The Ego Tunnel

The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

Author: Thomas Metzinger

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0786744421

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 7397

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We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain—an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is “a virtual self in a virtual reality.” But if the self is not “real,” why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability? In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind.
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The Oxford Handbook of Emotion, Social Cognition, and Problem Solving in Adulthood

Author: Paul Verhaeghen,Christopher Hertzog

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199383073

Category: Psychology

Page: 480

View: 5343

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Over the last decade, the field of socio-emotional development and aging has rapidly expanded, with many new theories and empirical findings emerging. This trend is consistent with the broader movement in psychology to consider social, motivational, and emotional influences on cognition and behavior. The Oxford Handbook of Emotion, Social Cognition, and Problem Solving in Adulthood provides the first overview of a new field of adult development that has emerged out of conceptualizations and research at the intersections between socioemotional development, social cognition, emotion, coping, and everyday problem solving. This field roundly rejects a universal deficit model of aging, highlighting instead the dynamic nature of socio-emotional development and the differentiation of individual trajectories of development as a function of variation in contextual and experiential influences. It emphasizes the need for a cross-level examination (from biology and neuroscience to cognitive and social psychology) of the determinants of emotional and socio-emotional behavior. This volume also serves as a tribute to the late Fredda Blanchard-Fields, whose thinking and empirical research contributed extensively to a life-span developmental view of emotion, problem solving, and social cognition. Its chapters cover multiple aspects of adulthood and aging, presenting developmental perspectives on emotion; antecedents and consequences of emotion in context; everyday problem solving; social cognition; goals and goal-related behaviors; and wisdom. The landmark volume in this new field, The Oxford Handbook of Emotion, Social Cognition, and Problem Solving in Adulthood is an important resource for cognitive, developmental, and social psychologists, as well as researchers and graduate students in the field of aging, emotion studies, and social psychology.
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Waking, Dreaming, Being

Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

Author: Evan Thompson

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231538316

Category: Religion

Page: 480

View: 8300

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A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain. Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate—either in the waking state or in a lucid dream—we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self. Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives.
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Networks of Mind: Learning, Culture, Neuroscience

Author: Kathy Hall,Alicia Curtin,Vanessa Rutherford

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317913760

Category: Education

Page: 240

View: 3737

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This ground breaking book is unique in bringing together two perspectives on learning - sociocultural theory and neuroscience. Drawing on both perspectives, it foregrounds important developments in our understanding of what learning is, where and how learning occurs and what we can do to understand learning as an everyday process. Leading experts from both disciplines demonstrate how sociocultural ideas (such as the relevance of experience, opportunity to learn, environment, personal histories, meaning, participation, memory, and feelings of belonging) align with and reflect upon new understandings emerging from neuroscience concerning plasticity and neural networks. Among the themes critically examined are the following: Mind and brain Culture Ability and talent Success and failure Memory Language Emotion Aimed at and accessible to a broad audience and drawing on both schools of thought, Networks of Mind employs case studies, vignettes and real life examples to demonstrate that, though the language of sociocultural theory and that of neuroscience appear very different, ultimately the concepts of both perspectives align and converge around some key ideas. The book shows where both perspectives overlap, collide and diverge in their assumptions and understanding of fundamental aspects of human flourishing. It shows how neuroscience confirms some of the key messages already well established by sociocultural theory, specifically the importance of opportunity to learn. It also argues that the ascendency of neuroscience may result in the marginalization of sociocultural science, though the latter, it argues, has enormous explanatory power for understanding and promoting learning, and for understanding how learning is afforded and constrained.
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Distributed Objects

Meaning and Mattering after Alfred Gell

Author: Liana Chua,Mark Elliott

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857457438

Category: Art

Page: 232

View: 4195

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One of the most influential anthropological works of the last two decades, Alfred Gell's Art and Agency is a provocative and ambitious work that both challenged and reshaped anthropological understandings of art, agency, creativity and the social. It has become a touchstone in contemporary artifact-based scholarship. This volume brings together leading anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians and other scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue with Art and Agency, generating a timely re-engagement with the themes, issues and arguments at the heart of Gell's work, which remains salient, and controversial, in the social sciences and humanities. Extending his theory into new territory – from music to literary technology and ontology to technological change – the contributors do not simply take stock, but also provoke, critically reassessing this important work while using it to challenge conceptual and disciplinary boundaries.
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Speculative Realism

Problems and Prospects

Author: Peter Gratton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1441188029

Category: Philosophy

Page: 272

View: 7543

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Speculative realism is one of the most talked-about movements in recent Continental philosophy. It has been discussed widely amongst the younger generation of Continental philosophers seeking new philosophical approaches and promises to form the cornerstone of future debates in the field. This book introduces the contexts out of which speculative realism has emerged and provides an overview of the major contributors and latest developments. It guides the reader through the important questions asked by realism (what can I know? what is reality?), examining philosophy's perennial questions in new ways. The book begins with the speculative realist's critique of 'correlationism', the view that we can never reach what is real beneath our language systems, our means for perception, or our finite manner of being-in-the-world. It goes on to critically review the work of the movement's most important thinkers, including Quentin Meillassoux, Ray Brassier, and Graham Harman, but also other important writers such as Jane Bennett and Catherine Malabou whose writings delineate alternative approaches to the real. It interrogates the crucial questions these thinkers have raised and concludes with a look toward the future of speculative realism, especially as it relates to the reality of time.
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Brain Evolution, Language and Psychopathology in Schizophrenia

Author: Paolo Brambilla,Andrea Marini

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134694423

Category: Psychology

Page: 252

View: 9905

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This book provides a comprehensive review of new developments in the study of language processing and related neural networks in schizophrenia by addressing the complex link between psychopathology, language and evolution at different levels of analysis. Psychopathological symptoms in schizophrenia are mainly characterized by thought and language disorders, which are strictly intertwined. In particular, language is the distinctive dimension of human beings and is ontologically related to brain development. Although normal at the levels of segmental phonology and morphological organization, the speech of patients suffering from schizophrenia is often characterized by flattened intonation and word-finding difficulties. Furthermore, research suggests that the superior temporal gyrus and specific prefrontal areas which support language in humans are altered in people with schizophrenia. Brambilla and Marini bring together international contributors to explore the link between brain evolution and the psychopathological features of schizophrenia, with a focus on language and its neural underpinnings. Divided into three sections the book covers: • brain evolution and language phylogenesis • brain abnormalities in schizophrenia • psychopathology and schizophrenia. This theoretical approach will appeal to professionals including clinical psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, neuropsychiatrists, neuropsychologists, neurolinguists, and researchers considering the links between brain evolution, language and psychopathology in schizophrenia.
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A Short History of Stupid

The Decline of Reason and Why Public Debate Makes Us Want to Scream

Author: Helen Razer,Bernard Keane

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 1743437234

Category: Humor

Page: 336

View: 9077

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How did everything get so dumb? How did we become hostages to idiocy? What must we do to be freed from a captor whose ransom note simply reads, 'D'oh'? The deteriorating quality of our public debate and the dwindling of common sense in media, politics and culture can drive you to despair and rage. It certainly drove writers Helen Razer and Bernard Keane to a desperate act: befriending each other for long enough to write a book. Join forces with these uneasy allies to fight against a world that has lost its reason. Explore what's behind the remorseless spread of idiocy, and why there's just so much damn Stupid around you. Stupid isn't just ignorance; it's not just laziness. Worse than the absence of thought, Stupid is a virus that drains our productivity and leaves us sick and diminished. And Stupid has a long, complex and terrible past, one we need to understand in order to defeat it. A Short History of Stupid traces the origins of this maddening ill, examining the different ways in which we've been afflicted over the last three thousand years. It damns those who have spread Stupid and celebrates the brave few who resisted. It shows how Stupid tightens the grubby grip of the foolish around our throats. Hilarious, smart, unpleasant, infuriating and rude, A Short History of Stupid is at once a provocation and a comfort. It will spark debate, soothe the terminally frustrated and outrage the righteously Stupid. It is a book whose Stupid time has come.
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