Robots, Zombies and Us: Understanding Consciousness [EPUB]
29 June 2017, 13:56
2017 | EPUB | 0.32MB
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.
A Written Republic: Cicero's Philosophical Politics [EPUB]
24 June 2017, 04:59
2012 | EPUB | 1.46MB
In the 40s BCE, during his forced retirement from politics under Caesar's dictatorship, Cicero turned to philosophy, producing a massive and important body of work. As he was acutely aware, this was an unusual undertaking for a Roman statesman because Romans were often hostile to philosophy, perceiving it as foreign and incompatible with fulfilling one's duty as a citizen. How, then, are we to understand Cicero's decision to pursue philosophy in the context of the political, intellectual, and cultural life of the late Roman republic? In A Written Republic, Yelena Baraz takes up this question and makes the case that philosophy for Cicero was not a retreat from politics but a continuation of politics by other means, an alternative way of living a political life and serving the state under newly restricted conditions.
Baraz examines the rhetorical battle that Cicero stages in his philosophical prefaces--a battle between the forces that would oppose or support his project. He presents his philosophy as intimately connected to the new political circumstances and his exclusion from politics. His goal--to benefit the state by providing new moral resources for the Roman elite--was traditional, even if his method of translating Greek philosophical knowledge into Latin and combining Greek sources with Roman heritage was unorthodox.
A Written Republic provides a new perspective on Cicero's conception of his philosophical project while also adding to the broader picture of late-Roman political, intellectual, and cultural life.
The Complete Francis of Assisi: His Life, The Complete Writings, and The Little Flowers [EPUB]
24 June 2017, 04:53
2015 | EPUB | 1.97MB
There are many editions of the writings of Francis, and biographies about him, but here in one volume are both, plus the complete text of the late medieval work The Little Flowers, which did more to establish the legend of the man than any other work. This “Paraclete Giants” edition includes the complete Road to Assisi, Paul Sabatier’s groundbreaking biography of Francis, first published in French in 1894 and re-issued and annotated in English translation in 2002; the complete Francis in His Own Words: The Essential Writings; and The Little Flowers, thus offering the best introduction to St. Francis yet available.
"It is not simply that Francis’s ideals are worth recounting, but that his life was so extraordinary. He was fully human—like each of us in our awkwardness, insecurities, and fear—but he was also perhaps the purest example we have seen of a person striving to do what Jesus taught his disciples.”—Jon M. Sweeney, from this book