Minds Make Societies

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Minds Make Societies

Minds Make Societies

How Cognition Explains the World Humans Create

  • Author: Pascal Boyer
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • ISBN: 0300235178
  • Category: Psychology
  • Page: 320
  • View: 8650
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A watershed book that masterfully integrates insights from evolutionary biology, genetics, psychology, economics, and more to explore the development and workings of human societies “There is no good reason why human societies should not be described and explained with the same precision and success as the rest of nature.” Thus argues evolutionary psychologist Pascal Boyer in this uniquely innovative book. Integrating recent insights from evolutionary biology, genetics, psychology, economics, and other fields, Boyer offers precise models of why humans engage in social behaviors such as forming families, tribes, and nations, or creating gender roles. In fascinating, thought-provoking passages, he explores questions such as, Why is there conflict between groups? Why do people believe low-value information such as rumors? Why are there religions? What is social justice? What explains morality? Boyer provides a new picture of cultural transmission that draws on the pragmatics of human communication, the constructive nature of memory in human brains, and human motivation for group formation and cooperation.

Hearing Voices and Other Matters of the Mind

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Hearing Voices and Other Matters of the Mind

Hearing Voices and Other Matters of the Mind

What Mental Abnormalities Can Teach Us about Religions

  • Author: Robert N. McCauley,George Graham
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN: 0190091142
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 280
  • View: 9590
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"McCauley and Graham endorse an Ecumenical Naturalism toward all cognition, which will illuminate the long-recognized and striking similarities between features of mental disorders and features of religions. The authors emphasize underlying cognitive continuities between familiar features of religiosity, of mental disorders, and of everyday thinking and action. They contend that much religious thought and behavior can be explained in terms of the cultural activation of maturationally natural cognitive systems, which address fundamental problems of human survival, encompassing such capacities as hazard precautions, agency detection, language processing, and theory of mind. The associated skills are not taught and appear independent of general intelligence. Religions' representations cue such systems' operations. The authors hypothesize that in doing so they sometimes elicit responses that mimic features of cognition and conduct associated with mental disorders. Both in schizophrenia and in religions some people hear alien voices. The inability of depressed participants to communicate with or sense their religions' powerful, caring gods can exacerbate their depression. Often religions can domesticate the concerns and compulsions of people with OCD. Religions' rituals and pronouncements about moral thought-action fusion can temporarily evoke similar obsessions and compulsions in the general population. A chapter is devoted to each of these and to the exception that proves the rule. The authors argue that if Autistic Spectrum Disorder involves theory of mind deficits, then people with ASD will lack intuitive insight and find inferences with many religious representations challenging. Ecumenical Naturalism's approach to mental abnormalities and religiosity promises both explanatory and therapeutic understanding"--

Steering Human Evolution

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Steering Human Evolution

Steering Human Evolution

Eighteen Theses on Homo Sapiens Metamorphosis

  • Author: Yehezkel Dror
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • ISBN: 1000055590
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 198
  • View: 2398
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Humanity must steer its evolution. As human knowledge moves a step ahead of Darwin’s theories, this book presents the emergence of human-made meta-evolution shaping our alternative futures. This novel process poses fateful challenges to humanity, which require regulation of emerging science and technology which may endanger the future of our species. However, to do so successfully, a novel ‘humanity-craft’ has to be developed; main ideologies and institutions need redesign; national sovereignty has to be limited; a decisive global regime becomes essential; some revaluation of widely accepted norms becomes essential; and a novel type of political leader, based on merit in addition to public support, is urgently needed. Taking into account the strength of nationalism and vested interests, it may well be that only catastrophes will teach humanity to metamorphose into a novel epoch without too high transition costs. But initial steps, such as United Nation reforms, are urgent in order to contain calamities and may soon become feasible. Being both interdisciplinary and based on personal experience of the author, this book adds up to a novel paradigm on steering human evolution. It will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of modern history, evolution sciences, future studies, political science, philosophy of action, and science and technology. It will also be of wide appeal to the general reader anxious about the future of life on Earth. Comments on the Corona pandemic add to the book’s concrete significance.

On Trade Justice

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On Trade Justice

On Trade Justice

A Philosophical Plea for a New Global Deal

  • Author: Mathias Risse,Gabriel Wollner
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0192574361
  • Category: Political Science
  • Page: 288
  • View: 3825
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Trade has made the world. Still, trade remains an elusive and profoundly difficult area for philosophical thought. This novel account of trade justice makes ideas about exploitation central, giving pride of place to philosophical ideas about global justice but also contributing to moral disputes about practical questions. On Trade Justice is a philosophical plea for a new global deal, in continuation of, but also at appropriate distance to, post-war efforts to design a fair global-governance system in the spirit of the American New Deal of the 1930s. This book is written in the tradition of contemporary analytical philosophy but also puts its subject into a historical perspective to motivate its relevance. It covers the subject of trade justice from its theoretical foundations to a number of specific issues on which the authors' account throws light. The state as an actor in the domain of global justice is central to the discussion but it also explores the obligations of business extensively, recognizing the importance of the modern corporation for trade. Topics such as wages injustice, collusion with authoritarian regimes, relocation decisions, and obligations arising from interaction with suppliers and sub-contractors all enter prominently. Another central actor in the domain of trade is the World Trade Organization. The WTO needs to see itself as an agent of justice. This book explores how this organization should be reformed in light of the proposals it makes. In particular, the WTO needs to endorse a human-rights and development-oriented mandate. Overall, this book hopes to make a theoretical contribution to the creation of an exploitation-free world.

Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference

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Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference

Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference

  • Author: Cordelia Fine
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN: 9780393079258
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 304
  • View: 2082
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“[Fine’s] sharp tongue is tempered with humor. . . . Read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.”—The New York Times It’s the twenty-first century, and although we tried to rear unisex children—boys who play with dolls and girls who like trucks—we failed. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. And everywhere we hear about vitally important “hardwired” differences between male and female brains. The neuroscience that we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains, and the result is more often than not a validation of the status quo. Women, it seems, are just too intuitive for math; men too focused for housework. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Cordelia Fine debunks the myth of hardwired differences between men’s and women’s brains, unraveling the evidence behind such claims as men’s brains aren’t wired for empathy and women’s brains aren’t made to fix cars. She then goes one step further, offering a very different explanation of the dissimilarities between men’s and women’s behavior. Instead of a “male brain” and a “female brain,” Fine gives us a glimpse of plastic, mutable minds that are continuously influenced by cultural assumptions about gender. Passionately argued and unfailingly astute, Delusions of Gender provides us with a much-needed corrective to the belief that men’s and women’s brains are intrinsically different—a belief that, as Fine shows with insight and humor, all too often works to the detriment of ourselves and our society.

Human Sin Or Social Sin

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Human Sin Or Social Sin

Human Sin Or Social Sin

Evolutionary Psychology, Plato and the Christian Logic of Sociology

  • Author: Paul Dachslager
  • Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • ISBN: 9781530322695
  • Category:
  • Page: 370
  • View: 3693
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--The Book That Caused a Scientific Revolution-- Is the West today a unified or diverse culture? The orthodox position is that we should be strictly unified around the ideal of diversity. The idealistic vision is that we achieve redemption by angrily rejecting our immoral, fallen history, and lovingly embrace the sunny future of diversity. Heaven is Nature and the perfectly loving and diverse future; Hell is the disdainful and divisive past. Today, ethical and scientific facts that imply hellish disdain, and not love, are experienced as domineering or a "hegemonic discourse" and are worthy of attack: "Subvert the Dominant Paradigm!"-Walter Burkert, the eminent historian of religion said of this model, "Many thanks for the startlingly insights." The nineteenth century was unified by exalting high culture and disliking nature and diversity. We today have inverted this; we are unified by disdain for high culture, and love for nature and diversity: so joyful, altruistic feelings exist between those in the group who embrace the new unity-but they direct antagonism toward outsiders. Today's new unity, as described in Human Sin or Social Sin, inspired evolutionary psychologists to reconsider the theory of group selection for altruism. Two of the central theses in the book have passed peer review by the Human Behavior and Evolution Society. Appendix one contains two paper abstracts that can be cited. "For the select few who appreciate a masterful weaving of history, philosophy and the arts (from grand opera to the movies) the book is a tour de force. Reading it is like a return to college. For those concerned about the state of modern life, it is a must read." -Robert Weissberg, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, New York University. "Modern sleep and dream science teaches us, as does Human Sin or Social Sin that all human activity, including art and politics are products of the human brain and that each of us has the privilege and responsibility of using it actively and communicating its creations." -Dr. J. Allan Hobson, Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School, author of Dreaming: An Introduction to the Science of Sleep (Oxford University Press, 2004). "Paul Dachslager might as well have added the subtitle to his book "The Changing Nature of Western Symbolism." The author focuses on the shifts in the meanings of Western symbols, be they of ethical or aesthetical nature, and he explains their different interpretations within different socio-political epochs. The author displays considerable erudition as he puts his description into a wider historical perspective. The work is backed by solid bibliography and numerous quotations from classics. The Western man's obsession with the feelings of guilt and self-hate, which the author depicts in a very succinct manner, might qualify his book as a sequel to Spengler's and Toynbee's premonitions of the final death of the West." - Dr. Tom Sunic, Author of Postmortem Report: Cultural Examinations from Postmodernity.

Culture in Minds and Societies

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Culture in Minds and Societies

Culture in Minds and Societies

Foundations of Cultural Psychology

  • Author: Jaan Valsiner
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications India
  • ISBN: 8132101383
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 434
  • View: 6119
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In short, Culture in Minds and Societies: Foundations of Cultural Psychology presents a new look at the relationship between people and society, produces a semiotic theory of cultural psychology and provides a dynamic treatment of culture in human lives. This book makes a decisive break from the post-modernist theoretical framework that considers knowledge as local and situation-specific. It restores the goal of construction of general knowledge to the social sciences. While recognizing the uniqueness of all human personal experience from birth to death, it emphasizes the universality of cultural organization of human minds and societies.

Meaning in Mind and Society

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Meaning in Mind and Society

Meaning in Mind and Society

A Functional Contribution to the Social Turn in Cognitive Linguistics

  • Author: Peter Harder
  • Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
  • ISBN: 3110216051
  • Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Page: 527
  • View: 2176
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Meaning is embodied - but it is also social. If Cognitive Linguistics is to be a complete theory of language in use, it must cover the whole spectrum from grounded cognition to discourse struggles and bullshit. This book tries to show how. Cognitive Linguistics knocked down the wall between language and the experiential content of the human mind. Frame semantics, embodiment, conceptual construal, figure-ground organization, metaphorical mapping, and mental spaces are among the results of this breakthrough, which at the same time provided cognitive science as a whole with an essential human dimension. A new phase began when Cognitive Linguistics started to see itself as part of the wider movement of 'usage-based' linguistics. Bringing about an alliance between mind and discourse, it complemented the conceptual dimension that had been dominant until then with a 'use' dimension - thereby living up to the explicit 'experiential' commitment of Cognitive Linguistics. This outward expansion is continuing: The focus on 'meaning construction', which began with the theory of blending, highlights emergent, online effects rather than underlying mappings. Cognitive Linguistics is integrating the evolutionary perspective, which links up individual and population-based features of language. The empirical obligations incurred by this expansion have led to greatly increased attention to corpus and experimental methods, especially in relation to sociolinguistic and language acquisition research. The book describes this development and goes on to discuss the foundational challenge that it creates for Cognitive Linguistics as it begins to cover issues that are also central to types of discourse analysis focusing on social processes of determination. The book argues for a synthesis based on a renewed Cognitive Linguistics, which can accommodate everything from bodily grounding to deconstructible floating signifiers in an integrated complete picture, which also covers the roles of arbitrariness and structure.

Luhmann Explained

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Luhmann Explained

Luhmann Explained

From Souls to Systems

  • Author: Hans-Georg Moeller
  • Publisher: Open Court
  • ISBN: 0812697510
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 312
  • View: 3875
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What are systems? What is society? What happens to human beings in a hypermodern world? This book is an introduction to Niklas Luhmann's social system theory which explains specific functions like economy and mass media from a cybernetic perspective. Integrating various schools of thought including sociology, philosophy and biology Luhmann Explained results in an overall analysis of "world society". Special attention is given to the present-day relevance of Luhmann's theory with respect to globalization, electronic mass media, ethics, and new forms of protest.

The Contact Between Minds

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The Contact Between Minds

The Contact Between Minds

A Metaphysical Hypothesis

  • Author: Cecil Delisle Burns
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: N.A
  • Category: Intellect
  • Page: 138
  • View: 4264
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