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Philosophy

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The Evidence against the New Creationism

In Tower of Babel, philosopher Robert Pennock compares the views of the new creationists with those of the old and reveals the insubstantiality of their arguments. One of Pennock's major innovations is to turn from biological evolution to the less-charged subject of linguistic evolution, which has strong theoretical parallels with biological evolution both in content and in the sort of evidence scientists use to draw conclusions about origins Several chapters deal with the work of Phillip Johnson, a highly influential leader of the new creationists.

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

What is language? How does it relate to the world? How does it relate to the mind? Should our view of language influence our view of the world? These are among the central issues covered in this spirited and unusually clear introduction to the philosophy of language.Making no pretense of neutrality, Michael Devitt and Kim Sterelny take a definite theoretical stance. Central to that stance is naturalism--that is, they treat a philosophical theory of language as an empirical theory like any other and see people as nothing but complex parts of the physical world.

A Reader

Vagueness is currently the subject of vigorous debate in the philosophy of logic and language. Vague terms—such as 'tall', 'red', 'bald', and 'tadpole'—have borderline cases (arguably, someone may be neither tall nor not tall); and they lack well-defined extensions (there is no sharp boundary between tall people and the rest). The phenomenon of vagueness poses a fundamental challenge to classical logic and semantics, which assumes that propositions are either true or false and that extensions are determinate.This anthology collects for the first time the most important papers in the field.

Classic Readings with a Contemporary Commentary
Edited by Nick Huggett

Learning through original texts can be a powerful heuristic tool. This book collects a dozen classic readings that are generally accepted as the most significant contributions to the philosophy of space. The readings have been selected both on the basis of their relevance to recent debates on the nature of space and on the extent to which they carry premonitions of contemporary physics. In his detailed commentaries, Nick Huggett weaves together the readings and links them to our modern understanding of the subject.

An Introduction to Minimalist Syntax

This unusual book takes the form of a dialogue between a linguist and another scientist. The dialogue takes place over six days, with each day devoted to a particular topic--and the ensuing digressions. The role of the linguist is to present the fundamentals of the minimalist program of contemporary generative grammar. Although the linguist serves essentially as a voice for Noam Chomsky's ideas, he is not intended to be a portrait of Chomsky himself.

Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation

"Simulation," writes Gary Flake in his preface, "becomes a form of experimentation in a universe of theories. The primary purpose of this book is to celebrate this fact."In this book, Gary William Flake develops in depth the simple idea that recurrent rules can produce rich and complicated behaviors.

Analyses of Function and Design in Biology

Within the natural sciences, only biologists take seriously teleological statements about design, purpose, and adaptive function. Some biologists claim that to understand the complex morphological and behavioral traits of organisms we must say what they are for, which is to give a teleological explanation of why organisms have them. Others argue that the theory of natural selection, in providing statistical explanations for the same phenomena, obviates any need for teleological thinking.

Introductory Selections on Cognitive Science
Edited by Paul Thagard

Mind Readings is a collection of accessible readings on some of the most important topics in cognitive science. Although anyone interested in the interdisciplinary study of mind will find the selections well worth reading, they work particularly well with Paul Thagard's textbook Mind: An Introduction Cognitive Science, and provide further discussion on the major topics discussed in that book. The first eight chapters present approaches to cognitive science from the perspective that thinking consists of computational procedures on mental representations.

The Philosophy and Biology of Cognitive Ethology

Colin Allen (a philosopher) and Marc Bekoff (a cognitive ethologist) approach their work from a perspective that considers arguments about evolutionary continuity to be as applicable to the study of animal minds and brains as they are to comparative studies of kidneys, stomachs, and hearts. Cognitive ethologists study the comparative, evolutionary, and ecological aspects of the mental phenomena of animals.

Philosophical Debates

Intended for anyone attempting to find their way through the large and confusingly interwoven philosophical literature on consciousness, this reader brings together most of the principal texts in philosophy (and a small set of related key works in neuropsychology) on consciousness through 1997, and includes some forthcoming articles.

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