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Subject: Cognitive Science and Psychology

Cognitive Science: Recent Advances and Recurring Problems

Edited by Joao Eduardo Kogler Jr., University of Sao Paulo, Brazil et al.

May 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-100-8
Availability: In stock
324pp. ¦ $75 £60 €69

This book consists of an edited collection of original essays of the highest academic quality by seasoned experts in their fields of cognitive science. The essays are interdisciplinary, drawing from many of the fields known collectively as “the cognitive sciences.” Topics discussed represent a significant cross-section of the most current and interesting issues in cognitive science. Specific topics include matters regarding machine learning and cognitive architecture, the nature of cognitive content, the relationship of information to cognition, the role of language and communication in cognition, the nature of embodied cognition, selective topics in visual cognition, brain connectivity, computation and simulation, social and technological issues within the cognitive sciences, and significant issues in the history of neuroscience. This book will be of interest to both professional researchers and newer students and graduate students in the fields of cognitive science—including computer science, linguistics, philosophy, psychology and neuroscience. The essays are in English and are designed to be as free as possible of technical jargon and therefore accessible to young scholars and to scholars who are new to the cognitive neurosciences. In addition to several entries by single authors, the book contains several interesting roundtables where researchers contribute answers to a central question presented to those in the focus group on one of the core areas listed above. This exciting approach provides a variety of perspectives from across disciplines on topics of current concern in the cognitive sciences.

Free Will, Neuroethics, Psychology and Theology

Geran F. Dodson, University of North Georgia

February 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-153-4
Availability: In stock
170pp. ¦ $60 £50 €57

The topic of human free will has received more attention in the past several years due to the important discoveries of neuroscience but no consensus of opinion is evident in related disciplines. The traditional approach to understanding free will in philosophy employs conceptual analysis to determine whether humans have freedom of choice. Theology affirms that every person has free choice although God is somehow behind all human decisions. Evolutionary psychology points to human behavior as the product of biological processes and antecedent events. And neuroethics attempts to define what it means to be a thinking moral agent by investigating how neurons in the brain and chemical interactions combine to produce conscious actions. An assessment and evaluation of these various positions is given in light of the evidence. The issue of whether a person can be held morally responsible for their actions hinges on whether those actions originate from free will or are the result of determinism. Theology makes assumptions of the existence of an absolute deity that has a hand in human decision making, but there is no agreement regarding the nature of that intervention. Recent scientific discoveries confront traditionally held religious beliefs and necessitate the creation of a new theology and articles of faith.

Self-Preservation at the Center of Personality

Superego and Ego Ideal in the Regulation of Safety

Ralf-Peter Behrendt

November 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-103-9
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $45 £35 €42

The book discusses personality as a unified set of evolved and culturally developed structures that serves a single and definable purpose, to maintain the individual’s safety, in the context of dyadic relationships, group processes and more abstract and fluid social configurations. The infant-mother relationship remains the blueprint for modes of relating to the social surround, at whatever level of complexity, and for approximating the sense of safety originally provided by the mother. The personality is organized around the need to maintain self-esteem, thereby preserving the individual’s sense of safety and warding off deep-seated paranoid anxiety, which signals the potential of annihilation of the self. Paranoid anxiety is the counterpart of intraspecific aggression and the potential of the group as a whole to attack and annihilate the individual. Paranoid anxiety, which was recognized by Melanie Klein as playing a critical role in infant development, is not overcome as development proceeds but remains latent, buried under layers of personality organization that are essentially concerned with sourcing recognition and approval from the social environment, thereby inhibiting others’ aggression and guarding against annihilation of the self. The book adds to self psychology (Kohut) by showing how the principle of self-preservation underpins all aspects of normal and abnormal character dynamics. It integrates self psychology with other branches psychoanalytic theory and revives the link between psychoanalysis and ethology. Ethology (Lorenz, Hass, Eibl-Eibesfeldt) has provided insights into how interrelated intraspecific aggression and appeasement gestures are critically important for the evolution of social behavior in higher animals as well as for cultural evolution in humans, insights that allow, more generally, for a bridging of the gap between psychoanalysis and the biology of social behavior. Furthermore, an evolutionary approach to character dynamics and related social phenomena will have important implications for understanding psychopathological vulnerabilities and self-perpetuating processes in mental illness.

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