Music is universal but what makes it so special? Why do some jazz songs become standards and others not? We are pleased to announce the publication of two new books to explore these questions and more. We invite you to read sample chapters online.
Read the introduction online:
What’s so special about music? We experience it internally, yet at the same time it is highly social. Music engages our cognitive/affective and sensory systems. We use music to communicate with one another–and even with other species–the things that we cannot express through language. Music is both ancient and ever evolving. Without music, our world is missing something essential. In Reflections on the Musical Mind, Jay Schulkin offers a social and behavioral neuroscientific explanation of why music matters. His aim is not to provide a grand, unifying theory. Instead, the book guides the reader through the relevant scientific evidence that links neuroscience, music, and meaning.
Jay Schulkin is Research Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and member at the Center for the Brain Basis of Cognition, both at Georgetown University. He is the author of numerous books, including Roots of Social Sensibility and Neural Function, Bodily Sensibility: Intelligent Action, Cognitive Adaptation: A Pragmatist Perspective, and Adaptation and Well-Being: Social Allostasis.
Cities, Labels, and the Global Emergence of an Art Form
by Damon J. Phillips
Read the introduction online:
There are over a million jazz recordings, but only a few hundred tunes have been recorded repeatedly. Why did a minority of songs become jazz standards? Why do some songs–and not others–get rerecorded by many musicians? Shaping Jazz answers this question and more, exploring the underappreciated yet crucial roles played by initial production and markets–in particular, organizations and geography–in the development of early twentieth-century jazz.
Damon J. Phillips is the James P. Gorman Professor of Business Strategy at Columbia University and a faculty affiliate of Columbia’s Center for Jazz Studies and the Center for Organizational Innovation.
This week we have a couple of PUP books for any prospective Hogwarts student seeking placement in the Ravenclaw house. What would a Ravenclaw read? Chances are, a Ravenclaw would want to read everything due to their devotion to intelligence, knowledge, and wit. Here we have some books on philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and mathematics that would interest any Ravenclaw.
1. Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman by Jeremy Adelman- Ravenclaw students would sink their teeth into a biography about one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century.
Worldly Philosopher chronicles the times and writings of Albert O. Hirschman, one of the twentieth century’s most original and provocative thinkers. In this gripping biography, Jeremy Adelman tells the story of a man shaped by modern horrors and hopes, a worldly intellectual who fought for and wrote in defense of the values of tolerance and change.
Born in Berlin in 1915, Hirschman grew up amid the promise and turmoil of the Weimar era, but fled Germany when the Nazis seized power in 1933. Amid hardship and personal tragedy, he volunteered to fight against the fascists in Spain and helped many of Europe’s leading artists and intellectuals escape to America after France fell to Hitler. His intellectual career led him to Paris, London, and Trieste, and to academic appointments at Columbia, Harvard, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He was an influential adviser to governments in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, as well as major foundations and the World Bank. Along the way, he wrote some of the most innovative and important books in economics, the social sciences, and the history of ideas.
Throughout, he remained committed to his belief that reform is possible, even in the darkest of times.
This is the first major account of Hirschman’s remarkable life, and a tale of the twentieth century as seen through the story of an astute and passionate observer. Adelman’s riveting narrative traces how Hirschman’s personal experiences shaped his unique intellectual perspective, and how his enduring legacy is one of hope, open-mindedness, and practical idealism.
2. The Golden Ticket: P, NP and the Search for the Impossible by Lance Fortnow- The Ravenclaw house would be most likely to produce the P-NP problem without magic.
The P-NP problem is the most important open problem in computer science, if not all of mathematics. Simply stated, it asks whether every problem whose solution can be quickly checked by computer can also be quickly solved by computer. The Golden Ticket provides a nontechnical introduction to P-NP, its rich history, and its algorithmic implications for everything we do with computers and beyond. In this informative and entertaining book, Lance Fortnow traces how the problem arose during the Cold War on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and gives examples of the problem from a variety of disciplines, including economics, physics, and biology. He explores problems that capture the full difficulty of the P-NP dilemma, from discovering the shortest route through all the rides at Disney World to finding large groups of friends on Facebook. But difficulty also has its advantages. Hard problems allow us to safely conduct electronic commerce and maintain privacy in our online lives.
The Golden Ticket explores what we truly can and cannot achieve computationally, describing the benefits and unexpected challenges of this compelling problem.
3. Invisible in the Storm: The Role of Mathematics in Understanding Weather by Ian Roulstone & John Norbury- Their aptitude for mathematics would draw Ravenclaws to this book.
Invisible in the Storm is the first book to recount the history, personalities, and ideas behind one of the greatest scientific successes of modern times–the use of mathematics in weather prediction. Although humans have tried to forecast weather for millennia, mathematical principles were used in meteorology only after the turn of the twentieth century. From the first proposal for using mathematics to predict weather, to the supercomputers that now process meteorological information gathered from satellites and weather stations, Ian Roulstone and John Norbury narrate the groundbreaking evolution of modern forecasting.
The authors begin with Vilhelm Bjerknes, a Norwegian physicist and meteorologist who in 1904 came up with a method now known as numerical weather prediction. Although his proposed calculations could not be implemented without computers, his early attempts, along with those of Lewis Fry Richardson, marked a turning point in atmospheric science. Roulstone and Norbury describe the discovery of chaos theory’s butterfly effect, in which tiny variations in initial conditions produce large variations in the long-term behavior of a system–dashing the hopes of perfect predictability for weather patterns. They explore how weather forecasters today formulate their ideas through state-of-the-art mathematics, taking into account limitations to predictability. Millions of variables–known, unknown, and approximate–as well as billions of calculations, are involved in every forecast, producing informative and fascinating modern computer simulations of the Earth system.
4. The Milky Way: An Insider’s Guide by William H. Waller- Ravenclaws would want to know everything about the wizarding world, the muggle world, and beyond.
This book offers an intimate guide to the Milky Way, taking readers on a grand tour of our home Galaxy’s structure, genesis, and evolution, based on the latest astronomical findings. In engaging language, it tells how the Milky Way congealed from blobs of gas and dark matter into a spinning starry abode brimming with diverse planetary systems–some of which may be hosting myriad life forms and perhaps even other technologically communicative species.
William Waller vividly describes the Milky Way as it appears in the night sky, acquainting readers with its key components and telling the history of our changing galactic perceptions. The ancients believed the Milky Way was a home for the gods. Today we know it is but one galaxy among billions of others in the observable universe. Within the Milky Way, ground-based and space-borne telescopes have revealed that our Solar System is not alone. Hundreds of other planetary systems share our tiny part of the vast Galaxy. We reside within a galactic ecosystem that is driven by the theatrics of the most massive stars as they blaze through their brilliant lives and dramatic deaths. Similarly effervescent ecosystems of hot young stars and fluorescing nebulae delineate the graceful spiral arms in our Galaxy’s swirling disk. Beyond the disk, the spheroidal halo hosts the ponderous–and still mysterious–dark matter that outweighs everything else. Another dark mystery lurks deep in the heart of the Milky Way, where a supermassive black hole has produced bizarre phenomena seen at multiple wavelengths.
5. Odd Couples: Extraordinary Differences between the Sexes in the Animal Kingdom by Daphne J. Fairbairn- On their quest for knowledge, learning about all types of animals is pertinent- sadly, magical creatures are not covered in this book.
While we joke that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, our gender differences can’t compare to those of other animals. For instance, the male garden spider spontaneously dies after mating with a female more than fifty times his size. Female cichlids must guard their eggs and larvae–even from the hungry appetites of their own partners. And male blanket octopuses employ a copulatory arm longer than their own bodies to mate with females that outweigh them by four orders of magnitude. Why do these gender gulfs exist? Introducing readers to important discoveries in animal behavior and evolution, Odd Couples explores some of the most extraordinary sexual differences in the animal world. From the fields of Spain to the deep oceans, evolutionary biologist Daphne Fairbairn uncovers the unique and bizarre characteristics–in size, behavior, ecology, and life history–that exist in these remarkable species and the special strategies they use to maximize reproductive success. Fairbairn describes how male great bustards aggressively compete to display their gorgeous plumage and large physiques to watching, choosey females. She investigates why female elephant seals voluntarily live in harems where they are harassed constantly by eager males. And she reveals why dwarf male giant seadevils parasitically fuse to their giant female partners for life. Fairbairn also considers humans and explains that although we are keenly aware of our own sexual differences, they are unexceptional within the vast animal world.
Keep coming back to get your reading list for your Hogwarts house!
We invite you to browse and download our 2013 Cognitive Science Catalog:
Will we see you at the Society of Neuroscience’s annual meeting? We are pleased to announce we’ll be there in New Orleans! Look for us at booth #135.
More from from Eric I. Schwartz, Sociology & Cognitive Science Editor:
It is with great pleasure that, on behalf of my colleagues at
Princeton University Press, I introduce the 2013 cognitive
science catalog. The books in this catalog exemplify the
quality of scholarship that we prize. They reflect the genuinely
interdisciplinary approach that we take to developing
our publishing programs, and to this end, cognitive science
an interdisciplinary field connecting research within the
humanities, social science, and science is a natural representation
of the mission of the Press.
This year’s catalog features three major works worthy of
special notice. William Bialek’s Biophysics is a landmark
textbook that crosses disciplinary boundaries to teach
advanced students about this important subject. In Cells to
Civilization, Enrico Coen provides the first unified account
of how life transforms itself, from single cells to self-understanding.
With The Behavioral Foundations of Public
Policy, Eldar Shafir and colleagues examine the important
nexus of human behavior and economic decision making,
and how this should inform public policy.
And not to be missed are several works new in paperback
this year, including Patricia Churchland’s Braintrust, Robert
Kurzban’s Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite, Nicholas
Humphrey’s Soul Dust, Paul Thagard’s The Brain and the
Meaning of Life, and Max H. Bazerman and Ann E.
Tenbrunsel’s Blind Spots.
Finally, this year Princeton University Press begins exhibiting
at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
We hope to see you there, and look forward to continuing
to share this intellectually engaging journey with you.
Thank you for your support.
Eric I. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Editor, Sociology & Cognitive Science
Women occupy fewer positions of power in business than men. Why is that? What explains the types of relationships that men have with women and the different ways in which men and women network with friends and acquaintances? In this Social Science Bites podcast, Paul Seabright, author of ‘The War of the Sexes‘, combines an economist’s perspective with insights from biology and evolutionary science to give answers to just these questions.
Filmmaker and personality Jason Silva finds inspiration awe in Nicholas Humphrey’s SOUL DUST in film short
Check it out!
FACT: “According to the archaeological record, the cranial capacity of humans living 250,000 years ago was roughly the same as ours (about 1300-1500 cubic centimeters), granting individual variation then, as now. (For comparison, chimpanzee brains are about 400 cc, and the Homo erectus brain was only about 800-1100 cc, based on cranial size.) Whether the details of neural anatomy were the same is of course unknown, since the brain rapidly decays after death.”
Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality
by Patricia S. Churchland
What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the “neurobiological platform of bonding” that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality.
Moral values, Churchland argues, are rooted in a behavior common to all mammals—the caring for offspring. The evolved structure, processes, and chemistry of the brain incline humans to strive not only for self-preservation but for the well-being of allied selves—first offspring, then mates, kin, and so on, in wider and wider “caring” circles. Separation and exclusion cause pain, and the company of loved ones causes pleasure; responding to feelings of social pain and pleasure, brains adjust their circuitry to local customs. In this way, caring is apportioned, conscience molded, and moral intuitions instilled. A key part of the story is oxytocin, an ancient body-and-brain molecule that, by decreasing the stress response, allows humans to develop the trust in one another necessary for the development of close-knit ties, social institutions, and morality.
A major new account of what really makes us moral, Braintrust challenges us to reconsider the origins of some of our most cherished values.
We invite you to read Chapter 1 here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s9399.pdf
Max Bazerman, co-author of Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do about It (along with Ann Tenbrunsel) appeared on WNYC’s The Takeaway to discuss the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. You can listen to the interview below.
Alan Turing’s Systems of Logic: The Princeton Thesis
Edited and introduced by Andrew W. Appel
Between inventing the concept of a universal computer in 1936 and breaking the German Enigma code during World War II, Alan Turing (1912-1954), the British founder of computer science and artificial intelligence, came to Princeton University to study mathematical logic. Some of the greatest logicians in the world—including Alonzo Church, Kurt Gödel, John von Neumann, and Stephen Kleene—were at Princeton in the 1930s, and they were working on ideas that would lay the groundwork for what would become known as computer science. Though less well known than his other work, Turing’s 1938 Princeton PhD thesis, “Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals,” which includes his notion of an oracle machine, has had a lasting influence on computer science and mathematics. This book presents a facsimile of the original typescript of the thesis along with essays by Andrew Appel and Solomon Feferman that explain its still-unfolding significance.
A work of philosophy as well as mathematics, Turing’s thesis envisions a practical goal—a logical system to formalize mathematical proofs so they can be checked mechanically. If every step of a theorem could be verified mechanically, the burden on intuition would be limited to the axioms. Turing’s point, as Appel writes, is that “mathematical reasoning can be done, and should be done, in mechanizable formal logic.” Turing’s vision of “constructive systems of logic for practical use” has become reality: in the twenty-first century, automated “formal methods” are now routine.
Presented here in its original form, this fascinating thesis is one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science.
A slight change this week—the random draw for this book with be Thursday 5/17 at 3 pm EST. Be sure to like us on Facebook if you haven’t already to be entered to win!
If you’re ever in Brooklyn and want/need some drink and knowledge, check out the Secret Science Club as profiled in the New York Times
We were thrilled to read Jennifer Schuessler’s terrific story on the popular phenomenon of bar lecturing (and not in an intoxicated way, but a learned way!) Check out her story here. It looks like alcohol and science is a powerful (and successful) formula.
The Press is pleased to have had the pleasure of working with the Secret Science Club as they’ve hosted talks for a handful of our science authors. In particular, I was delighted to see friend-of-the-Press Dorian Devins at the SSC getting a mention!
FACT: “A flying bee expends energy at a rate of about 500 watts per kilogram (250 watts per pound), whereas the maximum power output of an Olympic rowing crew is only about 20 watts per kilogram (10 watts per pound). At any moment, however, only a small portion of the clustered bees will be shivering with maximum intensity, so the total heat output by the approximately two kilograms (four pounds) of bees in a winter cluster isn’t 1,000 watts, but is only about 40 watts, a rate of heat production like that of a small incandescent light bulb.”
by Thomas D. Seeley
Honeybees make decisions collectively—and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, Honeybee Democracy brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley’s pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees.
“Dr. Seeley is an engaging guide. His enthusiasm and admiration for honeybees is infectious. His accumulated research seems truly masterly, doing for bees what E.O. Wilson did for ants.”—Katherine Bouton, New York Times
We invite you to read Chapter 1 here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s9267.pdf
Also available as part of our Princeton Shorts collection:
The Five Habits of Highly Effective Honeybees (and What We Can Learn from Them)
by Thomas D. Seeley
Studies of animal behavior have often been invoked to help explain and even guide human behavior. Think of Pavlov and his dogs or Goodall and her chimps. But, as these examples indicate, the tendency has been to focus on “higher,” more cognitively developed, and thus, it is thought, more intelligent creatures than mindless, robotic insects. Not so! Learn here how honeybees work together to form a collective intelligence and even how they make decisions democratically. The wizzzzdom of crowds indeed! Here are five habits of effective groups that we can learn from these clever honeybees.
We invite you to be among the first to browse our new 2012 cognitive science catalog.
Browse and download it to your e-reader:
PUP’s sociology and cognitive science editor, Eric Schwartz, will be attending the Society for Social Neuroscience (S4SN) and the Science Society for Neuroscience’s (SfN) annual meeting in Washington, DC this month. You can find PUP books at booth No. 138. Of special interest at this year’s meetings are appearances by two PUP authors: neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland will be responding to the S4SN Keynote Address and economist Robert Shiller will be joining SfN President Susan Amara and neuroscientists Antonio Rangel and Wolfram Schultz in a discussion about the interplay between economics and the brain: http://www.sfn.org/am2011/index.aspx?pagename=amn_072011_Shiller.
You can read the introduction to Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller at: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i9163.pdf and Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality? by Patricia S. Churchland at: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s9399.pdf.
The cognitive science catalog is full of great authors and great books. Eric Schwartz introduces the 2012 cognitive science catalog:
Our cognitive science publishing reflects the state-of-the-art of the field, and includes
work by psychologists and neuroscientists, philosophers of mind, evolutionary biologists, and social scientists of all stripes.
The catalog highlights recent and forthcoming books by Max
H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel, Patricia S. Churchland,
Nicholas Humphrey, Michael C. Corballis, Robert Kurzban,
Enrico Coen, and Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, among
others. We are proud to make available in paperback Paul
Thagard’s acclaimed The Brain and the Meaning of Life, George
A. Akerlof and Rachel E. Kranton’s important Identity Economics,
and Peter Singer’s classic The Expanding Circle. We also use
this opportunity to draw your attention to significant earlier
works published by the Press by authors such as Louise Barrett,
Robin Dunbar, Frans de Waal, Jean-Pierre Changeux, Richard
L. Gregory, Richard H. Thaler, Robert J. Shiller, and Thomas
Henry Huxley. Unifying all of these authors and books, past and
present, is an effort to provide a clearer understanding of the
relationship between the brain, the mind, individual behavior,
social interaction, and social institutions.
This catalog is indicative of the bright future for the Princeton
University Press cognitive science program and we hope that
within these pages you find books and ideas that will inspire
Cognitive Science Catalog 2012: