Impossible Minds: My Neurons, My Consciousness has been written to satisfy the curiosity each and every one of us has about our own consciousness. It takes the view that the neurons in our heads are the source of consciousness and attempts to explain how this happens. Although it talks of neural networks, it explains what they are and what they do in such a way that anyone may understand. While the topic is partly philosophical, the text makes no assumptions of prior knowledge of philosophy; and so contains easy excursions into the important ideas of philosophy that may be missing in the education of a computer scientist.
Plato’s Animals examines the crucial role played by animal images, metaphors, allusions, and analogies in Plato’s Dialogues. These fourteen lively essays demonstrate that the gadflies, snakes, stingrays, swans, dogs, horses, and other animals that populate Plato’s work are not just rhetorical embellishments. Animals are central to Plato’s understanding of the hierarchy between animals, humans, and gods and are crucial to his ideas about education, sexuality, politics, aesthetics, the afterlife, the nature of the soul, and philosophy itself.
This is a highly interdisciplinary book straddling physics and complex systems such as living organisms. The presentation is from the perspective of physics, in a manner accessible to those interested in scientific knowledge integrated within its socio-cultural and philosophical backgrounds. Two key areas of human understanding, namely physics and conscious complex systems, are presented in simple language.
Wine appreciation can reveal important insights about ourselves, our interests, and pleasures. In a lively and engaging discussion of the philosophical significance of wine, Cain Todd brings much-needed clarity to confusions about wine characteristics and the nature of expertise, while championing the objectivity and seriousness of our appreciation of wine.
Why would an architect reach for a pencil when drawing software and AutoCAD are a click away? Use a ruler when 3D-scanners and GPS devices are close at hand? In Why Architects Still Draw, Paolo Belardi offers an elegant and ardent defense of drawing by hand as a way of thinking. Belardi is no Luddite; he doesn’t urge architects to give up digital devices for watercolors and a measuring tape. Rather, he makes a case for drawing as the interface between the idea and the work itself. A drawing, Belardi argues, holds within it the entire final design.