【简 介】 Could robots be genuinely intelligent? Could they be conscious? Could there be zombies? Prompted by these questions Robert Kirk introduces the main problems of consciousness and sets out a new approach to solving them.
He starts by discussing behaviourism, Turing's test of intelligence and Searle's famous Chinese Room argument, and goes on to examine dualism – the idea that consciousness requires something beyond the physical – together with its opposite, physicalism. Probing the idea of zombies, he concludes they are logically impossible. Having presented the central problems, he sketches his solution: a version of functionalism, according to which consciousness consists in the performance of functions.
While there is wide agreement among philosophers about what the main problems of consciousness are, there is little agreement on how to go about solving them. With this powerful case for his version of functionalism, Kirk offers an engaging introduction to both the problems and a possible solution.
The Endangered West: Myopic Elites and Fragile Social Orders in a Threatening World
【编 者】John Higley
【出版社】Routledge; 1 edition (November 1, 2016)
【索书号】C05 /H638 /E
【简 介】 Bold political elites and unique forms of social order brought the West to world dominance, but both are weakening dramatically in the contemporary period. The Endangered West makes the case for the continuation of Western power on as wide a global basis as is prudent. Is the survival of Western influence possible, or must we resign ourselves to its eventually being subordinated to more ruthless powers? Higley lays out the main policy lines that successful leadership will have to follow to preserve and strengthen Western societies. These include avoiding futile involvements in the internal problems of non-Western countries and preserving sufficient social order to permit public and private organizations to function. The West will also have to find a way to regularize treatment of the growing number of those who lack employment; invent new forms of useful work for Westerners to perform; inhibit large in-migrations, and discourage population growth. Above all, the West must address the threat of environmental disaster. There is no certain result in the struggle, but such measures will help to prevent a slide into despotism or a lapse into barbarism. Half the battle is to hold on to what the West has and, if possible, extend it. Progress will be made if elites and opinion leaders address societies' problems more competently. If the West's prestige is restored, world tensions may gradually subside, making meeting global problems more possible.
Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches
【作 者】Marcia A. Zug
【出版社】NYU Press (June 7, 2016)
【索书号】D771.281 /Z94 /E
【简 介】 There have always been mail-order brides in America—but we haven’t always thought about them in the same ways. In Buying a Bride, Marcia A. Zug starts with the so-called “Tobacco Wives” of the Jamestown colony and moves all the way forward to today’s modern same-sex mail-order grooms to explore the advantages and disadvantages of mail-order marriage. It’s a history of deception, physical abuse, and failed unions. It’s also the story of how mail-order marriage can offer women surprising and empowering opportunities.
Drawing on a forgotten trove of colorful mail-order marriage court cases, Zug explores the many troubling legal issues that arise in mail-order marriage: domestic abuse and murder, breach of contract, fraud (especially relating to immigration), and human trafficking and prostitution. She tells the story of how mail-order marriage lost the benign reputation it enjoyed in the Civil War era to become more and more reviled over time, and she argues compellingly that it does not entirely deserve its current reputation. While it is a common misperception that women turn to mail-order marriage as a desperate last resort, most mail-order brides are enticed rather than coerced. Since the first mail-order brides arrived on American shores in 1619, mail-order marriage has enabled women to improve both their marital prospects and their legal, political, and social freedoms. Buying A Bride uncovers this history and shows us how mail-order marriage empowers women and should be protected and even encouraged.
Shadow Banking in China: An Opportunity for Financial Reform
【作 者】Andrew Sheng, Ng Chow Soon
【出版社】Wiley; 1 edition (July 12, 2016)
【索书号】F832.39 /S524 /E
【简 介】Shadow Banking in China examines this rapidly growing sector in the Chinese economy, and what it means for your investments. Written by two world-class experts in Chinese banking, including the Chief Advisor to the China Banking Regulatory Commission and former Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong, this book is unique in providing true, first-hand perspectives from authorities within the world's largest economy. There is little widely-available information on China's shadow banking developments, and much of it is rife with disparate data, inaccuracies and overblown risks due to definitional and measurement differences. This book clears the confusion by supplying accurate information, on-the-ground context and invaluable national balance sheet analysis you won't find anywhere else.
Shadow banking has grown to be a key source of credit in China, and a major component of the economy. This book serves as a primer for analysts and investors seeking real, useful information about the sector to better inform investment decisions.
？Discover what's driving the growth of shadow banking in China
？Learn the truth about both real and inflated risks
？Dig into popular rhetoric and clarify common misconceptions
？Access valuable data previously not published in English
Despite shadow banking's critical influence on the Chinese economy, there have been very few official studies and even fewer books written on the subject. Understanding China's present-day economy and forecasting its future requires an in-depth understanding of shadow banking and its inter-relationship with the banking system and other sectors. Shadow Banking in China provides authoritative reference that will prove valuable to anyone with financial interests in China.
Philosophy of Media: A Short History of Ideas and Innovations from Socrates to Social Media
【编 者】Robert Hassan, Thomas Sutherland
【出版社】Routledge; 1 edition (September 15, 2016)
【索书号】G206.3 /H353 /E
【简 介】Since the late-1980s the rise of the Internet and the emergence of the Networked Society have led to a rapid and profound transformation of everyday life. Underpinning this revolution is the computer – a media technology that is capable of not only transforming itself, but almost every other machine and media process that humans have used throughout history.
In Philosophy of Media, Hassan and Sutherland explore the philosophical and technological trajectory of media from Classical Greece until today, casting a new and revealing light upon the global media condition. Key topics include:
？the mediation of politics
？the question of objectivity
？automata and the metaphor of the machine
？analogue and digital
Laid out in a clear and engaging format, Philosophy of Media provides an accessible and comprehensive exploration of the origins of the network society. It is essential reading for students of philosophy, media theory, politics, history and communication studies.
The Semiotics of Emoji: The Rise of Visual Language in the Age of the Internet
【简 介】Emoji have gone from being virtually unknown to being a central topic in internet communication. What is behind the rise and rise of these winky faces, clinking glasses and smiling poos? Given the sheer variety of verbal communication on the internet and English's still-controversial role as lingua mundi for the web, these icons have emerged as a compensatory universal language.
The Semiotics of Emoji looks at what is officially the world's fastest-growing form of communication. Emoji, the colourful symbols and glyphs that represent everything from frowning disapproval to red-faced shame, are fast becoming embedded into digital communication. Controlled by a centralized body and regulated across the web, emoji seems to be a language: but is it? The rapid adoption of emoji in such a short span of time makes it a rich study in exploring the functions of language.
Professor Marcel Danesi, an internationally-known expert in semiotics, branding and communication, answers the pertinent questions. Are emoji making us dumber? Can they ultimately replace language? Will people grow up emoji literate as well as digitally native? Can there be such a thing as a Universal Visual Language? Read this book for the answers.
Narrative Subversion in Medieval Literature
【作 者】E.L. Risden
【出版社】McFarland (August 15, 2016)
【索书号】I109.3 /R595 /E
【简 介】A story that follows a simple trajectory is seldom worth telling. But the unexpected overturning of narrative progress creates complexity and interest, directing the reader's attention to the most powerful elements of a story.
Exile, for example, upsets a protagonist's hopes for a happy earthly life, emphasizing spiritual perception instead. Waking life interrupts dreams, just as dreams may redirect how one lives.
Focusing on medieval literature, this study explores how narrative subversion works in such well known stories as Beowulf, Piers Plowman, Le Morte D' Arthur, The Canterbury Tales, Troylus and Criseyde, 'Völuspá" and other Old Norse sagas, Grail quest romances, and many others.
The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built
【简 介】For almost a century, Americans have been losing their hearts and losing their minds in an insatiable love affair with the American musical. It often begins in childhood in a darkened theater, grows into something more serious for high school actors, and reaches its passionate zenith when it comes time for love, marriage, and children, who will start the cycle all over again. Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical?
In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next―by design or by accident, by emulation or by rebellion―from Oklahoma! to Hamilton and onward.
Structured like a musical, The Secret Life of the American Musical begins with an overture and concludes with a curtain call, with stops in between for “I Want” songs, “conditional” love songs, production numbers, star turns, and finales. The ultimate insider, Viertel has spent three decades on Broadway, working on dozens of shows old and new as a conceiver, producer, dramaturg, and general creative force; he has his own unique way of looking at the process and at the people who collaborate to make musicals a reality. He shows us patterns in the architecture of classic shows and charts the inevitable evolution that has taken place in musical theater as America itself has evolved socially and politically.
The Secret Life of the American Musical makes you feel as though you’ve been there in the rehearsal room, in the front row of the theater, and in the working offices of theater owners and producers as they pursue their own love affair with that rare and elusive beast―the Broadway hit.
The Aztec Economic World: Merchants and Markets in Ancient Mesoamerica
【作 者】Kenneth G. Hirth
【出版社】Cambridge University Press (July 12, 2016)
【索书号】K731.8 /H671 /E
【简 介】This study explores the organization, scale, complexity, and integration of Aztec commerce across Mesoamerica at Spanish contact. The aims of the book are threefold. The first is to construct an in-depth understanding of the economic organization of precolumbian Aztec society and how it developed in the way that it did. The second is to explore the livelihoods of the individuals who bought, sold, and moved goods across a cultural landscape that lacked both navigable rivers and animal transport. Finally, this study models Aztec economy in a way that facilitates its comparison to other ancient and premodern societies around the world. What makes the Aztec economy unique is that it developed one of the most sophisticated market economies in the ancient world in a society with one of the worse transportation systems. This is the first book to provide an updated and comprehensive view of the Aztec economy in thirty years.
The Third Chimpanzee: On the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
【作 者】Jared Diamond
【出版社】Oneworld Publications (September 1, 2015)
【索书号】Q981.1-49 /D537 /E
【简 介】The Third Chimpanzee was first published in 1991 and has been in print ever since. This new, illustrated edition is aimed at a young readership. In it, Jared Diamond explores what makes us human and poses fascinating questions. * If we share more than 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, how is it that we can write, read, talk, build telescopes and bombs, while we put our speechless and bomb-less close relatives in cages and zoos? * What can woodpeckers teach us about spacecraft? * Is genocide a human invention? * Why does extinction matter? * Why are we destroying the natural resources on which we depend for survival? * What hope is there for future generations? Not only is The Third Chimpanzee a mind-boggling survey of how we came to be, but it is also a plea to the next generation to "make better decisions than their parents and get us out of the mess we're in."