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Ethics and the Neurosciences

Ethical and social consequences of neuroscientific progress

Saskia K Nagel

Advances in the neurosciences have ethical and social implications which need careful consideration from an interdisciplinary perspective: The present book allows readers with different backgrounds gaining a better understanding of recent progress in the neurosciences and their implications. It first introduces to thinking in applied ethics and offers an approach that does justice to challenges from the neurosciences. State-of-the-art scientific work is discussed with respect to its implications for the individual and society. Methods of brain monitoring are explained looking at potentials and limitations as well as at implications of applications. Second, the wide field of brain manipulation is analysed with a focus on psychopharmacological enhancement. The discussion includes investigation of our capacity to handle the options opened to us, safety issues, the role of social pressures, equality of opportunity and distributive justice, as well as questions of the concept of normality, authenticity and naturalness. The book highlights crucial challenges for the individual, policy, law, and society emerging from neuroscientific and neurotechnological advances.The approach avoids problematic neuro-reductionism and is aware of promises and perils of neuroscientific progress. It thus balances overly sceptical with overenthusiastic positions by offering a profound analysis of scientific and ethical issues.

Quantum Learning

Beyond Duality

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Conrad P. Pritscher

This book shows quantum learning is the resource that unites parts into wholes and then wholes into continually larger wholes. Just as quantum computers can regard sub-atomic particles as a wave and as particles, quantum learning can understand learners as simultaneously nondual (whole) and dual (part). The study includes a reconsideration of clarity in expression and thought

For Our Children

The Ethics of Animal Experimentation in the Age of Genetic Engineering

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Anders Nordgren

This book provides an overview of different ethical views on animal experimentation. Special attention is given to the production and experimental use of genetically modified animals. It proposes a middle course between those positions that are very critical and those very positive. This middle course implies that animal experiments originating in vital human research interests are commonly justified, provided that animal welfare is taken seriously. Some animal experiments are not acceptable, since the expected human benefit is too low and the animal suffering too severe. This position is supported by an argument from species care according to which we have special obligations to our children and other humans due to special relations. The book tries to bridge the gap between animal ethics and animal welfare science by discussing various conceptions of animal welfare: function-centered, feeling-based, and those focusing on natural living. The theoretical starting-point is “imaginative casuistry.” This approach stresses the role of moral imagination and metaphor in ethical deliberation, accepts a plurality of values, and recognizes the importance of case-by-case balancing. In the discussion of genetically modified animals, both intrinsic ethical concerns and animal welfare concerns are addressed.

Edited by Gabriela Mádlo

These discourses take the reader around the world, into such cities as Aberdeen, Växjö, Zarnowiec, Curitiba and Limburg, to visit the environmental practices, examined under the magnifying glass. This volume, rich with diversity, brings interesting and positive reading of countless examples on the subject of environmental justice, exhibiting its importance and increasing its awareness. The ten chapters within this volume provide an understanding of key factors for the balance between human race and nature that leans against the human proactive behaviour supported by the environmental justice.

The Human Project

The Year 2000

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Nicola Abbagnano

This book explores human possibility at the end of the twentieth century. It takes the form of discussion between an eminent philosopher and a skilled journalist about “the human measure” as it engages false absolutes and their accompanying utopias. The book proposes a “third way” between capitalism and socialism, and it concludes with comments on end-of-century phenomena, including democracy, intellectuals, and terrorism.

Values, Work, Education

The Meanings of Work

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Edited by Samuel M. Natale, Brian M. Rothschild, Joseph W. Sora and Tara M. Madden

This book is a collection of reflections and empirical studies which examine the many facets of the meanings of work. The authors are significant scholars in fields of study ranging from ethics to sociology. The book is a text which aims at balancing the academic with the practical and so the chapters often reflect the tensions implicit in such a venture. The reader will find in these pages historical, philosophical, educational, religious, entrepreneurial and many other points of view which combine to emerge as a text which is both encyclopedic in information yet engaging and lively in style. The reader will be able to understand how the meanings of work have changed over the centuries varying according to historical place and point of view. At the same time, the diligent reader will observe the centrality that work has in the lives of people both practically and in terms of life quests. Work has previously been defined as an activity that produces something of value for other people. This definition does not even begin to include the information about work that is presented in this book. The reader will feel a invigorating sense of worth from this book.

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Hynek Bartos

This book offers the first extended study published in English on the Hippocratic treatise On Regimen, one of the most important pre-Platonic documents of the discussion of human nature and other topics at the intersection of ancient medicine and philosophy. It is not only a unique example of classical Greek dietetic literature, including the most elaborated account of the micro-macrocosm and phusis- technē analogies, but it also provides the most explicit discussion of the soul-body opposition preceding Plato. Moreover, Bartoš argues, it is a rare example of an extant medical text which systematically draws on philosophical authorities, such as Heraclitus, Empedocles and Anaxagoras, and which had a decisive influence on both physicians, such as Galen, and philosophers, most notably Plato and Aristotle.

The Dark Side of Knowledge

Histories of Ignorance, 1400 to 1800

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Cornel Zwierlein

How can one study the absence of knowledge, the voids, the conscious and unconscious unknowns through history? Investigations into late medieval and early modern practices of measuring, of risk calculation, of ignorance within financial administrations, of conceiving the docta ignorantia as well as the silence of the illiterate are combined with contributions regarding knowledge gaps within identification procedures and political decision-making, with the emergence of consciously delimited blanks on geographical maps, with ignorance as a factor embedded in iconographic programs, in translation processes and the semantic potentials of reading. Based on thorough archival analysis, these selected contributions from conferences at Harvard and Paris are tightly framed by new theoretical elaborations that have implications beyond these cases and epochal focus.

Contributors: Giovanni Ceccarelli, Taylor Cowdery, Lucile Haguet, John T. Hamilton, Lucian Hölscher, Moritz Isenmann, Adam J. Kosto, Marie-Laure Legay, Andrew McKenzie-McHarg, Fabrice Micallef, William T. O´Reilly, Eleonora Rohland, Mathias Schmoeckel, Daniel L. Smail, Govind P. Sreenivasan, and Cornel Zwierlein.

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Edited by Wolfgang Balzer, Joseph D. Sneed and C. Ulises Moulines

Althusser

The Detour of Theory

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James Keith Elliott

First published in 1987, Althusser, The Detour of Theory was widely received as the fullest account of its subject to date. Drawing on a wide range of hitherto untranslated material, it examined the political and intellectual contexts of Althusser’s ‘return to Marx’ in the mid-1960s; analysed the novel character of the Marxism developed in his major works; charted their author’s subsequent evolution, from his self-criticism to the proclamation of a ‘crisis of Marxism’; and concluded with a balance-sheet of Althusser’s contribution to historical materialism.
For this second edition, Gregory Elliott has added a substantial postscript in which he surveys the posthumous edition of the French philosopher’s work published in the 1990s, from the early writings of the 1940s through to the late texts of the 1980s, relating the unknown Althusser revealed by them to the familiar figure of For Marx and Reading Capital, together with a comprehensive bibliography of Althusser’s oeuvre.