Books by Subject


Darwin's Audubon: Science and the Liberal Imagination
by Gerald Weissman

Paperback - 354 pages 1st edition (January 15, 2002)
Perseus Pr; ISBN: 0738205974 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.94 x 8.99 x 5.98

Other Editions: Hardcover

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Daniel Dennett (Contemporary Philosophy in Focus)
by Andrew Brook, (Editor), Don Ross, (Editor
Paperback - 320 pages (February 2002)
Cambridge Univ Pr (Pap Txt); ISBN: 0521008646 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.80 x 8.16 x 6.98
In-Print Editions: Hardcover

Editorial Reviews
Daniel Dennett is a close look at one of the most significant living American philosophers. The book is part of Cambridge University Press's Contemporary Philosophy in Focus series, which highlights today's major philosophers. Indeed, Dennett's writings have had enormous consequences for our understanding of artificial intelligence, game theory, neuroscience, and developmental psychology, among other matters.

The book does not require an intimate knowledge of Dennett's work nor a specialist's interest in the philosophy of mind. Instead, editors Andrew Brook and Don Ross have assembled a disparate group of contributors to elucidate "the influence Dennett has had beyond the bounds of academic philosophy." Readers will find an insightful overview of Dennett's philosophy, as well as expert explanations of his significance in a variety of fields. The book is in some respects a tribute to Dennett--the introduction is a fond perspective on a great mind--but the essays themselves engage Dennett's thought with respectful criticism even while they demonstrate his importance. --Eric de Place

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A Primate's Memoir
by Robert M. Sapolsky
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Hardcover - 304 pages (March 2001)
Scribner; ISBN: 0743202473 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.01 x 9.57 x 6.43

Editorial Reviews
Robert Sapolsky, the author of
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers and other popular books on animal and human behavior, decided early in life to become a primatologist, volunteering at the American Museum of Natural History and badgering his high school principal to let him study Swahili to prepare for travel in Africa. When he set out to conduct fieldwork as a young graduate student, though, Sapolsky found that life among a Kenyan baboon troop was markedly different from his earlier bookish studies. Among other things, he confesses, he had to become a master of shooting anesthetic darts into his subjects with a blowgun to take blood samples, a mastery that required him to become "a leering slinky silent quicksilver baboon terror." He also had to learn how to negotiate the complexities of baboon politics, endure the difficulties of life in the bush, and subsist on cases of canned mackerel and beans.

His memoir is, in the main, quite humorous, although Sapolsky flings a few darts along the way at the late activist Dian Fossey--who, he hints, may have indirectly caused the deaths of her beloved mountain gorillas by her unstable, irrational dealings with local people--and at local bureaucrats whose interests did not often coincide with those of Sapolsky's wild charges. It is also full of good information on primates and primatology, a subject whose practitioners, it seems, are constantly fighting to save species and ecosystems. "Every primatologist I know is losing that battle," he writes. "They make me think of someone whose unlikely job would be to collect snowflakes, to rush into a warm room and observe the unique pattern under a microscope before it melts and is never seen again." --Gregory McNamee

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Dawkins vs. Gould : Survival of the Fittest
by Kim Sterelny, Jon Turney (Editor)

Paperback - 160 pages (June 1, 2001)
Totem Books; ISBN: 1840462493 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.61 x 6.92 x 4.38

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Cosmic Evolution : The Rise of Complexity in Nature
by Eric J. Chaisson

Hardcover - 320 pages 1st edition (February 15, 2001)
Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 067400342X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.95 x 9.51 x 6.39

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
We are connected to distant space and time not only by our imaginations but also through a common cosmic heritage. Emerging now from modern science is a unified scenario of the cosmos, including ourselves as sentient beings, based on the time-honored concept of change. From galaxies to snowflakes, from stars and planets to life itself, we are beginning to identify an underlying ubiquitous pattern penetrating the fabric of all the natural sciences--a sweepingly encompassing view of the order and structure of every known class of object in our richly endowed universe.

This is the subject of Eric Chaissonís new book. In Cosmic Evolution Chaisson addresses some of the most basic issues we can contemplate: the origin of matter and the origin of life, and the ways matter, life, and radiation interact and change with time. Guided by notions of beauty and symmetry, by the search for simplicity and elegance, by the ambition to explain the widest range of phenomena with the fewest possible principles, Chaisson designs for us an expansive yet intricate model depicting the origin and evolution of all material structures. He shows us that neither new science nor appeals to nonscience are needed to understand the impressive hierarchy of the cosmic evolutionary story, from quark to quasar, from microbe to mind.

Hardcover - 320 pages (February 2001)
Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 067400342X

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A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation
by Peter Singer

Hardcover - 64 pages (April 2000)
Yale Univ Pr; ISBN: 0300083238 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.44 x 7.24 x 4.67

Editorial Reviews

Book Description
In A Darwinian Left, Peter Singer argues that the political left has misunderstood Darwinian ideas and as a result been hostile to the application of Darwinian thinking to politics. Those on the political left who seek a more egalitarian society should instead embrace evolutionary ideas and learn how to use evolutionary thinking in order to build the kind of cooperative society sought.
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Reason for Hope : A Spiritual Journey
by Jane Goodall, Phillip Berman

Hardcover - 320 pages (September 1999)
Warner Books; ISBN: 0446522252 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.10 x 9.33 x 6.32
Other Editions: Audio Cassette (Abridged)

As a young woman, Jane Goodall was best known for her groundbreaking fieldwork with the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa. Goodall's work has always been controversial, mostly because she broke the mold of research scientist by developing meaningful relationships with her "specimens" and honoring their lives as she would other humans.

Now at the age of 60, she continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how her research and worldwide conservation institutes spring from her childhood callings and adult spiritual convictions. Reason for Hope is a smoothly written memoir that does not shy away from facing the realities of environmental destruction, animal abuse, and genocide. But Goodall shares her antidote to the poison of despair with specific examples of why she has not lost faith. For instance, she shares her spiritual epiphany during a visit to Auschwitz; her bravery in the face of chimpanzee imprisonment in medical laboratories; and devotes a whole chapter to individuals, corporations, and countries that are doing the right thing. But most of all Goodall provides a beautifully written plea for why everyone can and must find a reason for hope. --Gail Hudson
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Defenders of the Truth : The Battle for Science in the Sociobiology Debate and Beyond
By Ullica Segerstrale

Hardcover - 464 pages (April 2000)
Oxford Univ Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0198505051
Editorial Reviews
How do scientists separate their politics from their work--or is such a distinction even possible? These questions frame the two levels of sociologist Ullica Segerstrale's analysis of the sociobiology controversy, Defenders of the Truth. From E.O. Wilson's 1975 publication of Sociobiology to his 1998 release of Consilience, he has consistently been the often-unwilling center of the vitriolic debate over human nature and its scientific study. Heavy hitters like Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, and John Maynard Smith have lined up to attack and defend the scientific, political, and moral interpretations and implications of Wilson's synthesis, and Dr. Segerstrale tells a compelling story of their battles on multiple fronts. The author knows her science, having trained extensively in biochemistry before turning to sociology. While she distances herself from assessing the validity of the various claims, Segerstrale is clearly sympathetic to Wilson, who seems almost naÔve at times when his ideas are interpreted ideologically rather than scientifically.

That, of course, is the heart of the contention surrounding sociobiology. The political left, well-represented among evolutionary biologists, has long considered any genetic influence on human behavior anathema--such theories are believed to support racist policies, even in the unlikely event that they were not merely reflections of racist attitudes. To their credit, many scientists held more complex beliefs, but some used the ideological argument as a back door to introduce their own neo-Darwinian scientific theories. The struggle for understanding has been eclipsed for some time by the struggle for political and academic survival and dominance, and Segerstrale reports and scrutinizes both with humor, intelligence, and aplomb. The end of the controversy--if there can be one--is far off, but a careful reading of Defenders of the Truth will give insight into the forces influencing our scientific self-examination. --Rob Lightner
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Nonzero : The Logic of Human Destiny
by Robert Wright

Hardcover - 544 pages (December 20, 1999)
Pantheon Books; ISBN: 0679442529

Editorial Reviews
Nonzero, from New Republic writer Robert Wright, is a difficult and important book--well worth reading--addressing the controversial question of purpose in evolution. Using language suggesting that natural selection is a designer's tool, Wright inevitably draws the conclusion that evolution is goal-oriented (or at least moves toward inevitable ends independently of environmental or contingent variables).
The underlying reason that non-zero-sum games wind up being played well is the same in biological evolution as in cultural evolution. Whether you are a bunch of genes or a bunch of memes, if you're all in the same boat you'll tend to perish unless you are conducive to productive coordination.... Genetic evolution thus tends to create smoothly integrated organisms, and cultural evolution tends to create smoothly integrated groups of organisms.

Admittedly, it's as hard to think clearly about natural selection as it is to think about God, but that makes it just as important to acknowledge our biases and try to exclude them from our conclusions. It is this that makes Nonzero potentially unsatisfying to the scientifically literate. Time after time we've seen thinkers try to find in biological evolution a "drive toward complexity" that might explain all sorts of other phenomena from economics to spirituality. Some authors, like Teilhard de Chardin, have much to offer the careful reader who takes pains to read metaphorically. Others--legions of cranks--provide nothing but opaque diatribes culminating in often-bizarre assertions proven to nobody but the author. Wright is much closer to de Chardin along this axis; his anthropological scholarship is particularly noteworthy, and his grasp of world history is excellent. Unfortunately, he has the advocate's willingness to blind himself to disagreeable facts and to muddle over concepts whose clarity would be poisonous to his positions: try to pin him down on what he means by complexity, for example. Still, his thesis that human cultures are historically striving for cooperative, nonzero-sum situations is heartening and compelling; even though it's not supported by biology, it's not knocked down, either. If the reader can work around the undefined assumptions, Wright's charm and obvious interest in planetary survival make Nonzero a worthy read. If the first chapter's title--"The Ladder of Cultural Evolution"--makes you cringe, the last one--"You Call This a God?"--will make you smile. --Rob Lightner
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Shaping Life : Genes, Embryos and Evolution
by John Maynard Smith

Hardcover - 65 pages (October 1999)
Yale Univ Pr; ISBN: 0300080220 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.42 x 7.33 x 4.81 Sales Rank: 32,002

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Sanctified Snake Oil: The Effect of Junk Science on Public Policy
by Susan Kiss Sarnoff

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Hardcover - 248 pages (March 30, 2001)
Praeger Pub Text; ISBN: 0275968456

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Government supported junk social science-or "sanctified snake oil" as Sarnoff terms it-exists in all policy arenas along the entire political spectrum, as policy advocates seek to justify the continuation of ineffective programs and to block alternative solutions. This form of junk science is particularly dangerous and wasteful in terms of tax dollars because professional confirmation, media "investigation" and government support lend it an unwarranted imprimatur of validity. Sarnoff argues that it confuses the public and convinces them to support programs as ends in themselves, rather than determining whether or not such efforts actually achieve purported goals.

About the Author
SUSAN KISS SARNOFF is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Ohio University.

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Technological Innovation As an Evolutionary Process
by John Ziman (Editor)

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Hardcover - 352 pages 0 edition (May 2000)
Cambridge Univ Pr (Short); ISBN: 0521623618 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.17 x 10.05 x 7.19

Book Description
Of the countless inventions that appear on the market, only those that survive the test of use are reproduced. Axes, medicines, aircraft and other technological artifacts thus 'evolve' in much the same way as biological organisms. What can we learn about technological innovation by thinking of it as a cyclic process of variation and selection, analogous to Darwinian evolution? For the first time, leading experts from many disciplines discuss this metaphor thoroughly in non-technical language, showing how it throws a new light on many aspects of social and economic change.
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Human Nature After Darwin : A Philosophical Introduction
Janet Radcliffe Richards

Paperback - 416 pages (January 2001)
Routledge; ISBN: 0415212448

Other Editions: Hardcover

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
With the beginner firmly in mind, Janet Radcliffe Richards carefully introduces readers to the fundamental questions the Darwinian revolution raises for understanding human nature: the scientific basis of the Darwinian revolution and arguments about whether it is 'true'; whether human nature can be explained in Darwinian terms; the implications of Darwinism for human freedom and moral responsibility; and how the Darwinian revolution raises questions about political thinking. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

About the Author
Janet Radcliffe Richards is a Professor of Bioethics at University College, London. 
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Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology)
by (Editor), Paul E. Griffiths (Editor), Russell D. Gray(Editor)

Hardcover - 484 pages (February 19, 2001)
MIT Press; ISBN: 0262150530
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Many books on evolution neglect the complex dynamics of ontogeny (development) necessary to produce the mature creature. They either ignore it or reduce it to the transmission of genetic information. This contributes to unproductive debates on "nature versus nurture." Developmental systems theory (DST) offers a new conceptual framework with which to resolve such debates. DST views ontogeny as contingent cycles of interaction among a varied set of developmental resources, no one of which controls the process. These factors include DNA, cellular and organismic structure, and social and ecological interactions. DST has excited interest from a wide range of researchers, from molecular biologists to anthropologists, because of its ability to integrate evolutionary theory and other disciplines without falling into traditional oppositions.

The book provides historical background to DST, recent theoretical findings on the mechanisms of heredity, applications of the DST framework to behavioral development, implications of DST for the philosophy of biology, and critical reactions to DST.

Contributors Patrick Bateson, David J. Depew, Marcus W. Feldman, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Deborah M. Gordon, Gilbert Gottlieb, Russell D. Gray, Paul E. Griffiths, Tim Ingold, Eva Jablonka, Timothy D. Johnston, Evelyn Fox Keller, Peter Klopfer, Kevin N. Laland, Daniel S. Lehrman, Richard C. Lewontin, Lenny Moss, Eva Neumann-Held, H. Frederick Nijhout, F. John Odling-Smee, Susan Oyama, Kim Sterelny, Peter Taylor, Cor van der Weele, Bruce H. Weber, William C. Wimsatt.

About the Author
Susan Oyama is Professor of Psychology, Emerita, at John Jay College, and Professor of Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York City. Paul E. Griffiths is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Russell D. Gray is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Auckland.

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A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination
by Gerald M. Edelman, Giulio Tononi

Hardcover - 288 pages 1 edition (March 2000)
Basic Books; ISBN: 0465013767 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.01 x 9.57 x 6.46
Editorial Reviews
Emily Dickinson wrote "The Brain--is wider than the Sky," and who can argue with that? Quoted by Nobel-winning scientist Gerald M. Edelman and his Neurosciences Institute colleague Giulio Tononi in A Universe of Consciousness, Miss Emily neatly explains the problem of conscious awareness, then ducks out of the way as the two scientists get to work solving it. Testable theories of consciousness are mighty lonely, as even the soberest mind can be driven to tears of madness pondering its own activity. Centuries of work by philosophers and psychologists like James and Freud have made little progress by starting with awareness and working backward to the brain; these days we have a secure enough base to try looking in the other direction and building a theory of the mind out of neurons.

Though Edelman and Tononi do make a good effort to help out the lay reader, ultimately A Universe of Consciousness is aimed at the interdisciplinary gang of scientists and academics trying to understand our shared but invisible experience. The first sections of the book cover the basic philosophical, psychological, and biological elements essential to their theory. Swiftly the authors proceed to define terms and concepts (even the long-abused term complexity gets a reappraisal) and elaborate on these to create a robust, testable theory of the neural basis of consciousness. Following this hard work, they consider some ramifications of the theory and take a close look at language and thinking. This much-needed jump-start is sure to provoke a flurry of experimental and theoretical responses; A Universe of Consciousness might just help us answer some of the greatest questions of science, philosophy, and even poetry. --Rob Lightner
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The Meme Machine
by Susan J. Blackmore

Hardcover - 272 pages (May 1999)
Oxford Univ Press; ISBN: 0198503652 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.93 x 9.59 x 6.44
In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins proposed the concept of the "meme" as a unit of culture, spread by imitation. Now Dawkins himself says of Susan Blackmore:

Showing greater courage and intellectual chutzpah than I have ever aspired to, she deploys her memetic forces in a brave--do not think foolhardy until you have read it--assault on the deepest questions of all: What is a self? What am I? Where am I? ... Any theory deserves to be given its best shot, and that is what Susan Blackmore has given the theory of the meme.

Blackmore is a parapsychologist who rejects the paranormal, a skeptical investigator of near-death experiences, and a practitioner of Zen. Her explanation of the science of the meme (memetics) is rigorously Darwinian. Because she is a careful thinker (though by no means dull or conventional), the reader ends up with a good idea of what memetics explains well and what it doesn't, and with many ideas about how it can be tested--the very hallmark of an excellent science book. Blackmore's discussion of the "memeplexes" of religion and of the self are sure to be controversial, but she is (as Dawkins says) enormously honest and brave to make a connection between scientific ideas and how one should live one's life. --Mary Ellen Curtin

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Emergence : From Chaos to Order (Helix Books)
by John H. Holland

Paperback - 272 pages (April 1999)
Perseus Books; ISBN: 0738201421 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.68 x 8.23 x 5.34

"Emergence" is the notion that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. John Holland, a MacArthur Fellow known as the "father of genetic algorithms," says this seemingly simple notion will be at the heart of the development of machines that can think for themselves. And while he claims that he'd rather do science than write about it, this is his second scientific philosophy book intended to increase public understanding of difficult concepts (his first was (Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity). One of the questions that Holland says emergence theory can help answer is: can we build systems from which more comes out than was put in? Think of the food replicators in the imaginary future of Star Trek--with some basic chemical building blocks and simple rules, those machines can produce everything from Klingon delicacies to Earl Grey tea. If scientists can understand and apply the knowledge they gather from studying emergent systems, we may soon witness the development of artificial intelligence, nanotech, biological machines, and other creations heretofore confined to science fiction. Using games, molecules, maps, and scientific theories as examples, Holland outlines how emergence works, emphasizing the interrelationships of simple rules and parts in generating a complex whole. Because of the theoretical depth, this book probably won't appeal to the casual reader of popular science, but those interested in delving a little deeper into the future of science and engineering will be fascinated. Holland's writing, while sometimes self-consciously precise, is clear, and he links his theoretical arguments to examples in the real world whenever possible. Emergence offers insight not just to scientific advancement, but across many areas of human endeavor--business, the arts, even the evolution of society and the generation of new ideas. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title
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Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
by Steven Johnson
Hardcover - 288 pages (September 2001)
Scribner; ISBN: 068486875X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.96 x 9.57 x 6.37

Editorial Reviews
An individual ant, like an individual neuron, is just about as dumb as can be. Connect enough of them together properly, though, and you get spontaneous intelligence. Web pundit Steven Johnson explains what we know about this phenomenon with a rare lucidity in Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software. Starting with the weird behavior of the semi-colonial organisms we call slime molds, Johnson details the development of increasingly complex and familiar behavior among simple components: cells, insects, and software developers all find their place in greater schemes.


Most game players, alas, live on something close to day-trader time, at least when they're in the middle of a game--thinking more about their next move than their next meal, and usually blissfully oblivious to the ten- or twenty-year trajectory of software development. No one wants to play with a toy that's going to be fun after a few decades of tinkering--the toys have to be engaging now, or kids will find other toys.

Johnson has a knack for explaining complicated and counterintuitive ideas cleverly without stealing the scene. Though we're far from fully understanding how complex behavior manifests from simple units and rules, our awareness that such emergence is possible is guiding research across disciplines. Readers unfamiliar with the sciences of complexity will find Emergence an excellent starting point, while those who were chaotic before it was cool will appreciate its updates and wider scope. --Rob Lightner

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Sex and Death : An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations)
by Kim Sterelny, Paul E. Griffiths

Paperback - 416 pages (June 1999)
University of Chicago Press; ISBN: 0226773043 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.96 x 8.97 x 6.01
Other Editions: Hardcover

Book Description
Is the history of life a series of accidents or a drama scripted by selfish genes? Is there an "essential" human nature, determined at birth or in a distant evolutionary past? What should we conserve--species, ecosystems, or something else?

Informed answers to questions like these, critical to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, require both a knowledge of biology and a philosophical framework within which to make sense of its findings. In this accessible introduction to philosophy of biology, Kim Sterelny and Paul E. Griffiths present both the science and the philosophical context necessary for a critical understanding of the most exciting debates shaping biology today. The authors, both of whom have published extensively in this field, describe the range of competing views--including their own--on these fascinating topics.

With its clear explanations of both biological and philosophical concepts, Sex and Death will appeal not only to undergraduates, but also to the many general readers eager to think critically about the science of life. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title
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The Evolution of Consciousness
by E.M. MacPhail
Paperback (October 1998)
Oxford Univ Press; ISBN: 0198503245
Other Editions: Hardcover

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Are non-human animals conscious? When do babies begin to feel pain? What function is served by consciousness? What evidence could resolve these issues? In The Evolution of Consciousness, psychologist Euan Macphail tackles these questions and more by exploring such topics as: animal cognition; unconscious learning and perception in humans; infantile amnesia; theory of mind in primates; and the nature of pleasure and pain. Experimental results are placed in theoretical context by tracing the development of concepts of consciousness in animals and humans. Written in an accessible style, this book will be of interest to students and professionals in psychology, philosophy, and linguistics, as well as all those interested in the nature of consciousness.
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The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
by Malcolm Gladwell

Hardcover - 279 pages 1 Ed edition (February 2000)
Little Brown & Company; ISBN: 0316316962 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.06 x 8.22 x 5.68
Other Editions: Audio Cassette (Abridged)
Editorial Reviews
"The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life," writes Malcolm Gladwell, "is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do." Although anyone familiar with the theory of memetics will recognize this concept, Gladwell's The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.

For example, Paul Revere was able to galvanize the forces of resistance so effectively in part because he was what Gladwell calls a "Connector": he knew just about everybody, particularly the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through. But Revere "wasn't just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston," he was also a "Maven" who gathered extensive information about the British. He knew what was going on and he knew exactly whom to tell. The phenomenon continues to this day--think of how often you've received information in an e-mail message that had been forwarded at least half a dozen times before reaching you.

Gladwell develops these and other concepts (such as the "stickiness" of ideas or the effect of population size on information dispersal) through simple, clear explanations and entertainingly illustrative anecdotes, such as comparing the pedagogical methods of Sesame Street and Blue's Clues, or explaining why it would be even easier to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the actor Rod Steiger. Although some readers may find the transitional passages between chapters hold their hands a little too tightly, and Gladwell's closing invocation of the possibilities of social engineering sketchy, even chilling, The Tipping Point is one of the most effective books on science for a general audience in ages. It seems inevitable that "tipping point," like "future shock" or "chaos theory," will soon become one of those ideas that everybody knows--or at least knows by name. --Ron Hogan
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Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education

by Martha C. Nussbaum
In this spirited defense of multiculturalism and the changes in higher education that it has effected, Martha C. Nussbaum argues that curricular diversity supports the traditional values of a liberal education, especially that of creating "world citizens." A philosopher, classicist, and University of Chicago professor, Nussbaum employs the works of Socrates, Seneca, and the Stoics to argue her point, but her book remains firmly rooted in the actual. She travels to universities around the country to examine how particular college courses either support or, in some cases, hinder the pursuit of critical thinking, intellectual freedom, and truth. The result is impressive: rather than casting multiculturalism as some kind of extravagant penance for Western wrongs, Nussbaum uses the most cherished values of Western tradition to argue the importance of new fields of inquiry such as gender, minority, and gay studies. Without resorting to identity politics or cultural relativism, Nussbaum has fashioned a learned and sensitive argument that incorporates the spirit as well as the letter of classical philosophy. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title

Harvard University Press, Oct. 1998
ISBN: 0674179498
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