What We Are Reading Today: Introduction to Social Neuroscience

What We Are Reading Today: Introduction to Social Neuroscience
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Updated 12 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Introduction to Social Neuroscience

What We Are Reading Today: Introduction to Social Neuroscience

Edited by Stephanie Cacioppo and John T. Cacioppo

Humans, like many other animals, are a highly social species. But how do our biological systems implement social behaviors, and how do these processes shape the brain and biology? Spanning multiple disciplines, Introduction to Social Neuroscience seeks to engage students and scholars alike in exploring the effects of the brain’s perceived connections with others. 

This wide-ranging textbook provides a quintessential foundation for comprehending the psychological, neural, hormonal, cellular, and genomic mechanisms underlying such varied social processes as loneliness, empathy, theory-of-mind, trust, and cooperation.

Stephanie and John Cacioppo posit that our brain is our main social organ. They show how the same objective relationship can be perceived as friendly or threatening depending on the mental states of the individuals involved in that relationship. They present exercises and evidence-based findings readers can put into practice to better understand the neural roots of the social brain and the cognitive and health implications of a dysfunctional social brain. 

This textbook’s distinctive features include the integration of human and animal studies, clinical cases from medicine, multilevel analyses of topics from genes to societies, and a variety of methodologies.


What We Are Reading Today: Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory by Gregory S. Kavka

What We Are Reading Today: Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory by Gregory S. Kavka
Updated 14 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory by Gregory S. Kavka

What We Are Reading Today: Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory by Gregory S. Kavka

In recent years serious attempts have been made to systematize and develop the moral and political themes of great philosophers of the past.

Kant, Locke, Marx, and the classical utilitarians all have their current defenders and arc taken seriously as expositors of sound moral and political views.

It is the aim of this book to introduce Hobbes into this select group by presenting a plausible moral and political theory inspired by Leviathan.

Using the techniques of analytic philosophy and elementary game theory, the author develops a Hobbesian argument that justifies the liberal State and reconciles the rights and interests of rational individuals with their obligations.

Hobbes’s case against anarchy, based on his notorious claim that life outside the political State would be a “war of all against all,” is analyzed in detail, while his endorsement of the absolutist State is traced to certain false hypotheses about political sociology.

With these eliminated, Hobbes’s principles support a liberal redistributive (or “satisfactory”) State and a limited right of revolution.

Turning to normative issues, the book explains Hobbes’s account of morality based on enlightened self-interest and shows how the Hobbesian version of social contract theory justifies the political obligations of citizens of satisfactory States.