Plato at the Googleplex

Why Philosophy Won't Go Away

Author: Rebecca Goldstein

Publisher: Pantheon

ISBN: 0307908879

Category: Philosophy

Page: 480

View: 9698

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.)

Das unbeschriebene Blatt

Die moderne Leugnung der menschlichen Natur

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag

ISBN: 3104903905

Category: Social Science

Page: 768

View: 2739

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: 7434

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.

Plato's Philosophy Reaching Beyond the Limits of Reason

Contours of a Contextual Theory of Truth

Author: Harald Haarmann

Publisher: Georg Olms Verlag

ISBN: 3487155427

Category: Philosophy

Page: 375

View: 902

Platon zählt zu den einflussreichsten Philosophen aller Zeiten. Er beeinflusste maßgeblich Profil und Kanon der westlichen Philosophie. Die Kritik am sogenannten Platonismus wurde kontinuierlich von den Schwierigkeiten gespeist, die die Interpretation der philosophischen Schriften Platons bereitet. Gemeinhin wird er als rein rationaler Philosoph gesehen. Ein Philosoph war er in der Tat, ebenso jedoch ein Experte in der Annäherung an das Nicht-Rationale, unter anderem in Form von Mythen. So wurde er auch als "Mythenerfinder" und "Mythologe" bezeichnet. Platon war ein Visionär, der es wagte, das Reich des Nicht-Rationalen auf systematische und disziplinierte Art zu erforschen. Insgesamt lässt sich Platons philosophisches Vorhaben als Streben nach einer umfassenden Sicht des organischen Ganzen klassifizieren. Der Ausdruck „Gestalt“ scheint die Ganzheit am ehesten zu beschreiben. Platon kann als prominentester und auch als letzter Repräsentant der antiken Philosophie angesehen werden, der die Entwicklung einer Gestalt-Philosophie anstrebte. Plato is one of the most influential philosophers of all time. He decisively shaped the profile and canon of western philosophy. Criticism of what has become known as Platonism has been continuously nourished by the difficulties of interpreting this philosopher's writings. Plato is commonly viewed as a purely rational philosopher. A philosopher he was indeed, but Plato was also an expert in approaching the non-rational, in the form of mythology among others. Plato has been called a "mythmaker" and a "mythologist". Plato was a visionary who dared to explore the realm of the non-rational in a systematic and disciplined way. In an overall comparison, Plato's philosophical enterprise strives for a comprehensive perspective on the organic whole. The expression "Gestalt" seems to come closest to describing the wholeness. Plato may be considered to be the most prominent representative of classical philosophy to develop a Gestalt philosophy and also the last to do so in antiquity.

The Blank Slate

The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101200322

Category: Psychology

Page: 528

View: 510

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: Plato

Publisher: Signet Classics

ISBN: 9780451471703

Category: Philosophy

Page: 672

View: 9531

A new translation of the complete texts of The Republic, The Apology, Crito, Phaido, Ion, Meno, and Symposium reveals the genius of Plato as he struggled with education, justice, the "philosopher king," and utopian visions of society. Reprint.