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TOK introduction and WoKs
These recommendations are helpful for introducing TOK and Ways of Knowing. There is a sub-tab for recommended reading for Areas of Knowledge.
Hyperlinked items (in blue) means that they are in the collection of the Library.
Does the Center Hold? by
Publication Date: 2013
Does the Center Hold? is an entertaining, topically-organized introductory text with more than 500 original illustrations. The ideas and issues typically covered in introductory philosophy courses are presented here in a remarkably accessible and enjoyable manner. Donald Palmer demonstrates that serious philosophical inquiry may be perplexing, but is ultimately liberating, and students will come away from the book with a comprehensive, and often delighted, understanding of philosophy.
Man Is the Measure by
Call Number: 128 ABE
Publication Date: 1997
An accessible introduction to philosophy, this book narrows the gap between the general reader and intellectual inquiry. Its points are illustrated with concrete examples which should call the reader to a higher level of critical thinking and self-perception.
Call Number: TOK 121 WIL
Publication Date: 1999
One of our greatest living scientists--and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for On Human Nature and The Ants--gives us a work of visionary importance that may be the crowning achievement of his career. In Consilience (a word that originally meant "jumping together"), Edward Wilson renews the Enlightenment's search for a unified theory of knowledge in disciplines that range from physics to biology, the social sciences and the humanities. Using the natural sciences as his model, Wilson forges dramatic links between fields. He explores the chemistry of the mind and the genetic bases of culture. He postulates the biological principles underlying works of art from cave-drawings to Lolita.
Bad thoughts: a guide to clear thinking by
Publication Date: 2003
Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind by
Call Number: TOK 153.4 CLA
Publication Date: 1999
In these accelerated times, our decisive and businesslike ways of thinking are unprepared for ambiguity, paradox, and sleeping on it." We assume that the quick-thinking "hare brain" will beat out the slower Intuition of the "tortoise mind." However, now research in cognitive science is changing this understanding of the human mind. It suggests that patience and confusion--rather than rigor and certainty--are the essential precursors of wisdom. With a compelling argument that the mind works best when we trust our unconscious, or "undermind," psychologist Guy Claxton makes an appeal that we be less analytical and let our creativity have free rein. He also encourages reevaluation of society's obsession with results-oriented thinking and problem-solving under pressure.
The Folly of Fools by
Publication Date: 2014
Whether it's in a cockpit at takeoff or the planning of an offensive war, a romantic relationship or a dispute at the office, there are many opportunities to lie and self-deceive--but deceit and self-deception carry the costs of being alienated from reality and can lead to disaster. So why does deception play such a prominent role in our everyday lives? In short, why do we deceive? In his bold new work, prominent biological theorist Robert Trivers unflinchingly argues that self-deception evolved in the service of deceit--the better to fool others. We do it for biological reasons--in order to help us survive and procreate. From viruses mimicking host behavior to humans misremembering (sometimes intentionally) the details of a quarrel, science has proven that the deceptive one can always outwit the masses. But we undertake this deception at our own peril. Trivers has written an ambitious investigation into the evolutionary logic of lying and the costs of leaving it unchecked.
Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things by
Publication Date: 1990
"Its publication should be a major event for cognitive linguistics and should pose a major challenge for cognitive science. In addition, it should have repercussions in a variety of disciplines, ranging from anthropology and psychology to epistemology and the philosophy of science. . . . Lakoff asks: What do categories of language and thought reveal about the human mind? Offering both general theory and minute details, Lakoff shows that categories reveal a great deal."—David E. Leary, American Scientist
Language and Thought by
Publication Date: 1995
As a linguist, Noam Chomsky aims not only at making a technical contribution with his generative theory of language but also at integrating his linguistic theory into a wider view of the relationship between between language and the human mind. The crux of this view is the hypothesis that human beings are born with an innate knowledge of universal principles underlying the structure of human language. nbsp; Chomsky's ideas have exerted a powerful influence on the other disciplines by restoring language to a central position in cognitive psychology and in the philosophy of the mind. The wider impact on his redefinition of the subject gives him a permanent place in the intellectual history of the twentieth century.
The Language Instinct by
Call Number: TOK 400 PIN
Publication Date: 2007
In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.
Belief in God in an Age of Science by
Call Number: 261.55 POL
Publication Date: 2003
In this thought-provoking book, the author focuses on the links between science and theology, contending that these intellectual cousins are both concerned with interpreted experience and with the quest for truth and reality.
The Spiral Staircase by
Publication Date: 2005
In 1962, at age seventeen, Karen Armstrong entered a convent, eager to meet God. After seven brutally unhappy years as a nun, she left her order to pursue English literature at Oxford. But convent life had profoundly altered her, and coping with the outside world and her expiring faith proved to be excruciating. Her deep solitude and a terrifying illness–diagnosed only years later as epilepsy–marked her forever as an outsider. In her own mind she was a complete failure: as a nun, as an academic, and as a normal woman capable of intimacy. Her future seemed very much in question until she stumbled into comparative theology. What she found, in learning, thinking, and writing about other religions, was the ecstasy and transcendence she had never felt as a nun.
Reason, Faith, and Revolution by
Publication Date: 2010
Terry Eagleton’s witty and polemical Reason, Faith, and Revolution is bound to cause a stir among scientists, theologians, people of faith and people of no faith, as well as general readers eager to understand the God Debate. On the one hand, Eagleton demolishes what he calls the “superstitious” view of God held by most atheists and agnostics and offers in its place a revolutionary account of the Christian Gospel. On the other hand, he launches a stinging assault on the betrayal of this revolution by institutional Christianity. There is little joy here, then, either for the anti-God brigade—Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens in particular—nor for many conventional believers. Instead, Eagleton offers his own vibrant account of religion and politics in a book that ranges from the Holy Spirit to the recent history of the Middle East, from Thomas Aquinas to the Twin Towers.
WoK Sense Perception
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by
Call Number: 616.09 SAC
Publication Date: 1998
In his most extraordinary book, "one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century" (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do.
Black Like Me by
Publication Date: 2010
'Black Like Me' captures the violence that perpetuated segregation, and is an eye-witness description of a system that existed within living memory. It comes with an epilogue describing the threats Griffin received and his later work campaigning alongside Martin Luther King.
Call Number: 153.4 GLA
Publication Date: 2007
In his landmark bestseller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of "blink": the election of Warren Harding; "New Coke"; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police. Blink reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing"-filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.