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Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace

Edited by Ronald Deibert, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, and Jonathan Zittrain

Experts examine censorship, surveillance, and resistance across Asia, from China and India to Malaysia and the Philippines.

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Action, Ethics, and Responsibility

Edited by Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry S. Silverstein

Leading philosophers explore responsibility from a variety of perspectives, including metaphysics, action theory, and philosophy of law.

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Actual Causality

Joseph Y. Halpern

Causality plays a central role in the way people structure the world; we constantly seek causal explanations for our observations. But what does it even mean that an event C “actually caused” event E? The problem of defining actual causation goes beyond mere philosophical speculation. For example, in many legal arguments, it is precisely what needs to be established in order to determine responsibility. The philosophy literature has been struggling with the problem of defining causality since Hume. In this book, Joseph Halpern explores actual causality, and such related notions as degree of responsibility, degree of blame, and causal explanation. The goal is to arrive at a definition of causality that matches our natural language usage and is helpful, for example, to a jury deciding a legal case, a programmer looking for the line of code that cause some software to fail, or an economist trying to determine whether austerity caused a subsequent depression. Halpern applies and expands an approach to causality that he and Judea Pearl developed, based on structural equations. He carefully formulates a definition of causality, and building on this, defines degree of responsibility, degree of blame, and causal explanation. He concludes by discussing how these ideas can be applied to such practical problems as accountability and program verification. Technical details are generally confined to the final section of each chapter and can be skipped by non-mathematical readers.

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The Adventure

Giorgio Agamben

An ancient legend identifies Demon, Chance, Love, and Necessity as the four gods who preside over the birth of every human being. We must all pay tribute to these deities and should not try to elude or dupe them. To accept them, Giorgio Agamben suggests, is to live one's life as an adventure -- not in the trivial sense of the term, with lightness and disenchantment, but with the understanding that adventure, as a specific way of being, is the most profound experience in our human existence. In this pithy, poetic, and compelling book, Agamben maps a journey from poems of chivalry to philosophy, from Yvain to Hegel, from Beatrice to Heidegger. The four gods of legend are joined at the end by a goddess, the most elusive and mysterious of all: Elpis, Hope. In Greek mythology, Hope remains in Pandora's box, not because it postpones its fulfillment to an invisible beyond but because somehow it has always been already satisfied. Here, Agamben presents Hope as the ultimate gift of the human adventure on Earth.

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Aesthetic Animism

Digital Poetry's Ontological Implications

David Jhave Johnston

This book offers a decoder for some of the new forms of poetry enabled by digital technology. Examining many of the strange technological vectors converging on language, it proposes a poetics appropriate to the digital era while connecting digital poetry to traditional poetry's concerns with being (a.k.a. ontological implications). Digital poetry, in this context, is not simply a descendent of the book. Digital poems are not necessarily "poems" or written by "poets"; they are found in ads, conceptual art, interactive displays, performative projects, games, or apps. Poetic tools include algorithms, browsers, social media, and data. Code blossoms into poetic objects and poetic proto-organisms.Introducing the terms TAVs (Textual-Audio-Visuals) and TAVITS (Textual-Audio-Visual-Interactive), Aesthetic Animism theorizes a relation between scientific method and literary analysis; considers the temporal implications of animation software; and links software studies to creative writing. Above all it introduces many examples of digital poetry within a playful yet considered flexible taxonomy. In the future imagined here, digital poets program, sculpt, and nourish immense immersive interfaces of semi-autonomous word ecosystems. Poetry, enhanced by code and animated by sensors, reengages themes active at the origin of poetry: animism, agency, consciousness. Digital poetry will be perceived as living, because it is living.

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Afflicted

How Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice

Nicole M. Piemonte

In Afflicted, Nicole Piemonte examines the preoccupation in medicine with cure over care, arguing that the traditional focus on biological intervention keeps medicine from addressing the complex realities of patient suffering. Although many have pointed to the lack of compassion and empathy in medical practice, few have considered the deeper philosophical, psychological, and ontological reasons for it. Piemonte fills that gap, examining why it is that clinicians and medical trainees largely evade issues of vulnerability and mortality and, doing so, offer patients compromised care. She argues that contemporary medical pedagogy and epistemology are not only shaped by the human tendency to flee from the reality of death and suffering but also perpetuate it. The root of the problem, she writes, is the educational and institutional culture that promotes reductionist understandings of care, illness, and suffering but avoids any authentic confrontation with human suffering and the fear and self-doubt that can come with that confrontation. Through a philosophical analysis of the patient-practitioner encounter, Piemonte argues that the doctor, in escaping from authentic engagement with a patient who is suffering, in fact "escapes from herself."

Piemonte explores the epistemology and pedagogy of medicine, examines its focus on calculative or technical thinking, and considers how "clinical detachment" diminishes physicians. She suggests ways that educators might cultivate the capacity for authentic patient care and proposes specific curricular changes to help students expand their moral imaginations.

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African Arts

Vol. 49, (2016) through current issue

African Arts presents original research and critical discourse on traditional, contemporary, and popular African arts and expressive cultures. Since 1967, the journal has reflected the dynamism and diversity of this work, publishing full-color, richly illustrated articles incorporating the most current theory, practice, and intercultural dialogue. AA offers readers peer-reviewed articles concerning a range of art forms and visual cultures of the world’s second largest continent and its diasporas, plus book and exhibition reviews, artist portfolios, photo essays, and more.

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Against Facts

Arianna Betti

An argument that the major metaphysical theories of facts give us no good reason to accept facts in our catalog of the world.

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Against Moral Responsibility

Bruce N. Waller

A vigorous attack on moral responsibility in all its forms argues that the abolition of moral responsibility will be liberating and beneficial.

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The Age of Electroacoustics

Transforming Science and Sound

Roland Wittje

At the end of the nineteenth century, acoustics was a science of musical sounds; the musically trained ear was the ultimate reference. Just a few decades into the twentieth century, acoustics had undergone a transformation from a scientific field based on the understanding of classical music to one guided by electrical engineering, with industrial and military applications. In this book, Roland Wittje traces this transition, from the late nineteenth-century work of Hermann Helmholtz to the militarized research of World War I and media technology in the 1930s. Wittje shows that physics in the early twentieth century was not only about relativity and atomic structure but encompassed a range of experimental, applied, and industrial research fields. The emergence of technical acoustics and electroacoustics illustrates a scientific field at the intersection of science and technology. Wittje starts with Helmholtz’s and Rayleigh’s work and its intersection with telegraphy and early wireless, and continues with the industrialization of acoustics during World War I, when sound measurement was automated and electrical engineering and radio took over the concept of noise. Researchers no longer appealed to the musically trained ear to understand sound but to the thinking and practices of electrical engineering. Finally, Wittje covers the demilitarization of acoustics during the Weimar Republic and its remilitarization at the beginning of the Third Reich. He shows how technical acoustics fit well with the Nazi dismissal of pure science, representing everything that “German Physics” under National Socialism should be: experimental, applied, and relevant to the military.

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