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Fausto-Sterling, Anne. Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social world
2012, Routledge.
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Added by: Benny Goldberg
Publisher's Note: Sex/Gender presents a relatively new way to think about how biological difference can be produced over time in response to different environmental and social experiences. This book gives a clearly written explanation of the biological and cultural underpinnings of gender. Anne Fausto-Sterling provides an introduction to the biochemistry, neurobiology, and social construction of gender with expertise and humor in a style accessible to a wide variety of readers. In addition to the basics, Sex/Gender ponders the moral, ethical, social and political side to this inescapable subject.

Comment: This is a good text for courses in philosophy of science dealing with biology, feminist philosophy (and feminist philosophy of science), as well as courses dealing with issues of sex and gender. While it uses a lot of scientific detail, it is suitable for advanced undergraduates regardless of major.

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Lintott, Sheila. Toward Eco-Friendly Aesthetics
2006, Environmental Ethics 28 (1):57-76.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir
Abstract: Environmentalists can make individuals more eco-friendly by dispelling many of the myths and misconceptions about the natural world. By learning what in nature is and is not dangerous, and in what contexts the danger is real, individuals can come to aesthetically appreciate seemingly unappreciable nature. Since aesthetic attraction can be an extremely valuable tool for environmentalists, with potential beyond that of scientific education, the quest for an eco-friendly is neither unnecessary nor redundant. Rather, an eco-friendly aesthetic ought to be pursued in conjunction with other efforts to protect nature

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Rochberg, Francesca. Before Nature: Cuneiform Knowledge and the History of Science
2016, Chicago University Press
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, Contributed by: Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: In the modern West, we take for granted that what we call the “natural world” confronts us all and always has—but Before Nature explores that almost unimaginable time when there was no such conception of “nature”—no word, reference, or sense for it. Before the concept of nature formed over the long history of European philosophy and science, our ancestors in ancient Assyria and Babylonia developed an inquiry into the world in a way that is kindred to our modern science. With Before Nature, Francesca Rochberg explores that Assyro-Babylonian knowledge tradition and shows how it relates to the entire history of science. From a modern, Western perspective, a world not conceived somehow within the framework of physical nature is difficult—if not impossible—to imagine. Yet, as Rochberg lays out, ancient investigations of regularity and irregularity, norms and anomalies clearly established an axis of knowledge between the knower and an intelligible, ordered world. Rochberg is the first scholar to make a case for how exactly we can understand cuneiform knowledge, observation, prediction, and explanation in relation to science—without recourse to later ideas of nature. Systematically examining the whole of Mesopotamian science with a distinctive historical and methodological approach, Before Nature will open up surprising new pathways for studying the history of science.

Comment: For students wondering whether or not "philosophy" was done before Socrates and the Pre-Socratics, this text is a fairly comprehensive overview of how ancient Assyro-Babylonians conceived of "nature," their place within it, studied it, and recorded their findings about it. But, more than anything else, this text also shows that ancient Near Eastern cuneiform texts are not to be ignored by budding scholars of ancient philosophy or historians and philosophers of the sciences and their methodologies. Some prior engagement with ancient Greek philosophy, as well as the history and philosophy of science, will help to understand this text.

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Yuriko Saito. Everyday Aesthetics
2007, Oxford: Oxford University Press
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Added by: Meilin Chinn, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir
Publisher's Note: Everyday aesthetic experiences and concerns occupy a large part of our aesthetic life. However, because of their prevalence and mundane nature, we tend not to pay much attention to them, let alone examine their significance. Western aesthetic theories of the past few centuries also neglect everyday aesthetics because of their almost exclusive emphasis on art. In a ground-breaking new study, Yuriko Saito provides a detailed investigation into our everyday aesthetic experiences, and reveals how our everyday aesthetic tastes and judgments can exert a powerful influence on the state of the world and our quality of life. By analysing a wide range of examples from our aesthetic interactions with nature, the environment, everyday objects, and Japanese culture, Saito illustrates the complex nature of seemingly simple and innocuous aesthetic responses. She discusses the inadequacy of art-centered aesthetics, the aesthetic appreciation of the distinctive characters of objects or phenomena, responses to various manifestations of transience, and the aesthetic expression of moral values; and she examines the moral, political, existential, and environmental implications of these and other issues.

Comment: Saito draws on the lack of strong distinctions between fine and applied arts in Japan, as well as feminist insights and environmental aesthetics, to explore topics such as the non-disinterested nature of day to day aesthetic judgment, attitudes toward mess and disorder, and the aesthetics of domestic life. Her detailed work opens up the extraordinary complexity, including moral dimensions, of ordinary aesthetic responses to everyday objects and experiences. This is a good text to pair with cross-cultural texts on everyday aesthetics. Does not require an understanding of Japanese aesthetics and philosophy.

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