Tania Singer

Tania Singer is Director of the Department of Social Science at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig.

  • Power and Care

    Power and Care

    Toward Balance for Our Common Future—Science, Society, and Spirituality

    Tania Singer, Matthieu Ricard, and Kate Karius

    Leading thinkers from a range of disciplines discuss the compatibility of power and care, in conversation with the Dalai Lama.

    For more than thirty years, the Dalai Lama has been in dialogue with thinkers from a range of disciplines, helping to support pathways for knowledge to increase human wellbeing and compassion. These conversations, which began as private meetings, are now part of the Mind & Life Institute and Mind & Life Europe. This book documents a recent Mind & Life Institute dialogue with the Dalai Lama and others on two fundamental forces: power and care—power over and care for others in human societies.

    The notion of power is essentially neutral; power can be used to benefit others or to harm them, to build or to destroy. Care, on the other hand, is not a neutral force; it aims at increasing the wellbeing of others. Power and care are not incompatible: power, imbued with care, can achieve more than a powerless motivation to care; power, without the intention to benefit others, can be ruthless. The contributors—who include such celebrated figures as Frans B. M. de Waal, Olafur Eliasson, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, and Jody Williams—discuss topics including the interaction of power and care among our closest relatives, the chimpanzees; the effect of meditation and mental training practices on the brain; the role of religion in promoting peace and compassion; and the new field of Caring Economics.

    Contributors Paul Collier, Brother Thierry-Marie Courau, Frans B. M. de Waal, Olafur Eliasson, Scilla Elworthy, Alexandra M. Freund, Tenzin Gyatso (His Holiness the Dalai Lama), Markus Heinrichs, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Frédéric Laloux, Alaa Murabit, Matthieu Ricard, Johan Rockström, Richard Schwartz, Tania Singer, Dennis J. Snower, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Theo Sowa, Pauline Tangiora, Jody Williams

    • Hardcover $27.95 £22.50

Contributor

  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fourth Edition

    The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fourth Edition

    Michael S. Gazzaniga

    The fourth edition of the work that defines the field of cognitive neuroscience, offering completely new material.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fourth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biologic underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. The material in this edition is entirely new, with all chapters written specifically for it.

    Since the publication of the third edition, the field of cognitive neuroscience has made rapid and dramatic advances; fundamental stances are changing and new ideas are emerging. This edition reflects the vibrancy of the field, with research in development and evolution that finds a dynamic growth pattern becoming specific and fixed, and research in plasticity that sees the neuronal systems always changing; exciting new empirical evidence on attention that also verifies many central tenets of longstanding theories; work that shows the boundaries of the motor system pushed further into cognition; memory research that, paradoxically, provides insight into how humans imagine future events; pioneering theoretical and methodological work in vision; new findings on how genes and experience shape the language faculty; new ideas about how the emotional brain develops and operates; and research on consciousness that ranges from a novel mechanism for how the brain generates the baseline activity necessary to sustain conscious experience to a bold theoretical attempt to make the problem of qualia more tractable.

    • Hardcover $39.75 £32.00
  • Better Than Conscious?

    Better Than Conscious?

    DECISION MAKING, the HUMAN MIND, and IMPLICATIONS FOR INSTITUTIONS

    Christoph Engel and Wolf Singer

    Experts discuss the implications of the ways humans reach decisions through the conscious and subconscious processing of information.

    Conscious control enables human decision makers to override routines, to exercise willpower, to find innovative solutions, to learn by instruction, to decide collectively, and to justify their choices. These and many more advantages, however, come at a price: the ability to process information consciously is severely limited and conscious decision makers are liable to hundreds of biases. Measured against the norms of rational choice theory, conscious decision makers perform poorly. But if people forego conscious control, in appropriate tasks, they perform surprisingly better: they handle vast amounts of information; they update prior information; they find appropriate solutions to ill-defined problems.

    This inaugural Strüngmann Forum Report explores the human ability to make decisions, consciously as well as without conscious control. It explores decision-making strategies, including deliberate and intuitive; explicit and implicit; processing information serially and in parallel, with a general-purpose apparatus, or with task-specific neural subsystems. The analysis is at four levels—neural, psychological, evolutionary, and institutional—and the discussion is extended to the definition of social problems and the design of better institutional interventions. The results presented differ greatly from what could be expected under standard rational choice theory and deviate even more from the alternate behavioral view of institutions. New challenges emerge (for example, the issue of free will) and some purported social problems almost disappear if one adopts a more adequate model of human decision making.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99