Here is the world's most famous master plan for seizing and holding power. Astonishing in its candor The Prince even today remains a disturbingly realistic and prophetic work on what it takes to be a prince . . . a king . . . a president. When, in 1512, Machiavelli was removed from his post in his beloved Florence, he resolved to set down a treatise on leadership that was practical, not idealistic. In The Prince he envisioned would be unencumbered by ordinary ethical and moral values; his prince would be man and beast, fox and lion. Today, this small sixteenth-century masterpiece has become essential reading for every student of government, and is the ultimate book on power politics.
B>An accessible introduction to the study of language in the brain, covering language processing, language acquisition, literacy, and language disorders./b>br>br>Neurolinguistics, the study of language in the brain,;describes the anatomical structures (networks of neurons in the brain) and physiological processes (ways for these networks to be active) that allow humans to learn and use one or more languages. It draws on neuroscience, linguistics--particularly theoretical linguistics--and other disciplines. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series,;Giosuè Baggio;offers an accessible introduction to the fundamentals of neurolinguistics, covering;language processing, language acquisition, literacy, and speech and language disorders.br>;br>Baggio first surveys the evolution of the field, describing discoveries by Paul Broca, Carl Wernicke, Noam Chomsky, and others. He discusses mapping language in brain time and brain space and the constraints of neurolinguistic models. Considering language acquisition, he explains that a child is never a blank slate: infants and young children are only able to acquire specific aspects of language in specific stages of cognitive development. He addresses the neural consequences of bilingualism; literacy, discussing how forms of visual language in the brain differ from forms of auditory language; aphasia and the need to understand language disorders in behavioral, functional, and neuroanatomical terms;;neurogenetics of language; and the neuroethology of language, tracing the origins of the neural and behavioral building blocks of human linguistic communication to;the evolution of avian, mammalian, and primate brains.br>;
An argument that love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other. Byung-Chul Han is one of the most widely read philosophers in Europe today, a member of the new generation of German thinkers that includes Markus Gabriel and Armen Avanessian. In The Agony of Eros, a bestseller in Germany, Han considers the threat to love and desire in today''s society. For Han, love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other. In a world of fetishized individualism and technologically mediated social interaction, it is the Other that is eradicated, not the self. In today''s increasingly narcissistic society, we have come to look for love and desire within the "inferno of the same." Han offers a survey of the threats to Eros, drawing on a wide range of sources--Lars von Trier''s film Melancholia, Wagner''s Tristan und Isolde, Fifty Shades of Grey , Michel Foucault (providing a scathing critique of Foucault''s valorization of power), Martin Buber, Hegel, Baudrillard, Flaubert, Barthes, Plato, and others. Han considers the "pornographication" of society, and shows how pornography profanes eros; addresses capitalism''s leveling of essential differences; and discusses the politics of eros in today''s "burnout society." To be dead to love, Han argues, is to be dead to thought itself. Concise in its expression but unsparing in its insight, The Agony of Eros is an important and provocative entry in Han''s ongoing analysis of contemporary society. This remarkable essay, an intellectual experience of the first order, affords one of the best ways to gain full awareness of and join in one of the most pressing struggles of the day: the defense, that is to say--as Rimbaud desired it--the "reinvention" of love. --from the foreword by Alain Badiou
An overview of recycling as an activity and a process, following different materials through the waste stream. Is there a point to recycling? Is recycling even good for the environment? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Finn Arne Jørgensen answers (drumroll, please): it depends. From a technical point of view, recycling is a series of processes--collecting, sorting, processing, manufacturing. Recycling also has a cultural component; at its core, recycling is about transformation and value, turning material waste into something useful--plastic bags into patio furniture, plastic bottles into T-shirts. Jørgensen offers an accessible and engaging overview of recycling as an activity and as a process at the intersection of the material and the ideological. Jørgensen follows a series of materials as they move back and forth between producer and consumer, continually transforming in form and value, in a never-ceasing journey toward becoming waste. He considers organic waste and cultural contamination; the history of recyclable writing surfaces from papyrus to newsprint; discarded clothing as it moves from the the Global North to the Global South; the shifting fate of glass bottles; the efficiency of aluminum recycling; the many types of plastic and the difficulties of informed consumer choice; e-waste and technological obsolescence; and industrial waste. Finally, re-asking the question posed by John Tierney in an infamous 1996 New York Times article, "is recycling garbage?" Jørgensen argues that recycling is necessary--as both symbolic action and physical activity that has a tangible effect on the real world.
B>A pioneering proposal for a pluralistic extension of evolutionary theory, now updated to reflect the most recent research. /b>This new edition of the widely read Evolution in Four Dimensions has been revised to reflect the spate of new discoveries in biology since the book was first published in 2005, offering corrections, an updated bibliography, and a substantial new chapter. Eva Jablonka and Marion Lamb''s pioneering argument proposes that there is more to heredity than genes. They describe four "dimensions" in heredity--four inheritance systems that play a role in evolution: genetic, epigenetic (or non-DNA cellular transmission of traits), behavioral, and symbolic (transmission through language and other forms of symbolic communication). These systems, they argue, can all provide variations on which natural selection can act. Jablonka and Lamb present a richer, more complex view of evolution than that offered by the gene-based Modern Synthesis, arguing that induced and acquired changes also play a role. Their lucid and accessible text is accompanied by artist-physician Anna Zeligowski''s lively drawings, which humorously and effectively illustrate the authors'' points. Each chapter ends with a dialogue in which the authors refine their arguments against the vigorous skepticism of the fictional "I.M." (for Ipcha Mistabra--Aramaic for "the opposite conjecture"). The extensive new chapter, presented engagingly as a dialogue with I.M., updates the information on each of the four dimensions--with special attention to the epigenetic, where there has been an explosion of new research. b>Praise for the first edition/b>"With courage and verve, and in a style accessible to general readers, Jablonka and Lamb lay out some of the exciting new pathways of Darwinian evolution that have been uncovered by contemporary research."br>--Evelyn Fox Keller, MIT, author of Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines"In their beautifully written and impressively argued new book, Jablonka and Lamb show that the evidence from more than fifty years of molecular, behavioral and linguistic studies forces us to reevaluate our inherited understanding of evolution."br>--Oren Harman, The New Republic"It is not only an enjoyable read, replete with ideas and facts of interest but it does the most valuable thing a book can do--it makes you think and reexamine your premises and long-held conclusions."br>--Adam Wilkins, BioEssays
Why we learn the wrong things from narrative history, and how our love for stories is hard-wired. To understand something, you need to know its history. Right? Wrong, says Alex Rosenberg in How History Gets Things Wrong . Feeling especially well-informed after reading a book of popular history on the best-seller list? Don''t. Narrative history is always, always wrong. It''s not just incomplete or inaccurate but deeply wrong, as wrong as Ptolemaic astronomy. We no longer believe that the earth is the center of the universe. Why do we still believe in historical narrative? Our attachment to history as a vehicle for understanding has a long Darwinian pedigree and a genetic basis. Our love of stories is hard-wired. Neuroscience reveals that human evolution shaped a tool useful for survival into a defective theory of human nature. Stories historians tell, Rosenberg continues, are not only wrong but harmful. Israel and Palestine, for example, have dueling narratives of dispossession that prevent one side from compromising with the other. Henry Kissinger applied lessons drawn from the Congress of Vienna to American foreign policy with disastrous results. Human evolution improved primate mind reading--the ability to anticipate the behavior of others, whether predators, prey, or cooperators--to get us to the top of the African food chain. Now, however, this hard-wired capacity makes us think we can understand history--what the Kaiser was thinking in 1914, why Hitler declared war on the United States--by uncovering the narratives of what happened and why. In fact, Rosenberg argues, we will only understand history if we don''t make it into a story.
B>An exploration of echo not as simple repetition but as an agent of creative possibilities./b>br>br>In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Amit Pinchevski proposes that echo is not simple repetition and the reproduction of sameness but an agent of change and a source of creation and creativity. Pinchevski views echo as a medium, connecting and mediating across and between disparate domains. He reminds us that the mythological Echo, sentenced by Juno to repeat the last words of others, found a way to make repetition expressive. So too does echo introduce variation into sameness, mediating between self and other, inside and outside, known and unknown, near and far. Echo has the potential to bring back something unexpected, either more or less than what was sent.br>;br>Pinchevski distinguishes echo from the closely related but sometimes conflated reflection, reverberation, and resonance; considers echolalia as an active, reactive, and creative vocalic force, the launching pad of speech; and explores echo as a rhetorical device, steering between appropriation and response while always maintaining relation. He examines the trope of echo chamber and both destructive and constructive echoing; describes various echo techniques and how echo can serve practical purposes from echolocation in bats and submarines to architecture and sound recording; explores echo as a link to the past, both literally and metaphorically; and considers echo as medium using Marshall McLuhans tetrad.
Divorce rates are at an all-time high. But without a theoretical understanding of the processes related to marital stability and dissolution, it is difficult to design and evaluate new marriage interventions. The Mathematics of Marriage provides the foundation for a scientific theory of marital relations. The book does not rely on metaphors, but develops and applies a mathematical model using difference equations. The work is the fulfillment of the goal to build a mathematical framework for the general system theory of families first suggested by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy in the 1960s.The book also presents a complete introduction to the mathematics involved in theory building and testing, and details the development of experiments and models. In one "marriage experiment," for example, the authors explored the effects of lowering or raising a couple''s heart rates. Armed with their mathematical model, they were able to do real experiments to determine which processes were affected by their interventions.Applying ideas such as phase space, null clines, influence functions, inertia, and uninfluenced and influenced stable steady states (attractors), the authors show how other researchers can use the methods to weigh their own data with positive and negative weights. While the focus is on modeling marriage, the techniques can be applied to other types of psychological phenomena as well.
B>A concise and engaging exploration of how we understand happiness./b>br>br>What does it mean to feel happiness? As a state of mind, it’s elusive. As a concept—despite the plethora of pop psychology books on the subject—it’s poorly understood. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, psychologist Tim Lomas offers a concise and engaging overview of our current understanding of happiness. Lomas explains that although the field of positive psychology, which focuses on happiness, emerged only in the last twenty-five years, interest in the meaning of happiness goes back several millennia. Drawing on a variety of disciplines, from philosophy and sociology to economics and anthropology, Lomas offers an expansive vision of what happiness means, exploring a significant range of experiential territory.br> br>After considering such related concepts as wellbeing and flourishing, Lomas traces ideas of happiness from the ancient Buddhist notions of sukha and nirvana through Aristotle’s distinction between hedonic and eudaemonic happiness to today’s therapeutic and scientific approaches. He discusses current academic perspectives, looking at the breadth of happiness research across disciplines; examines the mechanics of happiness—the physiological, psychological, phenomenological, and sociocultural processes that make up happiness; explores the factors that influence happiness, both individual and social; and discusses the cultivation of happiness.