For centuries scientists and philosophers have pondered the relationship between scientific theory and reality. Analyzing two major positions, the author points out the many assumptions required to adopt the realist view, and nihilism implicit in the instrumentalist position.
Choosing Models of Society and Social Norms offers an innovative approach to social norms and decision-making that encourages the identification of social norms, along with their causes and consequences. Adolfo Critto points out that social norms condition behavior, but are also conditioned by human decisions. He notes that social norms generally only provide partial and temporary solutions to human needs and problems, so must be critically analyzed in order to understand their relationship to decision making. Critto approaches this relationship through "sacred" (focused on transcendent ends) and "expedient" (focused on efficient means) value orientations, warning that a one-sided focus on either of these orientations leads to inconsistency. He stresses the importance of language, communication, and education, showing how they relate to social norms. Through his analysis, the author provides an understanding of the creation of social norms, what influences them, and the evaluation of those that already exist.
One of the great intellectual achievements of the 20th century, Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces is an elaborate articulation of the monomyth: the narrative pattern underlying countless stories from the most ancient myths and legends to the films and television series of today. The monomyth's fundamental storyline, in Campbell's words, sees "the hero venture forth from the world of the common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons to his fellow man." Campbell asserted that the hero is each of us--thus the monomyth's endurance as a compelling plot structure. This study examines the monomyth in the context of Campbell's The Hero and discusses the use of this versatile narrative in 26 films and two television shows produced between 1960 and 2009, including the initial Star Wars trilogy (1977-1983), The Time Machine (1960), Logan's Run (1976), Escape from New York (1981), Tron (1982), The Terminator (1984), The Matrix (1999), the first 11 Star Trek films (1979-2009), and the Sci Fi Channel's miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune (2000) and Frank Herbert's Children of Dune (2003).
Spirit and Nature in the Christianity-Buddhism-Science Trialogue
Author: Amos Yong
The interjection of pneumatology in both theologies of interreligious dialogue and in the theology-and-science conversation comes together in this volume. The resulting Christianity-Buddhism-science trialogue opens up to new pneumatological perspectives on philosophical cosmology and anthropology in interdisciplinary and global context.
An important, yet little explored, area of feminist research is women's subjective experience of everyday life. Claiming Reality is the first study to apply the insights of the growing discipline of phenomenological sociology to women's experience, particularly the experience of childbirth, in an attempt to develop a feminist phenomenological perspective.
Foundations of Economics breathes life into the discipline by linking key economic concepts with wider debates and issues. By bringing to light delightful mind-teasers, philosophical questions and intriguing politics in mainstream economics, it promises to enliven an otherwise dry course whilst inspiring students to do well. The book covers all the main economic concepts and addresses in detail three main areas: * consumption and choice * production and markets * government and the State. Each is discussed in terms of what the conventional textbook says, how these ideas developed in historical and philosophical terms and whether or not they make sense. Assumptions about economics as a discipline are challenged, and several pertinent students' anxieties ('Should I be studying economics?') are discussed.
Discussions with the Dalai Lama on the Nature of Reality
Author: Pier Luigi Luisi
Pubpsher: Columbia University Press
For over a decade, a small group of scientists and philosophers members of the Mind and Life Institute have met regularly to explore the intersection between science and the spirit. At one of these meetings, the themes discussed were both fundamental and profound: can physics, chemistry, and biology explain the mystery of life? How do our philosophical assumptions influence science and the ethics we bring to biotechnology? And how does an ancient spiritual tradition throw new light on these questions? Pier Luigi Luisi not only reproduces this dramatic, cross-cultural dialogue, in which world-class scientists, philosophers, and Buddhist scholars develop a holistic approach to the scientific exploration of reality, but also adds scientific background to their presentations, as well as supplementary discussions with prominent participants and attendees. Interviews with His Holiness the Karmapa, the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, and the actor and longtime human rights advocate Richard Gere take the proceedings into new directions, enriching the material with personal viewpoints and lively conversation about such topics as the origin of matter, the properties of cells, the nature of evolution, the ethics of genetic manipulation, and the question of consciousness and ethics. A keen study of character, Luisi incorporates his own amusing observations into this fascinating dialogue, painting a very human portrait of some of our greatest and most intimidating thinkers. Deeply textured and cleverly crafted, Mind and Life is an excellent opportunity for any reader to join in the debate surrounding this cutting-edge field of inquiry.