Author: Henry P. Stapp
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2004
"Scientists other than quantum physicists often fail to comprehend the enormity of the conceptual change wrought by quantum theory in our basic conception of the nature of matter," writes Henry Stapp. Stapp is a leading quantum physicist who has given particularly careful thought to the implications of the theory that lies at the heart of modern physics. In this book, which contains several of his key papers as well as new material, he focuses on the problem of consciousness and explains how quantum mechanics allows causally effective conscious thought to be combined in a natural way with the physical brain made of neurons and atoms. The book is divided into four sections. The first consists of an extended introduction. Key foundational and somewhat more technical papers are included in the second part, together with a clear exposition of the "orthodox" interpretation of quantum mechanics. The third part addresses, in a non-technical fashion, the implications of the theory for some of the most profound questions that mankind has contemplated: How does the world come to be just what it is and not something else? How should humans view themselves in a quantum universe? What will be the impact on society of the revised scientific image of the nature of man? The final part contains a mathematical appendix for the specialist and a glossary of important terms and ideas for the interested layman. This third edition has been significantly expanded with two new chapters covering the author's most recent work.
In Infinity and the Mind, Rudy Rucker leads an excursion to that stretch of the universe he calls the "Mindscape," where he explores infinity in all its forms: potential and actual, mathematical and physical, theological and mundane. Rucker acquaints us with Gödel's rotating universe, in which it is theoretically possible to travel into the past, and explains an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which billions of parallel worlds are produced every microsecond. It is in the realm of infinity, he maintains, that mathematics, science, and logic merge with the fantastic. By closely examining the paradoxes that arise from this merging, we can learn a great deal about the human mind, its powers, and its limitations. Using cartoons, puzzles, and quotations to enliven his text, Rucker guides us through such topics as the paradoxes of set theory, the possibilities of physical infinities, and the results of Gödel's incompleteness theorems. His personal encounters with Gödel the mathematician and philosopher provide a rare glimpse at genius and reveal what very few mathematicians have dared to admit: the transcendent implications of Platonic realism.
Author: Paul Geyer
Publisher: Königshausen & Neumann
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Critical theory
Einleitung - C. Jünke: Theorie und Praxis einer Kritischen Theorie des Subjekts - Grundlagenreflexion / Methodik - P. Geyer: Kritik des Kritikbegriffs - K. Meyer-Drawe: Zur Doppeldeutigkeit des Subjekts - R. Terdiman: The Subject of the Other: From Alterity to Heterology - K. Röttgers: Autonomes und verführtes Subjekt - Das Subjekt in den Diskursen der Wissenschaft - B. Görlich: Freuds Wissenschaft vom Unbewußten - ihre Bedeutung für eine kritische Theorie des Subjekts - R. Simon: Die nichtsubjektive Sprache des Subjekts in der ästhetischen Erfahrung. Überlegungen zum Begriff der Natur in Adornos Ästhetischer Theorie - P. Weber-Bockholdt: Über das musikalische Hören in Th. W. Adornos Philosophie der neuen Musik - M. Guérin: Visage, autoportrait, portrait (Réflexions sur le jeu des catégories: je, moi, individu, sujet) - B. Gruber: Zur Rolle des Erfahrungsbegriffes in der neueren Literaturwissenschaft. Eine wissenschaftsgeschichtliche Überlegung - M. Klein: Das Menschenbild in der Begriffsjurisprudenz und in der Interessenjurisprudenz - A. Schmitt: Subjektivität und Evolution. Kritische Anmerkungen zu einer kognitionspsychologischen Erklärung von Subjektivität - A. Gierer: Brain, mind, and limitations of a scientific theory of human consciousness - Erscheinungsweisen des Subjekts im 20. Jh. / Archäologie des modernen Subjekts - S. Büttner: Sophokles' Modernität? Subjektivität und Tragik in der Sophokleischen Elektra - V. Ehrich-Haefeli: Transformationen des Begehrens am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts: Zur psychohistorischen Archäologie der modernen Individualität (Lessing, Wieland, Maler Müller) - G. Mensching: "Urgeschichte des Subjekts" - Variationen über ein Thema von Adorno - F. Spadini: Kulturelles Gedächtnis. Thomas Manns Auseinandersetzung mit der deutschen Identität - Entwürfe des 20. Jahrhunderts - M. Schmitz-Emans: Subjekt und Sprache - J. Leenhardt: Subjektkonstitution im literarischen Austausch - R. Zaiser: Prousts A la recherche du temps perdu: Die epistemologische Krise des Subjekts und ihre Aufhebung in der Leibhaftigkeit des Seins - S. Friedrich: Fokussierungen: Sinnliche Wahrnehmung und ihre Medialisierung in der spanischen Lyrik des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts - N. Würzbach: Identitätskonstitution durch Raumerleben in der englischen Erzählliteratur des Modernismus - M. Messmer: Intersubjectivity as a Way toward Ideology Critique in Virginia Woolf's The Waves - L. Higgins & M.-Chr. Leps : Writing subjects of governance - Woolf and Foucault - H.-G. Pott: Das Subjekt bei Robert Musil - V. Kapp: Individuelles und historisches Bewußtsein in Malraux' La Condition humaine - H. Antor: International Involvement and the Growth of a Canadian Identity in Hugh MacLennan's Barometer Rising - K. Kramer: Praktiken des Raumes: Zur topologischen Konstitution des ästhetischen Subjekts im Prosagedicht Henri Michaux' - P. Geyer: Der existenzielle Ernst des Absurden. Das menschliche Subjekt angesichts seiner Auslöschung - P. Oster: Nathalie Sarraute und Jean-Paul Sartre oder Subjektkonstitution im Zeitalter des Mißtrauens - C. Jünke: Unzuverlässiges Erzählen und Subjektkritik - Cinco horas con Mario von Miguel Delibes - W. Matzat: Subjektivitätsmodellierung im Roman: Eine gattungsgeschichtliche Skizze mit einem Blick auf das Verhältnis von Individuum und Gesellschaft bei Jean-Philippe Toussaint - R. Emans: Personalstil versus Zeitstil in der Musik - Versuchungen der Postmoderne - A. Gutenberg: Uneasy Alliances: The Subject of Feminism and Postmodernism in Theory and the Novel - P. Torrin: De la Crypte aux Fantômes. La transmission historique de l'inconscient - A. v. Graevenitz Der tatsächliche Tod des Subjekts in der Inszenierung seines Kunstwerks als Herausforderung an das wahrnehmende Subjekt - R. Hagenbüchle: Das Ende des 'bürgerlichen' Subjekts: Kulturwandel als Paradi
Author: Victor J. Stenger
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release Date: 2012-04-03
A thorough and hard-hitting critique that is a must read for anyone interested in the interaction between religion and science. It has become the prevalent view among sociologists, historians, and some theistic scientists that religion and science have never been in serious conflict. Some even claim that Christianity was responsible for the development of science. In a sweeping historical survey that begins with ancient Greek science and proceeds through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to contemporary advances in physics and cosmology, Stenger makes a convincing case that not only is this conclusion false, but Christianity actually held back the progress of science for one thousand years. It is significant, he notes, that the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century occurred only after the revolts against established ecclesiastic authorities in the Renaissance and Reformation opened up new avenues of thought. The author goes on to detail how religion and science are fundamentally incompatible in several areas: the origin of the universe and its physical parameters, the origin of complexity, holism versus reductionism, the nature of mind and consciousness, and the source of morality. In the end, Stenger is most troubled by the negative influence that organized religion often exerts on politics and society. He points out antiscientific attitudes embedded in popular religion that are being used to suppress scientific results on issues of global importance, such as overpopulation and environmental degradation. When religion fosters disrespect for science, it threatens the generations of humanity that will follow ours.
What is it for you to be conscious? There is no agreement whatever in philosophy or science: it has remained a hard problem, a mystery. Is this partly or mainly owed to the existing theories not even having the same subject, not answering the same question? In Actual Consciousness, Ted Honderich sets out to supersede dualisms, objective physicalisms, abstract functionalism, externalisms, and other positions in the debate. He argues that the theory of Actualism, right or wrong, is unprecedented, in nine ways. (1) It begins from gathered data and proceeds to an adequate initial clarification of consciousness in the primary ordinary sense. This consciousness is summed up as something's being actual. (2) Like basic science, Actualism proceeds from this metaphorical or figurative beginning to what is wholly literal and explicit—constructed answers to the questions of what is actual and what it is for it to be actual. (3) In so doing, the theory respects the differences of consciousness within perception, consciousness that is thinking in a generic sense, and consciousness that is generic wanting. (4) What is actual with your perceptual consciousness is a subjective physical world out there, very likely a room, differently real from the objective physical world, that other division of the physical world. (5) What it is for the myriad subjective physical worlds to be actual is for them to be subjectively physical, which is exhaustively characterized. (6) What is actual with cognitive and affective consciousness is affirmed or valued representations. The representations being actual, which is essential to their nature, is their being differently subjectively physical from the subjective physical worlds. (7) Actualism, naturally enough when you think of it, but unlike any other existing general theory of consciousness, is thus externalist with perceptual consciousness but internalist with respect to cognitive and affective consciousness. (8) It satisfies rigorous criteria got from examination of the failures of the existing theories. In particular, it explains the role of subjectivity in thinking about consciousness, including a special subjectivity that is individuality. (9) Philosophers and scientists have regularly said that thinking about consciousness requires just giving up the old stuff and starting again. Actualism does this. Science is served by this main line philosophy, which is concentration on the logic of ordinary intelligence—clarity, consistency and validity, completeness, generality.
A collection of essays on the relation between the conscious mind and the body. In this text, philosopher Robert Van Gulick gives a clear overview and comparison on "emergent" and "reductive" approaches, while others discuss more detailed aspects.
Author: Colin McGinn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1997-08-28
In Minds and Bodies, Colin McGinn offers proof that contemporary philosophy, in the hands of a consummate reviewer, can be the occasion not only sharp critical assessment, but also writing so clear and engaging that readers with no special background in the subject but simply a taste for challenging idea can feel welcome. Gathering nearly forty review-essays printed mainly in nonspecialist publications over the past twenty years, McGinn, a distinguished philosopher and teacher, measures the best of recent Anglo-American philosophical writing, considering books by Thomas Nagel, John Searle, and Daniel Dennett, among others, and navigating with energy and wit important new work in ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. Opening with a section on philosophical lives--books written on or by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, Charles Peirce, and A. J. Ayer-- McGinn moves to the question of consciousness, offering readers two dozen crisp and provocative pieces on work seeking to define and illuminate the mind, its activity, and its relation to the world of physical objects. Closing with a section on ethics, McGinn brings a bold and sharply original perspective to argument in such controversial areas as animal rights and feminist moral theory. A bracing collection of masterfully written reviews that together form an accessible picture of philosophy as it is practiced today, Minds and Bodies makes permanent the critical reflections of a gifted philosopher and writer and is destined to find an appreciative audience both within the philosophical community and in the wider culture of intellectually curious readers.
Quantum mechanics stands as one of the most remarkable achievements of the 20th century, providing startling insight into the nature of matter and a spectacularly successful predictive theory. However, while the predictive ability of the quantum theory has been rigorously tested time and again, so that it now satisfies any criterion of reliability as a tool of scientific inquiry, fundamental difficulties remain with its interpretation. The Mystery of the Quantum World, Second Edition introduces the philosophical issues raised by the success of the quantum theory and lucidly outlines the different points of view adopted by various physicists striving to understand the meaning underlying the theories used every day. The author encourages you to see how the most successful of physical theories is relevant to issues outside physics. Revised and expanded, this edition includes a new chapter that introduces the most important of the recent developments in quantum theory. The authoritative selection of topics ensures that readers already familiar with the first edition of the book will extend their knowledge of quantum theory, and those with no previous knowledge acquire an insight into this fascinating world.
Author: Peter Watson
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2013-10-17
A history of the twentieth century which covers all the ideas, people, great events, literary and artistic movements, scientific discoveries which have shaped the twentieth century. Terrible Beauty presents a unique narrative of the twentieth century. Unlike more conventional histories, where the focus is on political events and personalities, on wars, treaties and elections, this book concentrates on the ideas that made the century so rich, rewarding and provocative. Beginning with four seminal ideas which were introduced in 1900 - the unconscious, the gene, the quantum and Picasso's first paintings in Paris - the book brings together the main areas of thought and juxtaposes the most original and influential ideas of our time in an immensely readable narrative. From the creation of plastic to Norman Mailer, from the discovery of the 'Big Bang' to the Counterculture, from Relativity to Susan Sontag, from Proust to Salman Rushdie, and Henri Bergson to Saul Bellow, the book's range is encyclopedic. We meet in these pages the other twentieth century, the writers, the artists, the scientists and philosophers who were not cowed by the political and military disasters raging around them, and produced some of the most amazing and rewarding ideas by which we live. Terrible Beauty, endlessly stimulating and provocative, affirms that there was much more to the twentieth century than war and genocide.
Author: William Jaworski
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-02-16
Philosophy of Mind introduces readers to one of the liveliest fields in contemporary philosophy by discussing mind-body problems and the various solutions to them. It provides a detailed yet balanced overview of the entire field that enables readers to jump immediately into current debates. Treats a wide range of mind-body theories and arguments in a fair and balanced way Shows how developments in neuroscience, biology, psychology, and cognitive science have impacted mind-body debates Premise-by-premise arguments for and against each position enable readers to grasp the structure of each argument quickly and easily Diagrams and illustrations help readers absorb the more complex ideas Bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter bring readers up to date on the latest literature Written in a clear, easy to read style that is free of technical jargon, and highly accessible to a broad readership The only book to explain systematically how a hylomorphic theory such as Aristotle’s can contribute to current mind-body debates and vie with current mind-body theories Online chapters on free will and the philosophy of persons make the book a flexible teaching tool for general and introductory philosophy courses - available at www.wiley.com/go/jaworski
Author: Ned Joel Block
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 1997
This text is an introduction to consciousness which aims to impose structure on the relating philosophical literature. There are sections covering stream of consciousness, theoretical issues, function of consciousness, subjectivity and the explanatory gap, the knowledge argument and qualia.
Author: Frank Wilczek
Publisher: World Scientific
Release Date: 2006
The fantastic reality that is modern physics is open for your exploration, guided by one of its primary architects and interpreters, Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek. Some jokes, some poems, and extracts from wife Betsy Devine's sparkling chronicle of what it's like to live through a Nobel Prize provide easy entertainment. There's also some history, some philosophy, some exposition of frontier science, and some frontier science, for your lasting edification. 49 pieces, including many from Wilczek's award-winning Reference Frame columns in Physics Today, and some never before published, are gathered by style and subject into a dozen chapters, each with a revealing, witty introduction. Profound ideas, presented with style: What could be better? Enjoy.
Author: Christopher L. Fisher
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2010-02-03
The medieval worldview that regarded human beings as at the center of God's plans for His universe has long been regarded as obsolete; its synthesis of Christian theology and Greek philosophy having collapsed under the weight of Copernicus, Galileo, and Darwin. The popular stereotype is that Science, both in the Copernican revolution that dethroned the earth-centered view of the cosmos and in subsequent developments in evolutionary theory and general relativity, has marginalized and trivialized human existence, revealing humanity's place in the cosmos to be accidental, peripheral, and ultimately meaningless. However, an investigation into both modern Christian theology and contemporary twenty-first century Science reveals just the opposite, providing solid evidence in the interdisciplinary dialogue concerning the significance of humanity within the universe. In this important study, Christopher Fisher analyzes several modern theologians, including Wolfhart Pannenberg, Karl Rahner, and John Zizioulas, to reveal how contemporary ecumenical theology is deeply and intrinsically committed to a high view of human cosmic significance as a consequence of Christianity's indelible Trinitarian and incarnational faith. Fisher then demonstrates how research in contemporary natural Science confirms this finding in its own way, as recent primate intelligence studies, artificial intelligence research, and even the quest for extra-terrestrial intelligence reveal the wonder of human uniqueness. A contemporary version of the teleological argument also resurfaces in consideration of cosmic evolutionary perspectives on human existence. Even ecological concerns take on a new poignancy with the realization that, among material creatures, only human beings are capable of addressing the world's situation. This interdisciplinary study uncovers the surprising coherence and convergence of Christian Theology and Natural Science on the subject of human existence and significance here at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and it highlights the very unique role of humanity in global and cosmic history.