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Agreement and Its Failures

Omer Preminger

In this book, Omer Preminger investigates how the obligatory nature of predicate-argument agreement is enforced by the grammar. Preminger argues that an empirically adequate theory of predicate-argument agreement requires recourse to an operation, whose obligatoriness is a grammatical primitive not reducible to representational properties, but whose successful culmination is not enforced by the grammar. Preminger's argument counters contemporary approaches that find the obligatoriness of predicate-argument agreement enforced through representational means. The most prominent of these is Chomsky's "interpretability"-based proposal, in which the obligatoriness of predicate-argument agreement is enforced through derivational time bombs. Preminger presents an empirical argument against contemporary approaches that seek to derive the obligatory nature of predicate-argument agreement exclusively from derivational time bombs. He offers instead an alternative account based on the notion of obligatory operations better suited to the facts. The crucial data involves utterances that inescapably involve attempted-but-failed agreement and are nonetheless fully grammatical. Preminger combines a detailed empirical investigation of agreement phenomena in the Kichean (Mayan) languages, Zulu (Bantu), Basque, Icelandic, and French with an extensive and rigorous theoretical exploration of the far-reaching consequences of these data. The result is a novel proposal that has profound implications for the formalism that the theory of grammar uses to derive obligatory processes and properties.

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Alien Agency

Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making

Chris Salter

In Alien Agency, Chris Salter tells three stories of art in the making. Salter examines three works in which the materials of art -- the "stuff of the world" -- behave and perform in ways beyond the creator's intent, becoming unknown, surprising, alien. Studying these works -- all three deeply embroiled in and enabled by science and technology -- allows him to focus on practice through the experiential and affective elements of creation. Drawing on extensive ethnographic observation and on his own experience as an artist, Salter investigates how researcher-creators organize the conditions for these experimental, performative assemblages -- assemblages that sidestep dichotomies between subjects and objects, human and nonhuman, mind and body, knowing and experiencing.Salter reports on the sound artists Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger (O+A) and their efforts to capture and then project unnoticed urban sounds; tracks the multi-year project TEMA (Tissue Engineered Muscle Actuators) at the art research lab SymbioticA and its construction of a hybrid "semi-living" machine from specially grown mouse muscle cells; and describes a research-creation project (which he himself initiated) that uses light, vibration, sound, smell, and other sensory stimuli to enable audiences to experience other cultures' "ways of sensing." Combining theory, diary, history, and ethnography, Salter also explores a broader question: How do new things emerge into the world and what do they do?

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All and Nothing

A Digital Apocalypse

Martin Burckhardt

In the beginning was the Zero, and the Zero was with God, and God was the One. -- All and Nothing

In 1854, the British mathematician George Boole presented the idea of a universe the elements of which could be understood in terms of the logic of absence and presence: 0 and 1, all and nothing -- the foundation of binary code. The Boolean digits 0 and 1 do not designate a quantity. In the Boolean world, x times x always equals x; all and nothing meet in the formula x = xn. As everything becomes digitized, God the clockmaker is replaced by God the programmer. This book--described by its authors as "a theology for the digital world" -- explores meaning in a digital age of infinite replication, in a world that has dissolved into information and achieved immortality by turning into a pure sign.

All and Nothing compares information that spreads without restraint to a hydra -- the mythological monster that grew two heads for every one that was cut off. Information is thousand-headed and thousand-eyed because Hydra's tracks cannot be deleted. It shows that when we sit in front of a screen, we are actually on the other side, looking at the world as an uncanny reminder of the nondigitized. It compares our personal data to our shadows and our souls, envisioning the subconscious laid out on a digital bier like a corpse.

The digital world, the authors explain, summons forth fantasies of a chiliastic or apocalyptic nature. The goal of removing the representative from mathematics has now been achieved on a greater scale than Boole could have imagined.

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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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Architects' Gravesites

A Serendipitous Guide

Henry H Kuehn

All working architects leave behind a string of monuments to themselves in the form of buildings they have designed. But what about the final spaces that architects themselves will occupy? Are architects' gravesites more monumental -- more architectural -- than others? This unique book provides an illustrated guide to more than 200 gravesites of famous architects, almost all of them in the United States. Led by our intrepid author, Henry Kuehn, we find that most graves of architects are not monumental but rather modest, that many architects did not design their final resting places, and that a surprising number had their ashes scattered.Architects' Gravesites offers an alphabetical listing, from Alvar Aalto and Dankmar Adler (Louis Sullivan's partner) to Frank Lloyd Wright and Minoru Yamasaki (designer of the Word Trade Center's twin towers). Each entry includes a brief note on the architect's career and a color photograph of the site. For example, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is buried in Chicago under a simple granite slab designed by his architect grandson; Louise Bethune, the first American woman to become a professional architect, is buried under a headstone inscribed only with her husband's name (a plaque honoring her achievements was installed later); Philip Johnson's ashes were spread in his rose garden, with no marker, across the street from his famous Glass House; and the grave of Pierre L'Enfant in Arlington National Cemetery offers a breathtaking view of Washington, D.C., the city he designed. Architects' Gravesites is an architectural guide like no other, revealing as much about mortality as about monumentality.

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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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Archive Everything

Mapping the Everyday

Gabriella Giannachi

In Archive Everything, Gabriella Giannachi traces the evolution of the archive into the apparatus through which we map the everyday. The archive, traditionally a body of documents or a site for the preservation of documents, changed over the centuries to encompass, often concurrently, a broad but interrelated number of practices not traditionally considered as archival. Archives now consist of not only documents and sites but also artworks, installations, museums, social media platforms, and mediated and mixed reality environments. Giannachi tracks the evolution of these diverse archival practices across the centuries.  Archives today offer a multiplicity of viewing platforms to replay the past, capture the present, and map our presence. Giannachi uses archaeological practices to explore all the layers of the archive, analyzing Lynn Hershman Leeson’s !Women Art Revolution project, a digital archive of feminist artists. She considers the archive as a memory laboratory, with case studies that include visitors’ encounters with archival materials in the Jewish Museum in Berlin. She discusses the importance of participatory archiving, examining the “multimedia roadshow” Digital Diaspora Family Reunion as an example. She explores the use of the archive in works that express the relationship between ourselves and our environment, citing Andy Warhol and Ant Farm, among others. And she looks at the transmission of the archive through the body in performance, bioart, and database artworks, closing with a detailed analysis of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Infinity Engine.

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Arguments as Relations

John Bowers

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

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