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The Philosophy and the Challenge of the Future (Paperback)
The difference between a status-quo, but revisable, "common sense" and new realities, new discoveries, and such, generates a tension. One of the places where philosophy spends its time is the border country between a new science and an old common sense. What sense can we make of new truths, new possibilities, in, reprogenetics, cloning, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, artificial life, and such? How shall we think about them? Should they alter our view of the world, not merely additively, as in learning a new telephone number, but radically, as in taking seriously the hypothesis that wind is a meteorological phenomenon and not the breath of a god, that the earth moves, that humanity might be transformed, for example, biologically, by means of genetic engineering, and technologically, by means of electronic implants and enhancements? Our species, unique among known species, can control its own evolution. Will it do so? Should it do so? How might it do so? Philosophy has new things to do, and new places to go. This book begins the journey.
About the Author
John Lange, the author of Philosophy and the Challenge of the Future, is a full professor at Queens College, of the City University of New York. He usually teaches in the areas of epistemology, the philosophy of history, and the philosophy of anticipation, exploring intellectual territories outside the typical borders of the discipline, such as reprogenetics, cloning, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, artificial life, unusual moral communities, and identity criteria, both with respect to sameness of person and sameness of species. He has had one book published by a major university press, the Princeton University Press, and has edited another, published the Stanford University Press. He also wrote The Philosophy of Historiography, and has had a number of articles published in professional journals, such as Mind, Ratio, and History and Theory.