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Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking

Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
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The philosophy professor behind Breaking the Spell and Consciousness Explained offers exercises and tools to stretch the mind, offering new ways to consider, discuss and argue positions on dangerous subject matter including evolution, the meaning of life and free will.


From Bacteria to Bach and Back The Evolution of Minds

Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
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"A supremely enjoyable, intoxicating work." —Nature How did we come to have minds? For centuries, poets, philosophers, psychologists, and physicists have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled abilities. Disciples of Darwin have explained how natural selection produced plants, but what about the human mind? In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Daniel C. Dennett builds on recent discoveries from biology and computer science to show, step by step, how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. A crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Competition among memes produced thinking tools powerful enough that our minds don’t just perceive and react, they create and comprehend. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and scientists, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain all those curious about how the mind works.


A Brief Guide to Smart Thinking

Author: James M. Russell
Publisher: Hachette UK
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Each book is summarised to convey a brief idea of what each one has to offer the interested reader, while a 'Speed Read' for each book delivers a quick sense of what each book is like to read and a highly compressed summary of the main points of the book in question. The titles covered include thought-provoking classics on psychology, mindfulness, rationality, the brain, mathematical and economic thought and practical philosophy. The selection includes books about self-improvement as well as historically interesting accounts of how the mind works. Titles included go back as far as the Epictetus classic The Enchiridion and Bertrand Russell's charming The ABC of Relativity, and proceed through classics such as Edward de Bono's Lateral Thinking and into the digital era with titles such as The Shallows and Big Data. The books are arranged chronologically, which draws attention to some of the interesting juxtapositions and connections between them. Some of the titles included are: Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt; Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell; Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari; The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, by Daniel J. Levitin; The Descent of Man, by Grayson Perry; How the Mind Works, by Steven Pinker; Black Box Thinking: Why Some People Never Learn from Their Mistakes - But Some Do, by Matthew Syed; We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond; The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb; Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl; The News: A User's Manual, by Alain de Botton; Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking, by Richard E. Nisbett; The ABC of Relativity, by Bertrand Russell; The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson; The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life, by Michael Puett; A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking; Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, by Tim Harford; Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger; Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis; The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life, by Ben Sherwood; Black Box Thinking, by Matthew Syed; Chaos: Making a New Science, by James Gleick; A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson; The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr; Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality, by Scott Belsky; The Enchiridion, by Epictetus; Gödel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas R. Hofstadter; What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami; and Lateral Thinking, by Edward de Bono.


Nature as Sacred Ground

Author: Donald A. Crosby
Publisher: SUNY Press
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Provides a metaphysical outlook for religious naturalism. Nature as Sacred Ground explores a metaphysics for religious naturalism. Donald A. Crosby discusses major aspects of reality implicit in his ongoing explication of Religion of Nature, a religious outlook that holds the natural world to be only world, one with no supernatural domains, presences, or powers behind it. Nature as thus envisioned is far more than just a system of facts and factual relations. It also has profoundly important valuative dimensions, including what Crosby regards as nature’s intrinsically sacred value. The search for comprehensive metaphysical clarity and understanding is a substantial part of this work’s undertaking. Yet this endeavor also reminds us that, while it is good to think deeply and systematically about major features of reality and their relations to one another, we also need to reflect tirelessly about how to respond to metaphysical concepts that call for decision and action.


The Conquest of Happiness

Author: Bertrand Russell
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
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“Should be read by every parent, teacher, minister, and Congressman in the land.”—The Atlantic In The Conquest of Happiness, first published by Liveright in 1930, iconoclastic philosopher Bertrand Russell attempted to diagnose the myriad causes of unhappiness in modern life and chart a path out of the seemingly inescapable malaise so prevalent even in safe and prosperous Western societies. More than eighty years later, Russell’s wisdom remains as true as it was on its initial release. Eschewing guilt-based morality, Russell lays out a rationalist prescription for living a happy life, including the importance of cultivating interests outside oneself and the dangers of passive pleasure. In this new edition, best-selling philosopher Daniel C. Dennett reintroduces Russell to a new generation, stating that Conquest is both “a fascinating time capsule” and “a prototype of the flood of self-help books that have more recently been published, few of them as well worth reading today as Russell’s little book.”


Novum Organum II

Author: Chris Edwards
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
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In 1620, the British politician and philosopher Francis Bacon published Novum Organum (New Method) and formalized the previously scattershot methods of scientific experimentation into a method able to be replicated. In due time, the Western world would build an intellectual empire on the basis of Bacon’s concepts of scientific research. The West’s university and its scientific and medical systems all stem from Bacon’s philosophy. But after nearly four hundred years; it is time for something new again. In mathematics, theoretical physics, and philosophy, a quiet revolution has begun. Thinkers who can study across disciplines and form analogies, who take seriously the History and Philosophy of Science and its problems of metaphysics and epistemology, have been making impressive breakthroughs. These methods have been, up until now, as random as the process of experimentation was in Bacon’s day. This timely book has come to formalize these methods, build upon Bacon’s scientific research model, and to ultimately go beyond it.


Philosophy Bites Again

Author: David Edmonds
Publisher: OUP Oxford
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Philosophy Bites Again is a brand new selection of interviews from the popular podcast of the same name. It offers engaging and thought-provoking conversations with leading philosophers on a selection of major philosophical issues that affect our lives. Their subjects include pleasure, pain, and humour; consciousness and the self; free will, responsibility, and punishment; the meaning of life and the afterlife. Everyone will find ideas in this book to fascinate, provoke, and inspire them. Philosophy Bites was set up in 2007 by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. It has, to date, over 20 million downloads, and is listened to all over the world.


The Four Horsemen

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Random House
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Is it ever possible to win a war of ideas? Is spirituality the preserve of the religious? Are there any truths you would rather not know? Would you want to see the end of faith? These are all questions that the ‘four horsemen’ of New Atheism, four big thinkers of the twenty-first century, discussed after meeting in person only once. Their electrifying examination of ideas on this remarkable occasion was intense and wide-ranging. Everything that was said as they agreed and disagreed with one another, interrogated ideas and exchanged insights – about religion and atheism, science and sense – speaks with urgency to our present age. The dialogue was recorded, and is now transcribed and presented here with new introductions from the surviving three horsemen. With a sparkling introduction from Stephen Fry, it makes essential reading for all their admirers and for anyone interested in exploring the tensions between faith and reason. Don't miss OUTGROWING GOD by Richard Dawkins, out now . . .


After Sustainability

Author: John Foster
Publisher: Routledge
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Dangerous climate change is coming. Some people still deny that it is happening. Others refuse to recognise that it is now too late to prevent it. But both these reactions spring from the same source: our pathological attachment to ‘progress’, of which sustainability has been one more version. After Sustainability traces that attachment to its roots in the ways we make sense of ourselves. Original and accessible, this is philosophy on the edge, written for anyone who glimpses our environmental tragedy and cares about our future. Does the challenge to stop pretending offer our only remaining chance? Read this book and make up your own mind.


What Should We Be Worried About

Author: Mr. John Brockman
Publisher: Harper Collins
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Drawing from the horizons of science, today's leading thinkers reveal the hidden threats nobody is talking about—and expose the false fears everyone else is distracted by. What should we be worried about? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"—The Guardian), posed to the planet's most influential minds. He asked them to disclose something that, for scientific reasons, worries them—particularly scenarios that aren't on the popular radar yet. Encompassing neuroscience, economics, philosophy, physics, psychology, biology, and more—here are 150 ideas that will revolutionize your understanding of the world. Steven Pinker uncovers the real risk factors for war * Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi peers into the coming virtual abyss * Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek laments our squandered opportunities to prevent global catastrophe * Seth Lloyd calculates the threat of a financial black hole * Alison Gopnik on the loss of childhood * Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why firefighters understand risk far better than economic "experts" * Matt Ridley on the alarming re-emergence of superstition * Daniel C. Dennett and george dyson ponder the impact of a major breakdown of the Internet * Jennifer Jacquet fears human-induced damage to the planet due to "the Anthropocebo Effect" * Douglas Rushkoff fears humanity is losing its soul * Nicholas Carr on the "patience deficit" * Tim O'Reilly foresees a coming new Dark Age * Scott Atran on the homogenization of human experience * Sherry Turkle explores what's lost when kids are constantly connected * Kevin Kelly outlines the looming "underpopulation bomb" * Helen Fisher on the fate of men * Lawrence Krauss dreads what we don't know about the universe * Susan Blackmore on the loss of manual skills * Kate Jeffery on the death of death * plus J. Craig Venter, Daniel Goleman, Virginia Heffernan, Sam Harris, Brian Eno, Martin Rees, and more