Consciousness: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Susan Blackmore

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198794738

Category: Philosophy

Page: 152

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Consciousness, "the last great mystery for science," remains a hot topic. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion? Exciting new developments in brain science are continuing the debates on these issues, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This controversial book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments, and the major theories, whilst also outlining the amazing pace of discoveries in neuroscience. Covering areas such as the construction of self in the brain, mechanisms of attention, the neural correlates of consciousness, and the physiology of altered states of consciousness, Susan Blackmore highlights our latest findings. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Thought: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Tim Bayne

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199601720

Category: Philosophy

Page: 126

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"In this lively Very Short Introduction, Tim Bayne explores the nature of thought. Drawing on research from philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology, he examines what we know--and what we don't know--about one of the defining features of human nature: our capacity for thought."--Page 2 of cover.

Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Mumford

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191640263

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

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Metaphysics is one of the traditional four main branches of philosophy, alongside ethics, logic and epistemology. It is also an area that continues to attract and hold a fascination for many people yet it is associated with being complex and abstract. For some it is associated with the mystical or religious. For others it is known through the metaphysical poets who talk of love and spirituality. This Very Short Introduction goes right to the heart of the matter, getting to the basic and most important questions of metaphysical thought in order to understand the theory: What are objects? Do colours and shapes have some form of existence? What is it for one thing to cause another rather than just being associated with it? What is possible? Does time pass? By using these questions to initiate thought about the basic issues around substance, properties, changes, causes, possibilities, time, personal identity, nothingness and emergentism, Stephen Mumford provides a clear and simple path through this analytical tradition at the core of philosophical thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Free Will: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Thomas Pink

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192853589

Category: Philosophy

Page: 132

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Every day we seem to make and act upon all kinds of free choices - but are these choices really free? Or are we compelled to act the way we do by factors beyond our control? This book looks at free will.

Emotion: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Dylan Evans

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191579319

Category: Psychology

Page: 160

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Was love invented by European poets in the Middle Ages or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: The Science of Sentiment takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Happiness: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Daniel M. Haybron

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191654337

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

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Happiness is an everyday term in our lives, and most of us strive to be happy. But defining happiness can be difficult. In this Very Short Introduction, Dan Haybron considers the true nature of happiness. By examining what it is, assessing its importance in our lives, and how we can (and should) pursue it, he considers the current thinking on happiness, from psychology to philosophy. Illustrating the diverse routes to happiness, Haybron reflects on contemporary ideas about the pursuit of a good life and considers the influence of social context on our satisfaction and well-being. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Dreaming: A Very Short Introduction

Author: J. Allan Hobson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019157760X

Category: Psychology

Page: 168

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What is dreaming, and what causes it? Why are dreams so strange and why are they so hard to remember? Replacing dream mystique with modern dream science, J. Allan Hobson provides a new and increasingly complete picture of how dreaming is created by the brain. Focusing on dreaming to explain the mechanisms of sleep, this book explores how the new science of dreaming is affecting theories in psychoanalysis, and how it is helping our understanding of the causes of mental illness. J. Allan Hobson investigates his own dreams to illustrate and explain some of the fascinating discoveries of modern sleep science, while challenging some of the traditionally accepted theories about the meaning of dreams. He reveals how dreaming maintains and develops the mind, why we go crazy in our dreams in order to avoid doing so when we are awake, and why sleep is not just good for health but essential for life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nothing: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Frank Close

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199225869

Category: History

Page: 157

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An exploration of the concept of "nothing" journeys from ancient ideas and cultural traditions to the latest scientific research, discussing the history of the vacuum, theories on the nature of time and space, and other discoveries.

Cognitive Neuroscience

Author: Richard Passingham

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198786220

Category:

Page: 152

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Up to the 1960s, psychology was deeply under the influence of behaviourism, which focused on stimuli and responses, and regarded consideration of what may happen in the mind as unapproachable scientifically. This began to change with the devising of methods to try to tap into what was going on in the 'black box' of the mind, and the development of 'cognitive psychology'. With the study of patients who had suffered brain damage or injury to limited parts of the brain, outlines of brain components and processes began to take shape, and by the end of the 1970s, a new science, cognitive neuroscience, was born. But it was with the development of ways of accessing activation of the working brain using imaging techniques such as PET and fMRI that cognitive neuroscience came into its own, as a science cutting across psychology and neuroscience, with strong connections to philosophy of mind. Experiments involving subjects in scanners while doing various tasks, thinking, problem solving, and remembering are shedding light on the brain processes involved. The research is exciting and new, and often makes media headlines. But there is much misunderstanding about what brain imaging tells us, and the interpretation of studies on cognition. In this Very Short Introduction Richard Passingham, a distinguished cognitive neuroscientist, gives a provocative and exciting account of the nature and scope of this relatively new field, and the techniques available to us, focusing on investigation of the human brain. He explains what brain imaging shows, pointing out common misconceptions, and gives a brief overview of the different aspects of human cognition: perceiving, attending, remembering, reasoning, deciding, and acting. Passingham concludes with a discussion of the exciting advances that may lie ahead. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Learning: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Mark Haselgrove

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019151277X

Category: Psychology

Page: 144

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What is learning? How does it take place? What happens when it goes wrong? The topic of learning has been central to the development of the science of psychology since its inception. Without learning there can be no memory, no language and no intelligence. Indeed it is rather difficult to imagine a part of psychology, or neuroscience, that learning does not touch upon. In this Very Short Introduction Mark Haselgrove describes learning from the perspective of associative theories of classical and instrumental conditioning, and considers why these are the dominant, and best described analyses of learning in contemporary psychology. Tracing the origins of these theories, he discusses the techniques used to study learning in both animals and humans, and considers the importance of learning for animal behaviour and survival. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Perception: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Brian J. Rogers,Brian Rogers

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198791003

Category:

Page: 184

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Perception is one of the oldest and most deeply investigated topics in the field of psychology, and it also raises some profound philosophical questions. It is concerned with how we use the information reaching our senses to guide and control our behavior as well as to create our particular, subjective experiences of the surrounding world. In this Very Short Introduction, Brian J. Rogers discusses the philosophical question of what it means to perceive, as well as describing how we are able to perceive the particular characteristics of objects and scenes such as their lightness, color, form, depth, and motion. What we perceive, however, does not always correspond to what exists in the world and, as Rogers shows, the study of illusions can be useful in telling us something about the nature and limitations of our perceptual processes. Rogers also explores perception from an evolutionary perspective, explaining how evolutionary pressures have shaped the perceptual systems of humans and other animals. He shows that perception is not necessarily a separate and independent process but rather part of a "perceptual system," involving both the extraction of perceptual information and the control of action. Rogers goes on to cover the significant progress made recently in the understanding of perception through the use of precise and controlled psychophysical methods, single cell recordings, and imaging techniques. There have also been many insights from attempts to model perceptual processes in artificial systems. As Rogers shows, these attempts have revealed how difficult it is to program machines to perform even the most simple of perceptual tasks that we take for granted. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Psychology of Music

Author: Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0190640154

Category: Music

Page: 160

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Music has been examined from multiple perspectives: as a product of human history, for example, or a product of human culture. But there is also a long tradition, intensified in recent decades, of thinking about music as a product of the human mind. Whether considering composition, performance, listening, or appreciation, the constraints and capabilities of the human mind play a formative role. The field that has emerged around this approach is known as the psychology of music. Written in a lively and accessible manner, this volume connects the science to larger questions about music that are of interest to practicing musicians, music therapists, musicologists, and the general public alike. For example: Why can one musical performance move an audience to tears, and another compel them to dance, clap, or snap along? How does a "hype" playlist motivate someone at the gym? And why is that top-40 song stuck in everyone's head? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Consciousness

An Introduction

Author: Susan Blackmore,Emily T. Troscianko

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317625862

Category: Psychology

Page: 618

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Is there a theory that explains the essence of consciousness? Or is consciousness itself an illusion? Am I conscious now? Now considered the 'last great mystery of science', consciousness was once viewed with extreme scepticism and rejected by mainstream scientists. It is now a significant area of research, albeit a contentious one, as well as a rapidly expanding area of study for students of psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience. This edition of Consciousness, revised by author team Susan Blackmore and Emily Troscianko, explores the key theories and evidence in consciousness studies ranging from neuroscience and psychology to quantum theories and philosophy. It examines why the term ‘consciousness’ has no recognised definition and provides an opportunity to delve into personal intuitions about the self, mind, and consciousness. Featuring comprehensive coverage of all core topics in the field, this edition includes: Why the problem of consciousness is so hard Neuroscience and the neural correlates of consciousness Why we might be mistaken about our own minds The apparent difference between conscious and unconscious Theories of attention, free will, and self and other The evolution of consciousness in animals and machines Altered states from meditation to drugs and dreaming Complete with key concept boxes, profiles of well-known thinkers, and questions and activities suitable for both independent study and group work, Consciousness provides a complete introduction to this fascinating field. Additional resources are available on the accompanying companion website: www.routledge.com/cw/blackmore ?

Drugs

Author: Les Iversen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745796

Category:

Page: 144

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The twentieth century saw a remarkable upsurge of research on drugs, with major advances in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections, heart disease, stomach ulcers, cancer, and metal illnesses. These, along with the introduction of the oral contraceptive, have altered all of our lives. There has also been an increase in the recreational use and abuse of drugs in the Western world. This Very Short Introduction, in its second edition, gives a non-technical account of how drugs work in the body. Reviewing both legal (alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine) and illegal drugs, Les Iversen disscusses why some are addictive, and whether drug laws need reform. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jennifer Nagel

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191637319

Category: Philosophy

Page: 152

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What is knowledge? How does it differ from mere belief? Do you need to be able to justify a claim in order to count as knowing it? How can we know that the outer world is real and not a dream? Questions like these are ancient ones, and the branch of philosophy dedicated to answering them - epistemology - has been active for thousands of years. In this thought-provoking Very Short Introduction, Jennifer Nagel considers these classic questions alongside new puzzles arising from recent discoveries about humanity, language, and the mind. Nagel explains the formation of major historical theories of knowledge, and shows how contemporary philosophers have developed new ways of understanding knowledge, using ideas from logic, linguistics, and psychology. Covering topics ranging from relativism and the problem of scepticism to the trustworthiness of internet sources, Nagel examines how progress has been made in understanding knowledge, using everyday examples to explain the key issues and debates ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Malcolm Gaskill

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019923695X

Category: History

Page: 146

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Examines the history and origins of witchcraft, from pre-history to the present day, considering why it still features so heavily in our culture

Conscience: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Strohm

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191620394

Category: Political Science

Page: 152

View: 9065

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Where does our conscience come from? How reliable is it? In the West conscience has been relied upon for two thousand years as a judgement that distinguishes right from wrong. It has effortlessly moved through every period division and timeline between the ancient, medieval, and modern. The Romans identified it, the early Christians appropriated it, and Reformation Protestants and loyal Catholics relied upon its advice and admonition. Today it is embraced with equal conviction by non-religious and religious alike. Considering its deep historical roots and exploring what it has meant to successive generations, Paul Strohm highlights why this particularly European concept deserves its reputation as 'one of the prouder Western contributions to human rights and human dignity throughout the world.' Using examples from popular culture including the Disney classic Pinocchio, as well as examples from contemporary politics, he explores the work of thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Aquinas, to show how and why conscience remains a motivating and important principle in the contemporary world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Memory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan K. Foster

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192806750

Category: Philosophy

Page: 142

View: 3585

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This Very Short Introduction brings together the latest research in neuroscience and psychology - weaving in case-studies, anecdotes, literature, and philosophy - to explore and explain the science of memory - how it works, and why we can't live without it.

Infinity: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Ian Stewart

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198755236

Category: Mathematics

Page: 144

View: 9888

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Infinity is an intriguing topic, with connections to religion, philosophy, metaphysics, logic, and physics as well as mathematics. Its history goes back to ancient times, with especially important contributions from Euclid, Aristotle, Eudoxus, and Archimedes. The infinitely large (infinite) isintimately related to the infinitely small (infinitesimal). Cosmologists consider sweeping questions about whether space and time are infinite. Philosophers and mathematicians ranging from Zeno to Russell have posed numerous paradoxes about infinity and infinitesimals. Many vital areas ofmathematics rest upon some version of infinity. The most obvious, and the first context in which major new techniques depended on formulating infinite processes, is calculus. But there are many others, for example Fourier analysis and fractals.In this Very Short Introduction, Ian Stewart discusses infinity in mathematics while also drawing in the various other aspects of infinity and explaining some of the major problems and insights arising from this concept. He argues that working with infinity is not just an abstract, intellectualexercise but that it is instead a concept with important practical everyday applications, and considers how mathematicians use infinity and infinitesimals to answer questions or supply techniques that do not appear to involve the infinite.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Reality: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jan Westerhoff

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191638072

Category: Philosophy

Page: 136

View: 1544

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'What is real?' has been one of the key questions of philosophy since its beginning in antiquity. It is a question that, due to such films as The Matrix, has also made its way into popular culture. But it is not just a question philosophers ask. It is also asked by scientists when they investigate whether the fundamental constituents of matter are actually 'out there' or just a mere abstraction from a successful theory. Cognitive scientists ask it when trying to find out which set of the bewildering array of data processed by our brain could constitute the basis for such supposedly fundamental entities like the free agent or the self. This Very Short Introduction discusses what reality is by looking at a variety of arguments, theories and thought-experiments from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.