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Isabella Sarto-Jackson, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Austria
$63 £47 €54
The human brain has a truly remarkable capacity. It reorganizes itself, flexibly adjusting to fluctuating environmental conditions – a process called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity provides the basis for wide-ranging learning and memory processes that are particularly profuse during childhood and adolescence. At the same time, the exceptional malleability of the developing brain leaves it highly vulnerable to negative impact from the surroundings. Abusive or neglecting social environments, as well as socioeconomic deprivation and poverty, cause toxic stress and complex traumas that can severely compromise cognitive development, emotional processing, self-perception, and executive brain functions. The neurophysiological changes entailed impair emotional regulation, lead to heightened anxiety, and afflict attachment and the formation of social bonds. Neuroplastic changes following severely adverse experiences are not something that a person grows out of and gets over. These experiences alter the neurobiological and biochemical makeup and cause people to live in an emotionally relabeled world in which the evaluation of any social cue, their behavior, cognition, and state of mind are biased towards the negative. Even more worrying, detrimental neurophysiological consequences are not limited to the traumatized individual but are often transmitted to subsequent generations through a process of social niche construction, thereby creating a vicious cycle. Thus, the making and breaking forces of the brain are epitomized by parents, alloparents, peers, and our socioeconomic niche. This book expounds on the formative role that the social environment plays in healthy brain development, especially during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Based on scientific findings, the book advocates for bold measures and responsible stewardship to combat child abuse, maltreatment, and child poverty. By bringing together insights from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and social education work, it lays out a fact-based, transdisciplinary endeavor that aims at rising to the societal challenge of providing a rewarding perspective to youth at risk. It will be a valuable resource for academics from social education, pedagogy, cognitive science, neuroscience, as well as professionals in the fields of social work, pedagogy, education, child welfare.
Arthur Asa Berger, San Francisco State University
Availability: In stock
192pp. ¦ $46 £34 €38
How do people turn out the way they do? How do they “arrive” at themselves and attain an identity? How are our identities affected by our birth order, our hair color, how tall or short we are, our intelligence, our occupation, our race, our religion, our nationality, the socio-economic level of our parents (or our being raised in a single-parent family), where we are born and where we grow up, the language we learn, the way we use language, our fashion tastes, our gender, our education, our psychological makeup, chance experiences we have, the people we marry (if we marry), and countless other factors? There are numerous matters to consider when dealing with identity, which, as Nigel Denis, the author of 'Cards of Identity', reminds us, “is the answer to everything.” 'Searching for a Self' takes a deep dive into the question of identity formation from various perspectives; it is written in a reader-friendly accessible style and makes use of insightful quotations from seminal thinkers who have dealt with the topic. Split into two parts, the first “Theories of Identity,” offers evaluations of identity from semioticians, psychologists, sociologists and Marxists while the second, “Applications,” offers case studies on topics such as Russian identity, Donald Trump’s identity, fashion and identity, LGBTQIA+ identity, Orthodox Jewish identity, elite university education and identity, tattoos and identity, travel and identity, and politics and identity. Covering a wide array of subject areas, this book will be a valuable resource for undergraduate students taking courses in identity, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, and other related fields.
James A. Harold, Pepperdine University, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $65 £47 €54
Both students and professors typically assume that the content of introductory psychology textbooks, which are empirical in nature, are identical to psychology proper. Yet, what is surprising is how many interesting psychological insights can be found in both philosophy and literature that are often not found in psychology texts. Such insights are clearly psychological in nature, yet they do not go back to any empirical investigation. It seems that basic psychology textbooks—typically providing the basis for undergraduate and graduate psychology programs—represent only one important dimension of psychology: empirical psychology. But there is no simple, co-extensive identity between psychology and empirical psychology. ‘The Philosophical Dimension of Psychology: A Beginner’s Guide’ begins with an investigation of what constitutes the subject matter of psychology, which demonstrates the aspects of psychological reality that are ignored, missed or at times even theoretically denied by mainline contemporary psychology (if they lack an empirical warrant). Such matters include inner conscious experience, the world of intrinsic value, as well as the higher, uniquely personal dimension of human nature (that is, of intellect and will). This book, therefore, offers a more complete survey of the entire sphere of psychological reality, which could provide the context for more properly interpreting empirical psychological phenomena. For example, should we understand psychological conditioning principles within a broader context of personal freedom? Is a person more rightly conceived in a psychologically immanent way, that is, oriented simply toward the fulfillment of instincts and needs, or is there as well a transcendent orientation, oriented to truth and meaning? Should we understand psychology simply from the point of view of efficient causation, or do we need to also take into account final causation? It will be of interest to psychology students of either undergraduate or graduate level and of great use to those with no prior knowledge of philosophy.
Predrag Cicovacki, College of the Holy Cross
Availability: In stock
304pp. ¦ $86 £67 €74
This collection of essays is dedicated to a recently deceased philosopher and humanist, Nalin Ranasinghe. His central philosophical and humanistic preoccupation was with the human soul. Not surprisingly, his greatest inspiration was Socrates’ credo “Care for your soul,” and the title of his first book was 'The Soul of Socrates'. In this and his later writings, Ranasinghe expressed his growing concern over the idea that the human soul has been hijacked due to the way our civilization has developed: the highest and noblest aspirations of our civilization have been replaced by our obsession with money, pleasure, and power. We now live in a time where we do not know who we are, nor who the people around us are. Despite all of the technical gadgets connecting us virtually, this is the age of disconnect and loneliness, as well as of the degradations of humanity. Ranasinghe insisted that the two keys for recovery are the self-knowledge of the soul and a continuous dialogue with others. We need to relearn how to relate to ourselves and others as unique individuals, not as objects for the satisfaction of our needs. Following his ideas, the twenty essays presented here are divided into two parts: “the soul in reflection” and “the soul in dialogue.” The contributors come from various countries around the globe and work in different disciplines, and their chapters aim to revive our interest in the soul and the obscured core of our humanity. This book will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students of philosophy; however, the essays are written in a non-technical language, also making them accessible to the general audience.
Availability: In stock
354pp. ¦ $71 £52 €59
‘On Power: Neurophilosophical Foundations and Policy Implications’ seeks to provide a historical, contemporary and predictive analysis of power. It aims to explain the history of political power in a unique way by approaching the concept of power through the lens of neurophilosophy – the application of neuroscientific principles to practical questions of governance, ethics, political and moral philosophy. In this book, Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan provides an accessible, incisive, and provocative take on the history, nature, and future of power. His insights go beyond conventional wisdom by exploring some of the themes that will become increasingly relevant to analysing power in the decades to come. A central idea of the book is the highly addictive universal nature of power at the neurochemical level, the craving for it, and the intense resistance to giving it up in all walks of life and circumstances. This can be applied directly to thinking about governance, political change, public policy, national and international peace, security, and prosperity. Al-Rodhan formulates an innovative conceptual picture of power by integrating the findings of neuroscience with the broader implications of power in the era of digital connectivity and cognitive and physical enhancement technologies. In doing so, he guides our approach to political power and public policy, influenced by ubiquitous, disruptive, and intrusive technologies. This book will appeal to students and scholars of neuroscience, philosophy, government, business, and international relations. It will also hold particular interest for politicians, public servants, think-tankers, policy-makers, and journalists, as well as senior executives from the corporate, sports, media and entertainment world.