What is Wrong with Us

Author: Eric Coombes
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
ISBN: 1845409183
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Can any of us entirely banish from our hearts and minds grave misgivings about the condition of the culture we now inhabit? Expressions of those misgivings are mostly unheard in public forums, ignored in the dominant media, and, if noticed at all, dismissed by state-supported bureaucracies and commercial vested interests. To have any chance of gaining attention, they must resolve themselves into coherent forms. We need to clarify our perceptions of the things that trouble us, by articulating and developing our thoughts about them. That is, we are in need of serious criticism—serious criticism, aesthetic, social and political—which is notably lacking in the contemporary world, especially in places readily available to the educated non-specialist, such as the 'quality' weekend newspapers, and especially, perhaps, in relation to the visual arts. The pieces collected in this volume are not presented as amounting to an overall account or theory of our cultural condition. They are offered merely as examples of serious criticism, of what we need if we are to begin to think more profitably about our condition, daring, in defiance of contemporary dogmatism, to make the necessary judgements of value without which our culture will continue to disintegrate.

Your Brain s Politics

Author: George Lakoff
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
ISBN: 1845409248
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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At first glance, issues like economic inequality, healthcare, climate change, and abortion seem unrelated. However, when thinking and talking about them, people reliably fall into two camps: conservative and liberal. What explains this divide? Why do conservatives and liberals hold the positions they do? And what is the conceptual nature of those who decide elections, commonly called the "political middle"? The answers are profound. They have to do with how our minds and brains work. Political attitudes are the product of what cognitive scientists call Embodied Cognition — the grounding of abstract thought in everyday world experience. Clashing beliefs about how to run nations largely arise from conflicting beliefs about family life: conservatives endorse a strict father and liberals a nurturant parent model. So-called "middle" voters are not in the middle at all. They are morally biconceptual, divided between both models, and as a result highly susceptible to moral political persuasion. In this brief introduction, Lakoff and Wehling reveal how cognitive science research has advanced our understanding of political thought and language, forcing us to revise common folk theories about the rational voter.

The Philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe

Author: Roger Teichmann
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191616990
Format: PDF
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One of the most important philosophers of recent times, Elizabeth Anscombe wrote books and articles on a wide range of topics, including the ground-breaking monograph Intention. Her work is original, challenging, often difficult, always insightful; but it has frequently been misunderstood, and its overall significance is still not fully appreciated. This book is the first major study of Anscombe's philosophical oeuvre. In it, Roger Teichmann presents Anscombe's main ideas, bringing out their interconnections, elaborating and discussing their implications, pointing out objections and difficulties, and aiming to give a unified overview of her philosophy. Many of Anscombe's arguments are relevant to contemporary debates, as Teichmann shows, and on a number of topics what Anscombe has to say constitutes a powerful alternative to dominant or popular views. Among the writings discussed are Intention, 'Practical Inference', 'Modern Moral Philosophy', 'Rules, Rights and Promises', 'On Brute Facts', 'The First Person', 'The Intentionality of Sensation', 'Causality and Determination', An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus, 'The Question of Linguistic Idealism', and a number of other pieces, including some that are little known or hard to obtain. A complete bibliography of Anscombe's writings is also included. Ranging from the philosophy of action, through ethics, to philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and the philosophy of logic and language, this book is a study of one of the most significant bodies of work in modern philosophy, spanning more than fifty years, and as pertinent today as ever.

Depression Emotion and the Self

Author: Matthew Ratcliffe
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
ISBN: 1845407733
Format: PDF
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This volume addresses the question of what it is like to be depressed. Despite the vast amount of research that has been conducted into the causes and treatment of depression, the experience of depression remains poorly understood. Indeed, many depression memoirs state that the experience is impossible for others to understand. However, it is at least clear that changes in emotion, mood, and bodily feeling are central to all forms of depression, and these are the book’s principal focus. In recent years, there has been a great deal of valuable philosophical and interdisciplinary research on the emotions, complemented by new developments in philosophy of psychiatry and scientifically-informed phenomenology. The book draws on all these areas, in order to offer a range of novel insights into the nature of depression experiences. To do so, it brings together a distinguished group of philosophers, psychiatrists, anthropologists, clinical psychologists and neuroscientists, all of whom have made important contributions to current research on emotion and/or psychiatric illness.

The Other Psychology of Julian Jaynes

Author: Brian J. McVeigh
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
ISBN: 1845409736
Format: PDF, Docs
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In his provocative but critically acclaimed theory about the origin of introspectable mentality, Julian Jaynes argued that until the late second millennium people possessed a different psychology: a "two-chambered" (bicameral) neurocultural arrangement in which a commanding "god" guided, admonished, and ordered about a listening "mortal" via voices, visions, and visitations. Out of the cauldron of civilizational collapse and chaos, an adaptive self-reflexive consciousness emerged better suited to the pressures of larger, more complex sociopolitical systems. Though often described as boldly iconoclastic and far ahead of it time, Jaynes's thinking actually resonates with a "second" or "other" psychological tradition that explores the cultural-historical evolution of psyche. Brian J. McVeigh, a student of Jaynes, points out the blind spots of mainstream, establishment psychology by providing empirical support for Jaynes's ideas on sociohistorical shifts in cognition. He argues that from around 3500 to 1000 BCE the archaeological and historical record reveals features of hallucinatory super-religiosity in every known civilization. As social pressures eroded the god-centered authority of bicamerality, an upgraded psychology of interiorized self-awareness arose during the Late Bronze Age Collapse. A key explanatory component of Jaynes's theorizing was how metaphors constructed a mental landscape populated with "I's" and "me's" that replaced a declining worldview dominated by gods, ancestors, and spirits. McVeigh statistically substantiates how linguo-conceptual changes reflected psychohistorical developments; because supernatural entities functioned in place of our inner selves, vocabularies for psychological terms were strikingly limited in ancient languages. McVeigh also demonstrates the surprising ubiquity of "hearing voices" in modern times, contending that hallucinations are bicameral vestiges and that mental imagery - a controllable, semi-hallucinatory experience - is the successor to the divine hallucinations that once held societies together. This thought-provoking work will appeal to anyone interested in the transformative power of metaphors, the development of mental lexicons, and the adaptive role of hallucinations.

Insides and Outsides

Author: Maxine Sheets-Johnstone
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
ISBN: 1845409108
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book brings together diverse aspects of animate nature, diverse not only in terms of animate nature itself, but in terms of areas of study. Indeed, the book lives up to the word "interdisciplinary" in its title. It brings together diverse academic perspectives within each chapter and across chapters, showing in each instance that scientific understandings of animate nature are ? or can be ? complementary to philosophical understandings. Thus insides and outsides, typically viewed as subjective vs objective, mind vs body, and self vs other, are shown to be woven together in complex and subtle ways in the complexities and subtleties of animate life itself. There are and ever have been only two essential models of government: minority rule of all types (labelled "oligocracy") and regimes in which power is concentrated in the hands of a single individual (labelled "monocracy"). Vaunted democracies are in reality either oligocracies or monocracies. The present-day "democracies" of Britain and the United States are in reality composite oligocracies made up of several disparate elements. Oligocracies are by definition regimes with a high degree of inequality, but with variable levels of liberty. Oligocracy and inequality are the "default" features of human society. Equality is unattainable except by a radical monocracy like Fidel Castro's Cuba, and then only with difficulty and at the expense of liberty and probably of lives as well. Equality of opportunity must not be equated with equality. Equality of opportunity means an equal opportunity to become unequal. Paradoxically, however, for genuine equality of opportunity to exist there has to be equality ? which is practically unattainable. For genuine freedom of expression to exist there also needs to be equality, because the little man standing on his soap-box and shouting his lungs out at Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park cannot compete with the media moguls ? which is why genuine freedom of expression is rare. Once these truths are recognised, it becomes clear that for one state to attempt regime change in a foreign country is likely to be futile.

Playing the Long Game

Author: Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
ISBN: 1845408535
Format: PDF, ePub
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We obsess about what our politicians are doing, but ignore that our companies are no longer investing, instead they are focusing on next quarter’s profits in order to justify ever higher executive compensation. This is in turn accelerating the West’s economic decline versus the East. While the short-term focus of business is becoming widely acknowledged, we are not doing enough to reverse this. Looking at the less known history of companies shows us the choices we can no longer afford to ignore. Some current reforms need to go further and some areas that need reform are currently being ignored. Encouraging our businesses to invest again is one of the most important issues of our time.

Paradigm Shift

Author: Martin Cohen
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
ISBN: 184540856X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Why do giraffes have long necks? It can't really be for reaching tasty leaves since their main food is ground level bushes, tidy though that explanation would be. And how does relativity theory cope with the fact that the observable universe defies prediction by being far too small and anything but homogeneous? By inventing a vastly larger, but invisible, universe. And what exactly should we make of the scientists who claim to be witnessing thought itself, when the changes of blood flow in the brain that they observe are a thousand times slower than the neuronal activity it is supposed to reveal? A little scepticism is in order. Yet if philosophers of science, from Thomas Kuhn to Paul Feyerabend, have argued that science is a more haphazard process, driven by political fashion and short-term economic self-interest, today almost everyone seems to assume it is a vast jigsaw of interlocking facts pieced slowly but steadily together by expert practitioners. In this witty but profound 21st-century update on the issues, Martin Cohen offers vital clues for understanding not only the way knowledge develops, but also into the dangers of accepting too readily or too uncritically the claims of experts of all kinds - even philosophical ones! The claims are invariably presented as objective fact, yet are rooted in human subjectivity.