Plato at the Googleplex

Why Philosophy Won't Go Away

Author: Rebecca Goldstein

Publisher: Pantheon

ISBN: 0307908879

Category: Philosophy

Page: 480

View: 9194

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Is philosophy obsolete? Are the ancient questions still relevant in the age of cosmology and neuroscience, not to mention crowd-sourcing and cable news? The acclaimed philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein provides a dazzlingly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden role in today’s debates on religion, morality, politics, and science. At the origin of Western philosophy stands Plato, who got about as much wrong as one would expect from a thinker who lived 2,400 years ago. But Plato’s role in shaping philosophy was pivotal. On her way to considering the place of philosophy in our ongoing intellectual life, Goldstein tells a new story of its origin, re-envisioning the extraordinary culture that produced the man who produced philosophy. But it is primarily the fate of philosophy that concerns her. Is the discipline no more than a way of biding our time until the scientists arrive on the scene? Have they already arrived? Does philosophy itself ever make progress? And if it does, why is so ancient a figure as Plato of any continuing relevance? Plato at the Googleplex is Goldstein’s startling investigation of these conundra. She interweaves her narrative with Plato’s own choice for bringing ideas to life—the dialogue. Imagine that Plato came to life in the twenty-first century and embarked on a multicity speaking tour. How would he handle the host of a cable news program who denies there can be morality without religion? How would he mediate a debate between a Freudian psychoanalyst and a tiger mom on how to raise the perfect child? How would he answer a neuroscientist who, about to scan Plato’s brain, argues that science has definitively answered the questions of free will and moral agency? What would Plato make of Google, and of the idea that knowledge can be crowd-sourced rather than reasoned out by experts? With a philosopher’s depth and a novelist’s imagination and wit, Goldstein probes the deepest issues confronting us by allowing us to eavesdrop on Plato as he takes on the modern world. (With black-and-white photographs throughout.)

Aufklärung jetzt

Für Vernunft, Wissenschaft, Humanismus und Fortschritt. Eine Verteidigung

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag

ISBN: 3104030685

Category: Philosophy

Page: 736

View: 8572

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Eine leidenschaftliche Antithese zum üblichen Kulturpessimismus und ein engagierter Widerspruch zu dem weitverbreiteten Gefühl, dass die Moderne dem Untergang geweiht ist. Hass, Populismus und Unvernunft regieren die Welt, Wissenschaftsfeindlichkeit macht sich breit, Wahrheit gibt es nicht mehr: Wer die Schlagzeilen von heute liest, könnte so denken. Doch Bestseller-Autor Steven Pinker zeigt, dass das grundfalsch ist. Er hat die Entwicklung der vergangenen Jahrhunderte gründlich untersucht und beweist in seiner fulminanten Studie, dass unser Leben stetig viel besser geworden ist. Heute leben wir länger, gesünder, sicherer, glücklicher, friedlicher und wohlhabender denn je, und nicht nur in der westlichen Welt. Der Grund: die Aufklärung und ihr Wertesystem. Denn Aufklärung und Wissenschaft bieten nach wie vor die Basis, um mit Vernunft und im Konsens alle Probleme anzugehen. Anstelle von Gerüchten zählen Fakten, anstatt überlieferten Mythen zu glauben baut man auf Diskussion und Argumente. Anschaulich und brillant macht Pinker eines klar: Vernunft, Wissenschaft, Humanismus und Fortschritt sind weiterhin unverzichtbar für unser Wohlergehen. Ohne sie wird die Welt auf keinen Fall zu einem besseren Ort für uns alle. »Mein absolutes Lieblingsbuch aller Zeiten.« Bill Gates

Das unbeschriebene Blatt

Die moderne Leugnung der menschlichen Natur

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag

ISBN: 3104903905

Category: Social Science

Page: 768

View: 2293

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Mit einem aktuellen Vorwort zur Neuausgabe! Auf John Locke geht die Vorstellung zurück, der Mensch sei ein leeres Blatt, auf dem im Verlauf des Lebens die persönlichen Erfahrungen eingetragen werden. In seinem mittlerweile klassischen Buch »Das unbeschriebene Blatt. Die moderne Leugnung der menschlichen Natur« bezieht Bestseller-Autor Steven Pinker ganz die Gegenposition: Mit Witz, Brillanz und Gelehrsamkeit analysiert er die Geschichte dieser Idee und zeigt, wie falsch sie ist – mit allen kruden Auswirkungen auf Vorstellungen von Sexualität, Rasse, Kindererziehung, Intelligenz usw. Die Rolle der Gene wird systematisch unterschätzt; aber das bedeutet nicht, dass wir ihnen völlig ausgeliefert sind. Pinker zeigt nämlich auch, wie befreiend diese Sichtweise sein kann. Ein unterhaltsames und anschauliches Buch zur Natur des Menschen, ein echter Lesegenuss.

The Crisis of Progress

Science, Society, and Values

Author: John C. Caiazza

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351484265

Category: Science

Page: 174

View: 6199

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This book is about the concept of progress, its separate varieties, its current rejection, and how it may be reconsidered from a philosophical and scientific basis. John C. Caiazza's main emphasis is on how science is understood as it has a direct impact on social values as expressed by prominent philosophers. He argues that progress is at a standstill, which presents a crisis for Western civilization.Caiazza presents historical examples, both of scientific inquiry and social and cultural themes, to examine the subject of progress. Beginning with the Whig model and progressive political values exemplified by Bacon and Dewey, he also examines other variations, the Enlightenment, cosmopolitanism, and totalitarianism. Technology, argues Caiazza, also has a stultifying effect on Western culture and to understand the idea of progress, we must take a philosophic rather than a scientific point of view. Modern cosmology has inevitable humanistic and theological implications, and major contemporary philosophers reject social science in favour of ancient concepts of virtue and ethics.In the end, Caiazza writes that time is an agent, not a neutral plain on which scientific and historical events occur. We can expect technology to keep us in stasis or become aware of the possibility of transcendence. This book will be of interest for students of scientific history and philosophy.

The Blank Slate

The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101200322

Category: Psychology

Page: 528

View: 5627

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A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." -Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

Great Dialogues of Plato

Author: N.A

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780698175013

Category: Fiction

Page: 672

View: 5056

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“Plato is philosophy, and philosophy, Plato.”—Emerson The Republic and other great dialogues by the immortal Greek philosopher Plato are masterpieces that form part of the most important single body of writing in the history of philosophy. Beauty, love, immortality, knowledge, and justice are discussed in these dialogues, which magnificently express the glowing spirit of Platonic philosophy. Translated by W. H. D. Rouse, one of the world’s most outstanding classical scholars and translator of Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad, this volume features the complete texts of seven of Plato’s most revered works. “In Rouse’s pages Socrates’ strength of mind, his dedication to philosophical truth, are borne in on the modern reader with something of the power that impressed and disturbed the ancient Greeks.”—Time

How Not to be Wrong

The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Author: Jordan Ellenberg

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143127535

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 480

View: 2207

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"Using the mathematician's method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman, minus the jargon ... Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need"--