WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH OUR BRAIN

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What Should We Do With Our Brain

Author : Catherine Malabou
ISBN : 9780823229543
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 61.12 MB
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Recent neuroscience, in replacing the old model of the brain as a single centralized source of control, has emphasized plasticity,the quality by which our brains develop and change throughout the course of our lives. Our brains exist as historical products, developing in interaction with themselves and with their surroundings.Hence there is a thin line between the organization of the nervous system and the political and social organization that both conditions and is conditioned by human experience. Looking carefully at contemporary neuroscience, it is hard not to notice that the new way of talking about the brain mirrors the management discourse of the neo-liberal capitalist world in which we now live, with its talk of decentralization, networks, and flexibility. Consciously or unconsciously, science cannot but echo the world in which it takes place.In the neo-liberal world, plasticitycan be equated with flexibility-a term that has become a buzzword in economics and management theory. The plastic brain would thus represent just another style of power, which, although less centralized, is still a means of control. In this book, Catherine Malabou develops a second, more radical meaning for plasticity. Not only does plasticity allow our brains to adapt to existing circumstances, it opens a margin of freedom to intervene, to change those very circumstances. Such an understanding opens up a newly transformative aspect of the neurosciences.In insisting on this proximity between the neurosciences and the social sciences, Malabou applies to the brain Marx's well-known phrase about history: people make their own brains, but they do not know it. This book is a summons to such knowledge.
Category: Philosophy

Radical Political Theology

Author : Clayton Crockett
ISBN : 9780231520768
Genre : Religion
File Size : 75.97 MB
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In the 1960s, the strict opposition between the religious and the secular began to break down, blurring the distinction between political philosophy and political theology. This collapse contributed to the decline of modern liberalism, which supported a neutral, value-free space for capitalism. It also deeply unsettled political, religious, and philosophical realms, forced to confront the conceptual stakes of a return to religion. Gamely intervening in a contest that defies simple resolutions, Clayton Crockett conceives of the postmodern convergence of the secular and the religious as a basis for emancipatory political thought. Engaging themes of sovereignty, democracy, potentiality, law, and event from a religious and political point of view, Crockett articulates a theological vision that responds to our contemporary world and its theo-political realities. Specifically, he claims we should think about God and the state in terms of potentiality rather than sovereign power. Deploying new concepts, such as Slavoj i ek's idea of parallax and Catherine Malabou's notion of plasticity, his argument engages with debates over the nature and status of religion, ideology, and messianism. Tangling with the work of Derrida, Deleuze, Spinoza, Antonio Negri, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, John D. Caputo, and Catherine Keller, Crockett concludes with a reconsideration of democracy as a form of political thought and religious practice, underscoring its ties to modern liberal capitalism while also envisioning a more authentic democracy unconstrained by those ties.
Category: Religion

What Should I Believe

Author : Dorothy Rowe
ISBN : 9781136592188
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 81.34 MB
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Suddenly, in the twenty-first century, religion has become a political power. It affects us all, whether we’re religious or not. If we’re not in danger of being blown up by a suicide bomber we’ve got leaders to whom God speaks, ordering them to start a war. We’re beset by people who demand that we give ourselves to Jesus while they smugly assure us of their own superiority and inherent goodness. We’re surrounded by those who noisily reject science while making full use of the benefits science brings; by the ‘spiritual’ ones; the ones who believe in magic; and there’s the militant atheists berating us all for our stupidity. We wouldn’t object to what people believed if only they’d keep it to themselves. We want to make up our own minds about what we believe, but it’s difficult to do this. Everyone has to face the dilemma that we all die but no one knows for certain what death actually is. Is it the end of our identity or a doorway to another life? Whichever we choose, our choice is a fantasy that determines the purpose of our life. If death is the end of our identity, we have to make this life satisfactory, whatever ‘satisfactory’ might mean to us. If it is a doorway to another life, what are the standards we have to reach to go to that better life? All religions promise to overcome death, but there’s no set of religious or philosophical beliefs that ensures that our life is always happy and secure. Moreover, for many of us, what we were taught about a religion severely diminished our self-confidence and left us with a constant debilitating feeling of guilt and shame. Through all this turmoil comes the calm, clear voice of eminent psychologist Dorothy Rowe. She separates the political from the personal, the power-seeking from the compassionate. She shows how, if we use our beliefs as a defence against our feelings of worthlessness, we feel compelled to force our beliefs on to other people by coercion or aggression. However, it is possible to create a set of beliefs, expressed in the religious or philosophical metaphors most meaningful to us, which allow us to live at peace with ourselves and other people, to feel strong in ourselves without having to remain a child forever dependent on some supernatural power, and to face life with courage and optimism.
Category: Psychology

Being Inclined

Author : Mark Sinclair
ISBN : 9780198844587
Genre :
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Being Inclined is the first book-length study in English of the work of Felix Ravaisson, France's most influential philosopher in the second half of the nineteenth century. Mark Sinclair shows how Ravaisson, in his great work Of Habit (1838), understands habit as tendency and inclination in away that provides the basis for a philosophy of nature and a general metaphysics. In examining Ravaisson's ideas against the background of the history of philosophy, and in the light of later developments in French thought, Sinclair shows how Ravaisson gives an original account of the nature ofhabit as inclination, within a metaphysical framework quite different to those of his predecessors in the philosophical tradition.Being Inclined sheds new light on the history of modern French philosophy and argues for the importance of the neglected nineteenth-century French spiritualist tradition. It also shows that Ravaisson's philosophy of inclination, of being-inclined, is of great import for contemporary philosophy, andparticularly for the contemporary metaphysics of powers given that ideas about tendency have recently come to prominence in discussions concerning dispositions, laws, and the nature of causation. Being Inclined therefore offers a detailed and faithful contextualist study of Ravaisson's masterpiece,demonstrating its continued importance for contemporary thought.
Category:

Critical Neuroscience

Author : Suparna Choudhury
ISBN : 9781444343335
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 87.32 MB
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Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience brings together multi-disciplinary scholars from around the world to explore key social, historical and philosophical studies of neuroscience, and to analyze the socio-cultural implications of recent advances in the field. This text’s original, interdisciplinary approach explores the creative potential for engaging experimental neuroscience with social studies of neuroscience while furthering the dialogue between neuroscience and the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. Critical Neuroscience transcends traditional skepticism, introducing novel ideas about ‘how to be critical’ in and about science.
Category: Psychology

American Poetic Materialism From Whitman To Stevens

Author : Mark Noble
ISBN : 9781107084506
Genre : History
File Size : 88.60 MB
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In American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens, Mark Noble examines writers who rethink the human in material terms. Do our experiences correlate to our material elements? Do visions of a common physical ground imply a common purpose? Noble proposes new readings of Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, George Santayana and Wallace Stevens that explore a literary history wrestling with the consequences of its own materialism. At a moment when several new models of the relationship between human experience and its physical ground circulate among critical theorists and philosophers of science, this book turns to poets who have long asked what our shared materiality can tell us about our prospects for new models of our material selves.
Category: History

How Not To Train The Brain

Author : Amir Raz
ISBN : 9780192506818
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 40.55 MB
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Brain training is all the rage. Commercial and clinical initiatives capitalize on trailblazing interdisciplinary research that spans domains such as education, psychological and brain science, cognitive remediation, and mental health. Promotional materials boast that we can learn to think and respond faster, focus better, and control our emotions; companies and authors market techniques to boost memory, increase confidence, and overcome cognitive impairments. 'How (not) to Train the Brain' examines the field of cognitive fitness and scrutinizes the scientific evidence in support of brain training techniques. With the potential to affect millions this topic is important for scientists, practitioners, educators, and the general public. While many a consumer often marvels at this highly commercialized field, discerning fact from fad becomes a challenge given the abundance of products, publications, and contexts. Moreover, available products prey on the naivety of individuals unfamiliar with the nuanced field of neuroscience, advertising programs that lack scientific validation or presenting unfounded arguments. In this book, the authors review data from hundreds of articles and provide an overarching account of the field, separating scientific evidence from publicity myth and guiding readers through how they should - and should not - train the brain. They describe existing techniques, including those rooted in scientific research, and survey methods that purport to yield measurable improvements. Intended for a wide audience, this book taps a timely topic by highlighting the most salient approaches to boosting brain function while identifying those that don't seem to work.
Category: Psychology

Religion Politics And The Earth

Author : C. Crockett
ISBN : 9781137268938
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 58.51 MB
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"Following Vattimo's postmodern philosophy, Badiou's postmetaphysical ontology, and i ek's revolutionary style, the authors of this marvelous book invites us to reactivate our politics of resistance against our greatest enemy: corporate capitalism. The best solution to the ecological, energy, and financial crisis corporate capitalism has created, as Crockett Clayton and Jeffrey Robbins suggest, is a new theological materialism where Being is conceived as energy both subjectively and objectively. All my graduate students will have to read this book carefully if they want to become philosophers." - Santiago Zabala, ICREA Research Professor at the University of Barcelona "This is a book of an extraordinary timeliness, written in an accessible and strikingly informative way. It is excellently poised to become a synthetic and agenda setting statement about the implications of a new materialism for the founding of a new radical theology, a new kind of spirituality. I consider this therefore quite a remarkable book which will be influential in ongoing discussions of psychoanalysis, continental philosophy, and theology. Moreover, it will be, quite simply, the best book about spirituality and the new materialism on the market today. While all of the work of the new materialists engage at one level or another the question of a new spirituality, I do not think there is anything comparable in significance to what Crockett and Robbins have provided here." - Ward Blanton, University of Kent "This book will perhaps be most appreciated by the reader with an intuitive cast of mind, able to recognize the force of an argument in its imaginative suggestiveness . . . New Materialism is about energy transformation, we are told, energy which cannot be reduced to matter because it resonates with spirit and life . . . Yet the book strikes a fundamental note of hard reality: 'if we want our civilization to live on earth a little longer we will have to recognize our coexistence with and in earth'." - Christian Ecology Link
Category: Philosophy

Present Perfect

Author : Gregory A. Boyd
ISBN : 9780310560623
Genre : Religion
File Size : 50.41 MB
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Finding God’s presence in everyday moments is fundamental to every Christian’s life. It’s also one of the areas that millions of American Christians struggle with most.Popular author, theologian, and pastor Gregory Boyd knows this firsthand. After two decades of teaching, preaching, and welcoming the presence of God, Boyd considers himself a fellow pilgrim with his readers, whom he invites to join him on the journey. Christians will discover the transforming power of God’s presence as he distills the teachings of classical spiritual giants such as Brother Lawrence, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, and Frank Laubach in this thoughtful and accessible Ebook. Boyd writes simply and clearly, making his ideas accessible to nonacademic readers. His practical suggestions for implementing the presence of God into daily living move his meditations from purely theoretical to effective, down-to-earth, and doable.Read these meditations prayerfully. Apply the practical suggestions. See the results.Embrace the “holy habit” of inviting God’s presence into your life and experience true spiritual transformation.
Category: Religion

Synaptic Self

Author : Joseph LeDoux
ISBN : 144065042X
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 30.3 MB
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In 1996 Joseph LeDoux's The Emotional Brain presented a revelatory examination of the biological bases of our emotions and memories. Now, the world-renowned expert on the brain has produced with a groundbreaking work that tells a more profound story: how the little spaces between the neurons—the brain's synapses—are the channels through which we think, act, imagine, feel, and remember. Synapses encode the essence of personality, enabling each of us to function as a distinctive, integrated individual from moment to moment. Exploring the functioning of memory, the synaptic basis of mental illness and drug addiction, and the mechanism of self-awareness, Synaptic Self is a provocative and mind-expanding work that is destined to become a classic.
Category: Psychology