It has long been one of the most fundamental problems of philosophy, and it is now, John Searle writes, "the most important problem in the biological sciences" What is consciousness? Is my inner awareness of myself something separate from my body?In what began as a series of essays in The New York Review of Books, John Searle evaluates the positions on consciousness of such well-known scientists and philosophers as Francis Crick, Gerald Edelman, Roger Penrose, Daniel Dennett, David Chalmers, and Israel Rosenfield. He challenges claims that the mind works like a computer, and that brain functions can be reproduced by computer programs. With a sharp eye for confusion and contradiction, he points out which avenues of current research are most likely to come up with a biological examination of how conscious states are caused by the brain. Only when we understand how the brain works will we solve the mystery of consciousness, and only then will we begin to understand issues ranging from artificial intelligence to our very nature as human beings.
An expert on sociobiology and biodiversity argues for the fundamental unity of all knowledge in the face of the increasing fragmentation and specialization of knowledge over the past two centuries
Michel Foucult offers an iconoclastic exploration of why we feel compelled to continually analyze and discuss sex, and of the social and mental mechanisms of power that cause us to direct the questions of what we are to what our sexuality is.
Now in paperback, Fredric Jameson's most wide-ranging work seeks to crystalize a definition of "postmodernism". Jameson's inquiry looks at the postmodern across a wide landscape, from "high" art to "low" from market ideology to architecture, from painting to "punk" film, from video art to literature.
Revered and reviled, Leo Strauss has left a rich legacy of work that continues to spark discussion and controversy. This volume of essays ranges over critical themes that define Strauss's thought: the tension between reason and revelation in the Western tradition, the philsophical roots of liberal democracy, and especially the conflicting yet complementary relationship between ancient and modern liberalism. For those seeking to become acquainted with this provocative thinker, one need look no further.
These lectures represent the final, and in some ways the decisive, element of Hegel's entire philosophical system. This volume contains Hegel's philosophical interpretation of the history of religions, specifically of primitive religion, the religion of ancient China, Buddhism, Hinduism, Persian and Egyptian religions, and Jewish, Greek and Roman religion.
A startling look at one of this century's most influential philosophers, the book chronicles every stage of Foucault's personal and professional odyssey, from his early interest in dreams to his final preoccupation with sexuality and the nature of personal identity.
The first novel of Sartre's monumental Roads to Freedom series, The Age of Reason is set in 1938 and tells of Mathieu, a French professor of philosophy who is obsessed with the idea of freedom. As the shadows of the Second World War draw closer -- even as his personal life is complicated by his mistress's pregnancy -- his search for a way to remain free becomes more and more intense.
In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today. The New York Times called this national best-seller an "intellectual thriller."