New Books Network

Peter Harries-Jones, “Upside-Down Gods: Gregory Bateson’s World of Difference” (Fordham UP, 2016)
The work of polymath Gregory Bateson has long been the road to cybernetics travelled by those approaching this trans-disciplinary field from the direction of the social sciences and even the humanities.  Fortunately for devotees of Bateson’s expansive vision, Peter Harries-Jones has continued the expert analysis that gave us 1995’s A Recursive Vision:... Read More
Byron Reese, “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity” (Simon & Schuster, 2018)
In his new book, The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity (Simon & Schuster, 2018), futurist, technologist, and CEO of Gigaom, Byron Reese makes the case that technology has reshaped humanity just three times in history: 100,000 years ago, we harnessed fire, which led to... Read More
S. Hayes and D. S. Wilson, “Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Human Behavior” (Context Press, 2018)
Evolution science and behavioral science both have strong theories that can help us understand humans in context, and yet, until now, the two fields have been mostly separate. In this episode, cross-posted from the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock,  Dr. Steven Hayes and Dr. David Sloan Wilson share how they... Read More
Anjan Chakravartty, “Scientific Ontology: Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology” (Oxford UP, 2017)
A scientific ontology is a view about what a scientific theory says exists. Longstanding philosophical debate on this issue divides into two broad camps: anti-realists, who think scientific theories are committed to the existence only of those things that can be observed, and realists, who hold that these theories are... Read More
Andrew J. Hogan, “Life Histories of Genetic Disease: Patterns and Prevention in Postwar Medical Genetics” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2016)
How did clinicians learn to see the human genome? In Life Histories of Genetic Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), Andrew J. Hogan makes the subtle argument that a process described by scholars of biomedicine as “molecularization” took place gradually and unevenly as genetic tools became applied to prenatal diagnosis.... Read More
Albert Müller, ed., “The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name: Seven Days With Second-Order Cybernetics” (Fordham UP, 2014)
Between his retirement from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne in 1975 and his death in 2002, many cyberneticians made the pilgrimage to Pescadero, California to unravel the oft-elusive subtleties of second-order cybernetics with the master himself, Heinz von Foerster.  Fortunately, for all of those not blessed to have had... Read More
Dorothy H. Crawford, “Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped our History” (Oxford UP, 2018)
The history of mankind is interlinked with microbes. As humans evolved and became more advanced, microbes evolved right along with us. Through infection, disease, and pandemic they have helped shape human culture and civilization. In her book Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped our History (Oxford University Press, 2018), Dorothy H. Crawford... Read More