : Steve Fuller
ISBN : 9780745641218
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 74.59 MB
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For centuries, science and religion have been portrayed as diametrically opposed. In this provocative new book, Steve Fuller examines the apparent clash between science and religion by focusing on the heated debates about evolution and intelligent design theory. In so doing, he claims that science vs. religion is in fact a false dichotomy. For Fuller, supposedly intellectual disputes, such as those between creationist and evolutionist accounts of life, often disguise other institutionally driven conflicts, such as the struggle between State and Church to be the source of legitimate authority in society. Nowadays many conservative anti-science groups support intelligent design theory, but Fuller argues that the theory's theological roots are much more radical, based on the idea that humans were created to fathom the divine plan, perhaps even complete it. He goes on to examine the unique political circumstances in the United States that make the emergence of intelligent design theory so controversial, yet so persistent. Finally, he considers the long-term prognosis, arguing that the future remains very much undecided as society reopens the question of what it means to be human. This book will appeal to all readers intrigued by the debates about creationism, intelligent design and evolution, especially those looking for an intellectually exciting confrontation with the politics and promise of intelligent design theory.
Category: Philosophy

On An Ungrounded Earth

Author : Ben Woodard
ISBN : 9780615785387
Genre : Earth (Planet)
File Size : 20.99 MB
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For too long, the Earth has been used to ground thought instead of bending it; such grounding leaves the planet as nothing but a stage for phenomenology, deconstruction, and other forms of anthropocentric philosophy. In far too much continental philosophy, the Earth is a cold dead place enlivened only by human thought-either as a thing to be exploited, or as an object of nostalgia. Geophilosophy seeks instead to question the ground of thinking itself, the relation of the inorganic to the capacities and limits of thought. This book constructs an eclectic variant of geophilosophy through engagements with digging machines, cyclones and volcanoes, secret vessels, nuclear waste, giant worms, decay, hell, demon souls, subterranean cities, black suns, and xenoarcheaology, via continental theory (Nietzsche, Schelling, Deleuze, et alia) and various cultural objects such as horror films, videogames, and weird Lovecraftian fictions, with special attention to Speculative Realism and the work of Reza Negarestani. In a time where the earth as a whole is threatened by ecological collapse, On an Ungrounded Earth generates a perversely realist account of the earth as a dynamic engine materially invading and upsetting our attempts to reduce it to the ground beneath our feet.
Category: Earth (Planet)

The Road To Reality

Author : Roger Penrose
ISBN : 9781446418208
Genre : Science
File Size : 55.86 MB
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The Road to Reality is the most important and ambitious work of science for a generation. It provides nothing less than a comprehensive account of the physical universe and the essentials of its underlying mathematical theory. It assumes no particular specialist knowledge on the part of the reader, so that, for example, the early chapters give us the vital mathematical background to the physical theories explored later in the book. Roger Penrose's purpose is to describe as clearly as possible our present understanding of the universe and to convey a feeling for its deep beauty and philosophical implications, as well as its intricate logical interconnections. The Road to Reality is rarely less than challenging, but the book is leavened by vivid descriptive passages, as well as hundreds of hand-drawn diagrams. In a single work of colossal scope one of the world's greatest scientists has given us a complete and unrivalled guide to the glories of the universe that we all inhabit.
Category: Science