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new book – ‘Greek Models of Mind and Self’ by A.A. Long

November 26, 2014

Greek Models of Mind & Self

Greek Models of Mind and Self by A.A. Long (Harvard University Press, 2014)

(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

This lively book offers a wide-ranging study of Greek notions of mind and human selfhood from Homer through Plotinus. A. A. Long anchors his discussion in questions of recurrent and universal interest. What happens to us when we die? How is the mind or soul related to the body? Are we responsible for our own happiness? Can we achieve autonomy? Long asks when and how these questions emerged in ancient Greece, and shows that Greek thinkers’ modeling of the mind gave us metaphors that we still live by, such as the rule of reason or enslavement to passion. He also interrogates the less familiar Greek notion of the intellect’s divinity, and asks what that might mean for us.

Because Plato’s dialogues articulate these themes more sharply and influentially than works by any other Greek thinker, Plato receives the most sustained treatment in this account. But at the same time, Long asks whether Plato’s explanation of the mind and human behavior is more convincing for modern readers than that contained in the older Homeric poems. Turning to later ancient philosophy, especially Stoicism, Long concludes with an exploration of Epictetus’s injunction to live life by making correct use of one’s mental impressions.

An authoritative treatment of Greek modes of self-understanding, Greek Models of Mind and Self demonstrates how ancient thinkers grappled with what is closest to us and yet still most mysterious—our own essence as singular human selves—and how the study of Greek thought can enlarge and enrich our experience.

Comments (0) - culture,mind,new books,self,Uncategorized

new book – ‘Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy’ by Evan Thompson

November 11, 2014

Waking, Dreaming, Being

Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy by Evan Thompson (Columbia University Press, 2014)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of the mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain.

Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the “I” as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate — either in the waking state or in a lucid dream — we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as “me.” We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self.

Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness the dissolution of the self with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life’s profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website, Book on Facebook

Comments (0) - cognitive science,consciousness,meditation,new books,philosophy of mind,self

free kindle ebook – ‘Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to See and Shape Ourselves’ by Jill Walker Rettberg

October 13, 2014

Comments (0) - psychology,self

new book – ‘Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being’ by Brian R. Little

October 6, 2014

Me, Myself, and Us

Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being by Brian R. Little (Perseus/PublicAffairs, 2014)

(amazon.co.uk), (kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

How does your personality shape your life … and what, if anything, can you do about it?

Are you hardwired for happiness, or born to brood? Do you think you’re in charge of your future, or do you surf the waves of unknowable fate? Would you be happier, or just less socially adept, if you were less concerned about what other people thought of you? And what about your “Type A” spouse: is he or she destined to have a heart attack, or just drive you to drink?

In the past few decades, new scientific research has transformed old ideas about the nature of human personality. Neuroscientists, biologists, and psychological scientists have reexamined the theories of Freud and Jung as well as the humanistic psychologies of the 1960s, upending the simplistic categorizations of personality “types,” and developing new tools and methods for exploring who we are. Renowned professor and pioneering research psychologist Brian R. Little has been at the leading edge of this new science. In this wise and witty book he shares a wealth of new data and provocative insights about who we are, why we act the way we do, what we can—and can’t—change, and how we can best thrive in light of our “nature.”

Me, Myself, and Us explores questions that are rooted in the origins of human consciousness but are as commonplace as yesterday’s breakfast conversation, such as whether our personality traits are “set” by age thirty or whether our brains and selves are more plastic. He considers what our personalities portend for our health and success, and the extent to which our well-being depends on the personal projects we pursue.

Through stories, studies, personal experiences, and entertaining interactive assessments, Me, Myself, and Us provides a lively, thought-provoking, and ultimately optimistic look at the possibilities and perils of being uniquely ourselves, while illuminating the selves of the familiar strangers we encounter, work with, and love.

See also: Author’s website

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new book – ‘Minding the Brain: A Guide to Philosophy and Neuroscience’ by Georg Northoff

May 25, 2014

Minding the Brain

Minding the Brain: A Guide to Philosophy and Neuroscience by Georg Northoff (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

This book explores how the relationship between philosophy and the brain can inform neuroscience, the mind-brain problem and debates about consciousness. Written in a lively style with extensive pedagogy to explain complex concepts, this is interesting reading for students and researchers of psychology, neuroscience and philosophy.

Table of Contents:
Introduction
PART I: MIND AND BRAIN – FROM PHILOSOPHY THROUGH NEUROSCIENCE TO NEUROPHILOSOPHY
1. Philosophy and the Mind – Philosophy of Mind and Phenomenology
2. Philosophy and Science – Naturalism
3. Mind, Brain and Science – Psychology and Neuroscience
4. Brain and Philosophy – Neurophilosophy
PART II: MIND-BRAIN PROBLEM – FROM PHILOSOPHY OF MIND TO PHILOSOPHY OF BRAIN
5. Mental Approaches to the Mind-brain Problem
6. Physical and Functional Approaches to the Mind-brain Problem
7. Non-mental and Non-physical Approaches to the Mind-brain Problem
8. Brain-based Approaches to the Mind-brain Problem
PART III: PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY AND NEUROSCIENCE – FROM EXPLANATION OF MIND TO EXPLANATION OF BRAIN
9. Philosophy of Psychology – Personal Versus Subpersonal Levels of Explanation
10. Philosophy of Psychology – Mind and Meaning
11. Philosophy of Neuroscience – Explanations, Concepts, and Observer in Neuroscience
12. Philosophy of Brain – Characterization of the Brain
PART IV: NEUROPHILOSOPHY OF CONSCIOUSNESS – FROM MIND TO CONSCIOUSNESS
13. Arguments against the Reduction of Consciousness to the Brain
14. Neural Correlates of Consciousness (NCC)
15. Neural Predispositions of Consciousness (NPC)
16. Conceptual, Phenomenal, and Methodological Issues in the Investigation of Consciousness
PART V: NEUROPHILOSOPHY OF SELF – FROM CONSCIOUSNESS TO SELF
17. Brain and Self
18. Brain and Self-consciousness
19. Abnormalities of Self and Brain in Psychiatric Disorders
20. Brain and Intersubjectivity
Epilogue: Is the Brain a Door Opener?

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - consciousness,new books,philosophy of mind,self