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Don Ross

Don Ross is Professor of Economics and Dean of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, and Research Fellow in the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk at Georgia State University. He is the author of Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation (MIT Press, 2005), companion volume to Midbrain Mutiny.

Titles by This Author

The Picoeconomics and Neuroeconomics of Disordered Gambling: Economic Theory and Cognitive Science

The explanatory power of economic theory is tested by the phenomenon of irrational consumption, examples of which include such addictive behaviors as disordered and pathological gambling. Midbrain Mutiny examines different economic models of disordered gambling, using the frameworks of neuroeconomics (which analyzes decision making in the brain) and picoeconomics (which analyzes patterns of consumption behavior), and drawing on empirical evidence about behavior and the brain.

Titles by This Editor

The image of the addict in popular culture combines victimhood and moral failure; we sympathize with addicts in films and novels because of their suffering and their hard-won knowledge. And yet actual scientific knowledge about addiction tends to undermine this cultural construct. In What Is Addiction?, leading addiction researchers from neuroscience, psychology, genetics, philosophy, economics, and other fields survey the latest findings in addiction science.

Individual Volition and Social Context

Recent scientific findings about human decision making would seem to threaten the traditional concept of the individual conscious will. The will is threatened from “below” by the discovery that our apparently spontaneous actions are actually controlled and initiated from below the level of our conscious awareness, and from “above” by the recognition that we adapt our actions according to social dynamics of which we are seldom aware.

A Comprehensive Assessment

The influential philosopher Daniel Dennett is best known for his distinctive theory of mental content, his elucidation of how the complex components of mental processing seem to come together in the relatively coherent narratives that we tell ourselves about ourselves and in his vivid accounts of how to think about minds in their evolutionary setting. The essays in this collection step back to ask: Do the complex components of Dennett's work on intentionality, consciousness, evolution, and ethics themselves come together into a coherent philosophical system?