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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 First Sense Cover

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The First Sense

A Philosophical Study of Human Touch

Matthew Fulkerson

It is through touch that we are able to interact directly with the world; it is our primary conduit of both pleasure and pain. Touch may be our most immediate and powerful sense -- "the first sense" because of the central role it plays in experience. In this book, Matthew Fulkerson proposes that human touch, despite its functional diversity, is a single, unified sensory modality. Fulkerson offers a philosophical account of touch, reflecting the interests, methods, and approach that define contemporary philosophy; but his argument is informed throughout by the insights and constraints of empirical work on touch. Human touch is a multidimensional object of investigation, Fulkerson writes, best served by using a variety of methods and approaches. To defend his view of the unity of touch, Fulkerson describes and argues for a novel, unifying role for exploratory action in touch. He goes on to fill in the details of this unified, exploratory form of perception, offering philosophical accounts of tool use and distal touch, the representational structure of tangible properties, the spatial content of touch, and the role of pleasure in tactual experience. Fulkerson's argument for the unique role played by exploratory action departs notably from traditional vision-centric philosophical approaches to perception, challenging the received view that action plays the same role in all sensory modalities. The robust philosophical account of touch he offers in <I>The First Sense</I> has significant implications for our general understanding of perception and perceptual experience.

Folk Psychological Narratives Cover

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Folk Psychological Narratives

The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons

Daniel D. Hutto

An argument that challenges the dominant “theory theory” and simulation theory approaches to folk psychology by claiming that our everyday understanding of intentional actions done for reasons is acquired by exposure to and engaging in specific kinds of narratives.

Food Justice Cover

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Food Justice

Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi

To combat these inequities and excesses, a movement for food justice has emerged in recent years seeking to transform the food system from seed to table. In Food Justice, Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi tell the story of this emerging movement.

Free Will Cover

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Free Will

Mark Balaguer

In our daily life, it really <I>seems</I> as though we have free will, that what we do from moment to moment is determined by conscious decisions that we freely make. You get up from the couch, you go for a walk, you eat chocolate ice cream. It seems that we're in control of actions like these; if we are, then we have free will. But in recent years, some have argued that free will is an illusion. The neuroscientist (and best-selling author) Sam Harris and the late Harvard psychologist Daniel Wegner, for example, claim that certain scientific findings disprove free will. In this engaging and accessible volume in the Essential Knowledge series, the philosopher Mark Balaguer examines the various arguments and experiments that have been cited to support the claim that human beings don't have free will. He finds them to be overstated and misguided.Balaguer discusses determinism, the view that every physical event is predetermined, or completely caused by prior events. He describes several philosophical and scientific arguments against free will, including one based on Benjamin Libet's famous neuroscientific experiments, which allegedly show that our conscious decisions are caused by neural events that occur before we choose. He considers various religious and philosophical views, including the philosophical pro-free-will view known as compatibilism. Balaguer concludes that the anti-free-will arguments put forward by philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists simply don't work. They don't provide any good reason to doubt the existence of free will. But, he cautions, this doesn't necessarily mean that we have free will. The question of whether we have free will remains an open one; we simply don't know enough about the brain to answer it definitively.

The Future Is Not What It Used to Be Cover

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The Future Is Not What It Used to Be

Climate Change and Energy Scarcity

Jörg Friedrichs

The future is not what it used to be because we can no longer rely on the comforting assumption that it will resemble the past. Past abundance of fuel, for example, does not imply unending abundance. Infinite growth on a finite planet is not possible. In this book, Jörg Friedrichs argues that industrial society itself is transitory, and he examines the prospects for our civilization's coming to terms with its two most imminent choke points: climate change and energy scarcity. He offers a thorough and accessible account of these two challenges as well as the linkages between them.Friedrichs contends that industrial civilization cannot outlast our ability to burn fossil fuels and that the demise of industrial society would entail cataclysmic change, including population decreases. To understand the social and political implications, he examines historical cases of climate stress and energy scarcity: devastating droughts in the ancient Near East; the Little Ice Age in the medieval Far North; the Japanese struggle to prevent "fuel starvation" from 1918 to 1945; the "totalitarian retrenchment" of the North Korean governing class after the end of Soviet oil deliveries; and Cuba's socioeconomic adaptation to fuel scarcity in the 1990s. He draws important lessons about the likely effects of climate and energy disruptions on different kinds of societies.The warnings of climate scientists are met by denial and inaction, while energy experts offer little guidance on the effects of future scarcity. Friedrichs suggests that to confront our predicament we must affirm our core values and take action to transform our way of life. Whether we are private citizens or public officials, complacency is not an option: climate change and energy scarcity are emerging facts of life.

George Santayana's Marginalia, A Critical Selection Cover

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George Santayana's Marginalia, A Critical Selection

Book Two, McCord–Zeller

George Santayana

A selection of Santayana’s notes in the margins of other authors’ works that sheds light on his thought, art, and life.

George Santayana's Marginalia, A Critical Selection Cover

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George Santayana's Marginalia, A Critical Selection

Book One, Abell–Lucretius

George Santayana

A selection of Santayana’s notes in the margins of other authors’ works that sheds light on his thought, art, and life.

Global Biopolitics of the IUD Cover

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Global Biopolitics of the IUD

How Science Constructs Contraceptive Users and Women's Bodies

Chikako Takeshita

The biography of a multifaceted technological object, the IUD, illuminates how political contexts shaped contraceptive development, marketing, use, and users.

Global Commons, Domestic Decisions Cover

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Global Commons, Domestic Decisions

The Comparative Politics of Climate Change

Edited by Kathryn Harrison and Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom

Comparative case studies and analyses of the influence of domestic politics on countries’ climate change policies and Kyoto ratification decisions.

Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered Cover

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Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered

Edited by Frank Biermann and Philipp Pattberg

An examination of three major trends in global governance, exemplified by developments in transnational environmental rule-setting.

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