Introducing Artificial Intelligence
Half a century of research has resulted in machines capable of beating the best human chess players and humanoid robots that can interact. But can machines really think? Is the mind just a complicated computer program? "Introducing Artificial Intelligence" focuses on the issues behind one of science's most difficult problems.
Linguist Noam Chomsky maintains that the human brain has an innate language faculty, and that part of this biological endowment is a 'universal grammar', a theory of principles common to all languages. Thus, all human languages and the ways in which children learn them are remarkably similar. Chomsky's book Syntactic Structures was a turning-point in 20th-century linguistics, challenging assumptions in many areas such as philosophy, psychology and intellectual history. Heir to the Enlightenment tradition, Chomsky has introduced new perspectives on language, the creative individual and the nature of human freedom in society. Introducing Chomsky traces Chomsky's understanding of the cognitive realities involved in the use of language, and the technical apparatus needed to represent it. The book also describes Chomsky's radical critique of the institutions of power and the pathways of oppression, and his commitment to freedom and justice.
What is the place of individual choice and consequence in a post-Holocaust world of continuing genocidal ethnic cleansing? Is "identity" now a last-ditch cultural defence of ethnic nationalisms and competing fundamentalisms? In a climate of instant information, free markets and possible ecological disaster, how do we define "rights", self-interest and civic duties? What are the acceptable limits of scientific investigation and genetic engineering, the rights and wrongs of animal rights, euthanasia and civil disobedience?" Introducing Ethics" confronts these dilemmas, tracing the arguments of the great moral thinkers, including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes and Kant, and brings us up to date with postmodern critics.
Introducing Evolutionary Psychology
How did the mind evolve? How does the human mind differ from the minds of our ancestors, and from the minds of our nearest relatives, the apes? What are the universal features of the human mind, and why are they designed the way they are? If our minds are built by selfish genes, why are we so cooperative? Can the differences between male and female psychology be explained in evolutionary terms? These questions are at the centre of a rapidly growing research programme called evolutionary psychology.
Michel Foucault's work was described at his death as 'the most important event of thought in our century'. As a philosopher, historian and political activist, he certainly left behind an enduring and influential body of work, but is this acclaim justified? "Introducing Foucault" places his work in its turbulent philosophical and political context, and critically explores his mission to expose the links between knowledge and power in the human sciences, their discourses and institutions. This book explains how Foucault overturned our assumptions about the experience and perception of madness, sexuality and criminality, and the often brutal social practices of confinement, confession and discipline. It also describes Foucault's engagement with psychiatry and clinical medicine, his political activism and the transgressive aspects of pleasure and desire that he promoted in his writing
Introducing Media Studies
No one can escape the influence of the media. Every day we watch hours of TV, listen to the radio, read newspapers and magazines, go to the cinema, sit in front of videos or surf the Web. These information commodities exercise enormous influence and power over all of us. "Introducing Media Studies" explores the complex relationship between the media, ideology, knowledge and power. It provides a scintillating tour of media history and presents a coherent view of the media industry, media theory and methods in media research. It explains how 'the audience' is constructed and how it in turn interprets the content and meaning of media representation. We also learn how to analyse film
Introducing Particle Physics
What really happens at the most fundamental levels of nature? Introducing Particle Physics explores the very frontiers of our knowledge, even showing how particle physicists are now using theory and experiment to probe our very concept of what is real. From the earliest history of the atomic theory through to supersymmetry, micro-black holes, dark matter, the Higgs boson, and the possibly mythical graviton, practising physicist and CERN contributor Tom Whyntie gives us a mind-expanding tour of cutting-edge science. Featuring brilliant illustrations from Oliver Pugh, Introducing Particle Physics is a unique tour through the most astonishing and challenging science being undertaken today.
Introducing Semiotics" outlines the development of sign study from its classical precursors to contemporary post-structuralism. Through Paul Cobley's incisive text and Litza Jansz's brilliant illustrations, it identifies the key semioticians and their work and explains the simple concepts behind difficult terms. For anybody who wishes to know why signs are crucial to human existence and how we can begin to study systems of signification, this book is the place to start.