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The MIT Press

The MIT Press

Website: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/

The Journals division of the MIT Press began in 1969 with two quarterly publications. Today, we publish 30 titles in the arts and humanities, economics, international affairs, history, political science, science and technology. We were one of the first university presses to offer its titles electronically, and the division continues to adopt technologies that allow us to better support the scholarly mission and disseminate our content widely. The division publishes journals owned by the MIT Press as well as journals sponsored by various societies and associations. We offer a suite of traditional and digital services that can be customized to fit each journal’s needs.


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The American Journal of Bioethics

Vol. 1 (2001) - vol. 4, no. 2 (2004)

AJOB provides a rapid, peer-reviewed collection of scholarship about emerging issues in bioethics. The Journal is available in a unique print and internet format. Subscribers receive access to the ajobonline portal, which features on-line news updates, live bioethics events, rankings of bioethics graduate programs, and other materials.

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The Ancient Origins of Consciousness

How the Brain Created Experience

Todd E. Feinberg

How is consciousness created? When did it first appear on Earth, and how did it evolve? What constitutes consciousness, and which animals can be said to be sentient? In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt draw on recent scientific findings to answer these questions -- and to tackle the most fundamental question about the nature of consciousness: how does the material brain create subjective experience? After assembling a list of the biological and neurobiological features that seem responsible for consciousness, and considering the fossil record of evolution, Feinberg and Mallatt argue that consciousness appeared much earlier in evolutionary history than is commonly assumed. About 520 to 560 million years ago, they explain, the great "Cambrian explosion" of animal diversity produced the first complex brains, which were accompanied by the first appearance of consciousness; simple reflexive behaviors evolved into a unified inner world of subjective experiences. From this they deduce that all vertebrates are and have always been conscious -- not just humans and other mammals, but also every fish, reptile, amphibian, and bird. Considering invertebrates, they find that arthropods (including insects and probably crustaceans) and cephalopods (including the octopus) meet many of the criteria for consciousness. The obvious and conventional wisdom--shattering implication is that consciousness evolved simultaneously but independently in the first vertebrates and possibly arthropods more than half a billion years ago. Combining evolutionary, neurobiological, and philosophical approaches allows Feinberg and Mallatt to offer an original solution to the "hard problem" of consciousness.

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Animal Thinking

Contemporary Issues in Comparative Cognition

Edited by Randolf Menzel and Julia Fischer

Experts from psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, ecology, and evolutionary biology assess the field of animal cognition.

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The Architecture of Cognition

Rethinking Fodor and Pylyshyn's Systematicity Challenge

Paco Calvo

In 1988, Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn challenged connectionist theorists to explain the systematicity of cognition. In a highly influential critical analysis of connectionism, they argued that connectionist explanations, at best, can only inform us about details of the neural substrate; explanations at the cognitive level must be classical insofar as adult human cognition is essentially systematic. More than twenty-five years later, however, conflicting explanations of cognition do not divide along classicist-connectionist lines, but oppose cognitivism (both classicist and connectionist) with a range of other methodologies, including distributed and embodied cognition, ecological psychology, enactivism, adaptive behavior, and biologically based neural network theory. This volume reassesses Fodor and Pylyshyn's "systematicity challenge" for a post-connectionist era. The contributors consider such questions as how post-connectionist approaches meet Fodor and Pylyshyn's conceptual challenges; whether there is empirical evidence for or against the systematicity of thought; and how the systematicity of human thought relates to behavior. The chapters offer a representative sample and an overview of the most important recent developments in the systematicity debate.<B>Contributors</B>Ken Aizawa, William Bechtel, Gideon Borensztajn, Paco Calvo, Anthony Chemero, Jonathan D. Cohen, Alicia Coram, Jeffrey L. Elman, Stefan L. Frank, Antoni Gomila, Seth A. Herd, Trent Kriete, Christian J. Lebiere, Lorena Lobo, Edouard Machery, Gary Marcus, Emma Martín, Fernando Martínez-Manrique, Brian P. McLaughlin, Randall C. O'Reilly, Alex A. Petrov, Steven Phillips, William Ramsey, Michael Silberstein, John Symons, David Travieso, William H. Wilson, Willem Zuidema

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Arguments as Relations

John Bowers

A radically new approach to argument structure in the minimalist program.

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The Arid Lands

History, Power, Knowledge

Diana K. Davis

Deserts are commonly imagined as barren, defiled, worthless places, wastelands in need of development. This understanding has fueled extensive anti-desertification efforts -- a multimillion-dollar global campaign driven by perceptions of a looming crisis. In this book, Diana Davis argues that estimates of desertification have been significantly exaggerated and that deserts and drylands -- which constitute about 41% of the earth's landmass -- are actually resilient and biodiverse environments in which a great many indigenous people have long lived sustainably. Meanwhile, contemporary arid lands development programs and anti-desertification efforts have met with little success. As Davis explains, these environments are not governed by the equilibrium ecological dynamics that apply in most other regions. Davis shows that our notion of the arid lands as wastelands derives largely from politically motivated Anglo-European colonial assumptions that these regions had been laid waste by "traditional" uses of the land. Unfortunately, such assumptions still frequently inform policy. Drawing on political ecology and environmental history, Davis traces changes in our understanding of deserts, from the benign views of the classical era to Christian associations of the desert with sinful activities to later (neo)colonial assumptions of destruction. She further explains how our thinking about deserts is problematically related to our conceptions of forests and desiccation. Davis concludes that a new understanding of the arid lands as healthy, natural, but variable ecosystems that do not necessarily need improvement or development will facilitate a more sustainable future for the world's magnificent drylands.

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The Atlas of New Librarianship

R. David Lankes

An essential guide to a librarianship based not on books and artifacts but on knowledge and learning.

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Becoming Human

The Ontogenesis, Metaphysics, and Expression of Human Emotionality

Jennifer Greenwood

A novel, wide-ranging, and comprehensive account of how human emotionality develops, proposing a process in which “nature” and “nurture” are integrated.

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Being Amoral

Psychopathy and Moral Incapacity

Thomas Schramme

Psychopathy has been the subject of investigations in both philosophy and psychiatry and yet the conceptual issues remain largely unresolved. This volume approaches psychopathy by considering the question of what psychopaths lack. The contributors investigate specific moral dysfunctions or deficits, shedding light on the capacities people need to be moral by examining cases of real people who seem to lack those capacities. The volume proceeds from the basic assumption that psychopathy is not characterized by a single deficit--for example, the lack of empathy, as some philosophers have proposed -- but by a range of them. Thus contributors address specific deficits that include impairments in rationality, language, fellow-feeling, volition, evaluation, and sympathy. They also consider such issues in moral psychology as moral motivation, moral emotions, and moral character; and they examine social aspects of psychopathic behavior, including ascriptions of moral responsibility, justification of moral blame, and social and legal responses to people perceived to be dangerous. As this volume demonstrates, philosophers will be better equipped to determine what they mean by "the moral point of view" when they connect debates in moral philosophy to the psychiatric notion of psychopathy, which provides some guidance on what humans need in order be able to feel the normative pull of morality. And the empirical work done by psychiatrists and researchers in psychopathy can benefit from the conceptual clarifications offered by philosophy.ContributorsGwen Adshead, Piers Benn, John Deigh, Alan Felthous, Kerrin Jacobs, Heidi Maibom, Eric Matthews, Henning Sass, Thomas Schramme, Susie Scott, David Shoemaker, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Matthew Talbert

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Better Doctors, Better Patients, Better Decisions

Envisioning Health Care 2020

edited by Gerd Gigerenzer and J.A. Muir Gray

How eliminating “risk illiteracy” among doctors and patients will lead to better health care decision making.

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