The Arrogance of Humanism


Author: David W. Ehrenfeld
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195365337
Category: Philosophy
Page: 304
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Attacks nothing less than the currently prevailing world philosophy--humanism, which the author feels is exceedingly dangerous in its hidden assumptions.

Philosophy of Lifelong Education


Author: Kenneth Wain
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315531070
Category: Education
Page: 271
View: 625
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This book, first published in 1987, provides a rigorous philosophical analysis of lifelong education. The author presents his arguments simply and directly so that the book is accessible to students who are new to philosophy and adult education.

Beginning Again

People and Nature in the New Millennium
Author: David Ehrenfeld,David W. Ehrenfeld
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195096371
Category: Philosophy
Page: 216
View: 3809
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Early in this volume, David Ehrenfeld describes what prophecy really is. Referring to the biblical prophets, he says they were not the "holy fortunetellers that the word prophet has come to signify....The business of prophecy is not simply foretelling the future; rather it is describing the present with exceptional truthfulness and accuracy." Once this is done, then it can be seen that broad aspects of the future have suddenly become apparent. The twentieth century is drawing to a chaotic close amidst portents of unprecedented change and upheaval. The unravelling of societies and civilizations and the destruction of nature march together--linked--a fact whose enormous significance is often lost. In Beginning Again, David Ehrenfeld has undertaken the difficult task of describing the present clearly enough to reveal the future. Out of his broad vision emerges a glimpse of a new millennium: a vision at once frightening and comforting, a scene of great devastation and great rebuilding. Ehrenfeld ranges far and wide to present a coherent vision of our relationship with Nature--its many aspects and implications--as our century opens into the next millennium. Whether he is writing about the problem of loyalty to organizations, rights versus obligations, our over-managed society, the vanishing of established knowledge, the failure of experts, the triumph of dandelions, Dr. Seuss, Edward Teller, or the future of farming, he is always concerned with the intricate interaction between technology and nature. As in his classic book, The Arrogance of Humanism, Ehrenfeld never loses sight of our fatal love affair with the fantasy of control. We now have no choice, he argues, but to transform the dream of control, of progress, from one of overweening hubris, love of consumption, and the idiot's goal of perpetual growth, to one based on "the inventive imitation of nature," with its honesty, beauty, resilience, and durability. Few American writers and even fewer scientists can describe these timeless, transcendent qualities of nature so well. In "Places," the opening chapter, David Ehrenfeld tells about nightly vigils he spent alone on the moonlit beach of Tortuguero, watching giant sea turtles emerging from the sea to lay their eggs in the black sand where they were born. "I could watch the perfect white spheres falling," he writes. "Falling as they have fallen for a hundred million years, with the same slow cadence, always shielded from the rain or stars by the same massive bulk with the beaked head and the same large, myopic eyes rimmed with crusts of sand washed out by tears. Minutes and hours, days and months dissolve into eons. I am on an Oligocene beach, an Eocene beach, a Cretaceous beach--the scene is the same. It is night, the turtles are coming back, always back; I hear a deep hiss of breath and catch a glint of wet shell as the continents slide and crash, the oceans form and grow."

Rising Tide

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America
Author: John M. Barry
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416563326
Category: Social Science
Page: 528
View: 4762
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An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known -- the Mississippi flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of nearly one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of blacks north, and transformed American society and politics forever. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Lillian Smith Award.

The Metaphysics of Technology


Author: David Skrbina
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134757352
Category: Social Science
Page: 314
View: 9546
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What is technology? Why does it have such power in our lives? Why does it seemingly progress of its own accord, and without regard to social or environmental well-being? The quest for the essence of technology is an old one, with roots in the pre-Socratic philosophy of ancient Greece. It was then that certain thinkers first joined the ideas of technê and logos into a single worldview. The Greeks saw it as a kind of world-force, present in both the works of men and in nature itself. It was the very creative power of the cosmos. In the 20th century, German thinkers like Dessauer, Juenger, and Heidegger sought the metaphysical basis of technology, with varying success. French theologian Jacques Ellul argued persuasively that technology was an autonomous force of nature that determined all aspects of human existence, but he neglected the metaphysical underpinnings. Recent writers in the philosophy of technology have generally eschewed metaphysics altogether, preferring to concentrate on constructivist models or pragmatic analyses. In the present work, Skrbina returns to a classic metaphysical approach, seeking not so much an essence of technology but rather a deep and penetrating analysis of the entire technological phenomenon. Drawing on the Greeks, he argues for a teleological metaphysics in which increasing order in the universe is itself defined as a technological process. On this reading, all of reality constitutes a technical sphere, a "pantechnikon," of universal scope. This work — the first-ever book-length treatment of the topic — breaks new ground by providing an in-depth and critical study of the metaphysics of technology, as well as drawing out the practical consequences. Technology poses significant risks to humanity and the planet, risks that can be mitigated through a detailed philosophical analysis.

Order Out of Chaos


Author: Ilya Prigogine,Isabelle Stengers
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1786631024
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 5377
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A pioneering book that shows how the two great themes of classic science, order and chaos, are being reconciled in a new and unexpected synthesis. Order Out of Chaos is a sweeping critique of the discordant landscape of modern scientific knowledge. In this landmark book, Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine and acclaimed philosopher Isabelle Stengers offer an exciting and accessible account of the philosophical implications of thermodynamics. Prigogine and Stengers bring contradictory philosophies of time and chance into a novel and ambitious synthesis. Since its first publication in France in 1978, this book has sparked debate among physicists, philosophers, literary critics and historians.

The Path


Author: Peter Riva
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1631580345
Category: Fiction
Page: 224
View: 9243
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This “thrilling . . . mind-bending” novel tells of future America where a dangerous new intelligence threatens the very survival of humanity (Fantascize.com). Life is good in the New Republic of America. In fact, it’s perfect. Thanks to a supercomputer known as the System that controls everything from the weather to the production of food, everyone’s basic needs are met. Too bad Simon Banks is about to break everything. Banks is a brilliant codifier whose job is to design glitches in a virtual duplicate of the System. But when glitches appear in the real System, Banks uncovers a hidden intelligence that threatens the course of humanity. More terrifying is the realization that everything he knows to be true is actually a lie. Banks finds himself in the preposterous position of saving the world. And frankly, even with the help of some friends, his chances are slim. “For people who love pure Sci-Fi, this book is a treat.” —Book and Ink

When All Seems Lost


Author: William C. Dietz
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1440639361
Category: Fiction
Page: 352
View: 3262
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From the NATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR of When Duty Calls. Captured by the alien Ramanthians, diplomat Christine Vanderveen must protect the Confederacy's President from both their captors and fellow prisoners. But rescue is on the way, led by Lieutenant Tonio Sanchez, Vanderveen's former lover, who must try to set aside his personal feelings for the sake of the mission.

Straw Dogs

Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals
Author: John Gray
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1466895756
Category: Philosophy
Page: 272
View: 6779
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The British bestseller Straw Dogs is an exciting, radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. John Gray argues that this belief in human difference is a dangerous illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned. The result is an exhilarating, sometimes disturbing book that leads the reader to question our deepest-held beliefs. Will Self, in the New Statesman, called Straw Dogs his book of the year: "I read it once, I read it twice and took notes . . . I thought it that good." "Nothing will get you thinking as much as this brilliant book" (Sunday Telegraph).

The God Delusion


Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1784161926
Category: Atheism
Page: 496
View: 9893
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The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

Shakespeare's Humanism


Author: Robin Headlam Wells
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139447478
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: N.A
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Renaissance humanists believed that if you want to build a just society you must begin with the facts of human nature. This book argues that the idea of a universal human nature was as important to Shakespeare as it was to every other Renaissance writer. In doing so it questions the central principle of post-modern Shakespeare criticism. Postmodernists insist that the notion of defining a human essence was alien to Shakespeare and his contemporaries; as radical anti-essentialists, the Elizabethans were, in effect, postmodernists before their time. In challenging this claim Shakespeare's Humanism shows that for Shakespeare, as for every other humanist writer in this period, the key to all wise action was 'the knowledge of our selves and our human condition'.

The Bookseller


Author: N.A
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: English literature
Page: N.A
View: 5058
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Inventing the Language to Tell It

Robinson Jeffers and the Biology of Consciousness
Author: George Hart
Publisher: Fordham University Press
ISBN: 0823254909
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 192
View: 5558
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From 1920 until his death in 1962, consciousness and its effect on the natural world was Robinson Jeffers's obsession. Understanding and explaining the biological basis of mind is one of the towering challenges of modern science to this day, and Jeffers's poetic experiment is an important contribution to American literary history no other twentieth-century poet attempted such a thorough engagement with a crucial scientific problem. Jeffers invented a sacramental poetics that accommodates a modern scientific account of consciousness, thereby integrating an essentially religious sensibility with science in order to discover the sacramentality of natural process and reveal a divine cosmos. There is no other study of Jeffers or sacramental nature poetry like this one. It proposes that Jeffers's sacramentalism emerged out of his scientifically informed understanding of material nature. Drawing on ecocriticism, religious studies, and neuroscience, Inventing the Language to Tell It shows how Jeffers produced the most compelling sacramental nature poetry of the twentieth century.

Consider Phlebas


Author: Iain M. Banks
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 9780316095839
Category: Fiction
Page: 544
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"Dazzlingly original." -- Daily Mail "Gripping, touching and funny." -- TLS The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.

Books in Print Supplement


Author: N.A
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: American literature
Page: N.A
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The Social Conquest of Earth


Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0871403307
Category: Science
Page: 352
View: 8852
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New York Times Bestseller From the most celebrated heir to Darwin comes a groundbreaking book on evolution, the summa work of Edward O. Wilson's legendary career. Sparking vigorous debate in the sciences, The Social Conquest of Earth upends “the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first” (Discover). Refashioning the story of human evolution, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to demonstrate that group selection, not kin selection, is the premier driving force of human evolution. In a work that James D. Watson calls “a monumental exploration of the biological origins of the human condition,” Wilson explains how our innate drive to belong to a group is both a “great blessing and a terrible curse” (Smithsonian). Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, the renowned Harvard University biologist presents us with the clearest explanation ever produced as to the origin of the human condition and why it resulted in our domination of the Earth’s biosphere.

The Galaxy Primes


Author: E. E. Smith
Publisher: The Floating Press
ISBN: 1775454967
Category: Fiction
Page: 258
View: 5742
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This classic "space opera" from genre progenitor E.E. ("Doc") Smith follows four remarkable men and women with extrasensory capabilities as they try to find their way back to Earth after an extended jaunt across the universe healing age-old rifts and forging new ties with other civilizations.

Diaspora


Author: Greg Egan
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 0575105429
Category: Fiction
Page: 352
View: 8764
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Since the Introdus in the twenty-first century, humanity has reconfigured itself drastically. Most chose immortality, joining the polises to become conscious software. Others opted for gleisners: disposable, renewable robotic bodies that remain in contact with the physical world of force and friction. Many of these have left the solar system forever in fusion-drive starships. And there are the holdouts: the fleshers left behind in the muck and jungle of Earth-some devolved into dream apes, others cavorting in the seas or the air-while the statics and bridgers try to shape out a roughly human destiny. But the complacency of the citizens is shattered when an unforeseen disaster ravages the fleshers and reveals the possibility that the polises themselves might be at risk from bizarre astrophysical processes that seem to violate fundamental laws of nature. The orphan Yatima, a digital being grown from a mind seed, joins a group of citizens and flesher refugees in a search for the knowledge that will guarantee their safety-a search that puts them on the trail of the ancient and elusive Transmuters, who have the power to reshape subatomic particles, and to cross into the macrocosmos, where the universe we know is nothing but a speck in the higher-dimensional vacuum.

Ready Player One


Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0307887456
Category: Fiction
Page: 384
View: 1731
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Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read The worldwide bestseller—now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.