Jonathan Shear

  • Explaining Consciousness

    Explaining Consciousness

    The Hard Problem

    Jonathan Shear

    Why doesn't all this cognitive processing go on "in the dark," without any consciousness at all? In this book philosophers, physicists, psychologists, neurophysiologists, computer scientists, and others address this central topic in the growing discipline of consciousness studies.

    At the 1994 landmark conference "Toward a Scientific Basis for Consciousness", philosopher David Chalmers distinguished between the "easy" problems and the "hard" problem of consciousness research. According to Chalmers, the easy problems are to explain cognitive functions such as discrimination, integration, and the control of behavior; the hard problem is to explain why these functions should be associated with phenomenal experience. Why doesnt all this cognitive processing go on "in the dark", without any consciousness at all? In this book, philosophers, physicists, psychologists, neurophysiologists, computer scientists, and others address this central topic in the growing discipline of consciousness studies. Some take issue with Chalmers' distinction, arguing that the hard problem is a non-problem, or that the explanatory gap is too wide to be bridged. Others offer alternative suggestions as to how the problem might be solved, whether through cognitive science, fundamental physics, empirical phenomenology, or with theories that take consciousness as irreducible.

    Contributors Bernard J. Baars, Douglas J. Bilodeau, David Chalmers, Patricia S. Churchland, Thomas Clark, C. J. S. Clarke, Francis Crick, Daniel C. Dennett, Stuart Hameroff, Valerie Hardcastle, David Hodgson, Piet Hut, Christof Koch, Benjamin Libet, E. J. Lowe, Bruce MacLennan, Colin McGinn, Eugene Mills, Kieron OHara, Roger Penrose, Mark C. Price, William S. Robinson, Gregg Rosenberg, Tom Scott, William Seager, Jonathan Shear, Roger N. Shepard, Henry Stapp, Francisco J. Varela, Max Velmans, Richard Warner

    • Hardcover $70.00 £58.00
    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00

Contributor

  • Why Are We Waiting?

    Why Are We Waiting?

    The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change

    Nicholas Stern

    An urgent case for climate change action that forcefully sets out, in economic, ethical, and political terms, the dangers of delay and the benefits of action.

    The risks of climate change are potentially immense. The benefits of taking action are also clear: we can see that economic development, reduced emissions, and creative adaptation go hand in hand. A committed and strong low-carbon transition could trigger a new wave of economic and technological transformation and investment, a new era of global and sustainable prosperity. Why, then, are we waiting? In this book, Nicholas Stern explains why, notwithstanding the great attractions of a new path, it has been so difficult to tackle climate change effectively. He makes a compelling case for climate action now and sets out the forms that action should take.

    Stern argues that the risks and costs of climate change are worse than estimated in the landmark Stern Review in 2006—and far worse than implied by standard economic models. He reminds us that we have a choice. We can rely on past technologies, methods, and institutions—or we can embrace change, innovation, and international collaboration. The first might bring us some short-term growth but would lead eventually to chaos, conflict, and destruction. The second could bring about better lives for all and growth that is sustainable over the long term, and help win the battle against worldwide poverty. The science warns of the dangers of neglect; the economics and technology show what we can do and the great benefits that will follow; an examination of the ethics points strongly to a moral imperative for action. Why are we waiting?

    • Hardcover $19.95 £15.99
    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • Economics After the Crisis

    Economics After the Crisis

    Objectives and Means

    Adair Turner

    A noted economist challenges the fundamental economic assumptions that cast economic growth as the objective and markets as the universally applicable means of achieving it.

    The global economic crisis of 2008–2009 seemed a crisis not just of economic performance but also of the system's underlying political ideology and economic theory. But a second Great Depression was averted, and the radical shift to New Deal-like economic policies predicted by some never took place. Perhaps the correct response to the crisis is simply careful management of the macroeconomic challenges as we recover, combined with reform of financial regulation to prevent a recurrence. In Economics After the Crisis, Adair Turner offers a strong counterargument to this somewhat complacent view. The crisis of 2008–2009, he writes, should prompt a wide set of challenges to economic and political assumptions and to economic theory.

    Turner argues that more rapid growth should not be the overriding objective for rich developed countries, that inequality should concern us, that the pre-crisis confidence in financial markets as the means of pursuing objectives was profoundly misplaced.

    • Hardcover $6.75 £5.99
    • Paperback $15.95 £12.99
  • Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests

    Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests

    Ralph E. Gomory and William J. Baumol

    Ralph Gomory and William Baumol adapt classical trade models to the modern world economy.

    In this book Ralph Gomory and William Baumol adapt classical trade models to the modern world economy. Trade today is dominated by manufactured goods, rapidly moving technology, and huge firms that benefit from economies of scale. This is very different from the largely agricultural world in which the classical theories originated. Gomory and Baumol show that the new and significant conflicts resulting from international trade are inherent in modern economies.Today improvement in one country's productive capabilities is often attainable only at the expense of another country's general welfare. The authors describe why and when this is so and why, in a modern free-trade environment, a country might have a vital stake in the competitive strength of its industries.

    • Hardcover $9.95 £7.99
  • Central Banking in Theory and Practice

    Central Banking in Theory and Practice

    Alan S. Blinder

    Alan S. Blinder offers the dual perspective of a leading academic macroeconomist who served a stint as Vice-Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board—one who practiced what he had long preached and then returned to academia to write about it. He tells central bankers how they might better incorporate academic knowledge and thinking into the conduct of monetary policy, and he tells scholars how they might reorient their research to be more attuned to reality and thus more useful to central bankers.

    Based on the 1996 Lionel Robbins Lectures, this readable book deals succinctly, in a nontechnical manner, with a wide variety of issues in monetary policy. The book also includes the author's suggested solution to an age-old problem in monetary theory: what it means for monetary policy to be "neutral."

    • Hardcover $24.00 £20.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Determinants of Economic Growth

    Determinants of Economic Growth

    A Cross-Country Empirical Study

    Robert J. Barro

    Research on economic growth has exploded in the past decade. Hundreds of empirical studies on economic growth across countries have highlighted the correlation between growth and a variety of variables. Determinants of Economic Growth, based on Robert Barro's Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures, delivered at the London School of Economics in February 1996, summarizes this important literature.

    The book contains three essays. The first is a survey of the research on the determinants of long-run growth through the estimation of panels of cross-country data. The second essay details the interplay between growth and political freedom or democracy and finds some evidence of a nonlinear relationship. At low levels of political rights, an expansion of rights stimulates growth; however, once a moderate level of democracy has been obtained, a further expansion of rights reduces growth. The final essay looks at the connection between inflation and economic growth. Its basic finding is that higher inflation goes along with a lower rate of economic growth.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
    • Paperback $19.75 £15.99
  • Russian Reform / International Money

    Russian Reform / International Money

    Yegor Gaidar and Karl Otto Pöhl

    These lectures by Yegor Gaidar, former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and Karl Otto Pöhl, former Chairman of the German Bundesbank, provide insight into how these leaders assessed the risks of their situations and used basic economic analysis to chart their courses.

    Departing from tradition, both Yegor Gaidar, former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and Karl Otto Pöhl, former Chairman of the German Bundesbank, were invited to give the 1993 Lionel Robbins Lectures. The experiences of each author reflect the vast economic changes spreading across Europe—economic reform in the East and growing economic integration in the West. Gaidar helped launch Russian economic reforms in 1992; Pöhl fought the hyperinflation in Europe of the 1970s and 1980s and laid the groundwork for monetary stability in Western Europe. These lectures provide insight into how these leaders assessed the risks of their situations and used basic economic analysis to chart their courses. Gaidar reviews the events that led up to the August coup in Russia to argue that gradualism was not a viable approach to economic reform. He describes the conditions and dilemmas of the time, observing that reform in Russia is as much a political puzzle as it is an economic challenge. He outlines the successes and present dangers and concludes with an optimistic assessment of Russia's prospects for reform. Pöhl provides an insider's view of the efforts of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to stabilize exchange rates from the 1970s on. He describes the tension in one country between the goals of price stability and exchange rate stability. This leads to a discussion of how monetary union was proposed in Europe and why the movement has hit snags. An appendix provides more details on the objectives and proposed structure of European monetary integration. Lionel Robbins Lectures

    • Hardcover $30.00 £25.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Poland's Jump to the Market Economy

    Poland's Jump to the Market Economy

    Jeffrey Sachs

    an insider's analysis of the political events and economic strategy behind the country's swift transition to capitalism and democracy

    In Poland's jump to the Market Economy, Jeffrey Sachs provides an insider's analysis of the political events and economic strategy behind the country's swift transition to capitalism and democracy. The greatest challenges to economic reform, Sachs points out, have been primarily political in nature, rather than social or even economic. Sachs reviews Poland's striking progress since the start of the economic reforms three years ago, which he helped to design. He discusses the gains - more than half of employment and GDP is now in the private sector, exports to Western Europe have more than doubled, and economic growth and confidence are returning - as well as the serious problems that remain - high unemployment, a chronic fiscal deficit, the slow pace of privatization of large industrial enterprises, and the fragility of multiparty coalition governments.Sachs points out that leadership is crucial to economic reform in a newly democratic setting, as is the West's timely economic assistance. In Poland's case, the Zloty Stabilization Fund and the two-stage debt cancellation have been essential to keeping the reform program on track. Poland's example has had a powerful impact on reforms throughout the region, including the former Soviet Union, and has done much to dispel the fear that the citizens themselves, allegedly made lazy by decades of socialism, would reject the competitive rigors of a market economy. Overall, Sachs remains firmly convinced of the potential for successful economic reforms in Poland and the rest of the region.

    • Hardcover $35.00 £28.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Economic Transformation the Mexican Way

    Economic Transformation the Mexican Way

    Pedro Aspe

    The book examines how Mexico has tried to stabilize its economy with measures such as economic deregulation, fiscal reform, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and realistic budget management.

    Mexico offers a particularly interesting study of economic reform because of its successes and its ambitious scale. As that country's current Minister of Finance and Public Credit and a distinguished economist, Pedro Aspe offers an informed, inside look at attempts to modernize Mexico's economy through the 1970s and 1980s. Aspe examines how Mexico has tried to stabilize its economy with measures such as economic deregulation, fiscal reform, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and realistic budget management. He argues that these changes have had not only profound economic effects, but social and political ones as well.

    Aspe first discusses Mexico's experience with macroeconomic stabilization, emphasizing its social and political aspects, and noting the successes already achieved in terms of stabilization, production, and employment. In the extended analysis of the Mexican economy that follows, he focuses on the structural impact of state reform on the external sector, and on the efficiency and distributional impacts of fiscal reform. Such macroeconomic adjustments, Aspe points out, have resulted in the gradual replacement of the state in its role as leader of Mexico's economic development by the participation of an entire society—an achievement that is the result of the orderly negotiation and consensus of workers, farmers, entrepreneurs, and government.

    Aspe concludes with a summary of the way in which all of these changes have brought about the profound transformation of Mexico's economy.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Lessons from the Great Depression

    Lessons from the Great Depression

    Peter Temin

    Lessons from the Great Depression provides an integrated view of the depression, covering the experience in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States.

    Do events of the 1930s carry a message for the 1990s? Lessons from the Great Depression provides an integrated view of the depression, covering the experience in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States. It describes the causes of the depression, why it was so widespread and prolonged, and what brought about eventual recovery.

    Peter Temin also finds parallels in recent history, in the relentless deflationary course followed by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and the British government in the early 1980s, and in the dogged adherence by the Reagan administration to policies generated by a discredited economic theory—supply-side economics.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Exchange-Rate Instability

    Paul Krugman

    In an intriguing synthesis of current theories of international finance, trade, and industrial organization, Paul Krugman presents a provocative analysis of the extraordinary volatility of exchange rates in the 1980s. Krugman focuses on imperfect integration of the world economy, showing how this has become both a cause and effect of exchange rate instability. He outlines the costs and benefits of recent flexible-exchange rate policies and offers fresh insight into why the models that worked in the first half of the 1980s don't work in the growing uncertainty of the latter half. Krugman's analysis is succinct and accessible, with technical appendixes that offer powerful backing to his ideas. Exchange Rate Instability contains a surprising reevaluation of the author's own work on exchange rates. Krugman questions the need for further devaluation of the dollar, arguing that uncertainty - rather than the lack of cost­competitiveness explains the failure of current policies to reduce the United States trade deficit. He proposes an eventual return to fixed exchange rates.

    • Hardcover $30.00 £25.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £18.99