Interesting Reading Areas 2017

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Since we started the posts Interesting Reading Areas since 2013 we noticed that most end-of-the-year lists of books consist of books that have already been read by others and many of the lists consist of the same books.

Often the lists consist of books that have topped the sales lists during the year. The underlying message could be interpreted as “if you haven’t read these books, you must be a cultural savage, that you do not belong to the well-informed elite and not be able to go along in conversations”. Anyhow, this is a passive, following mainstream media approach.

Another, more active approach is to make your own list about Interesting Reading Areas (IRA), areas of your interest for development and knowledge acquisition. And then look for relevant writers, books and DVD’s belonging to that IRA.

We thought it would be nice to make a list of subjects or interesting areas for ourselves because we believe we would gain from such a list to help us preparing for the next parts of Thinkiblity – Thinking about Thinking, Creativity, Innovation and Design. Perhaps you may enjoy the list and it will give you some directions for reading about Thinkibility. Just reading the titles would give you some new insides.

If you can help us to expand the list, please add a comment. Please note, we have not yet read the books! We invite you to make your own IRA’s and to find for each subject the interesting books and thinkers.

About Concepts

The study of concepts has advanced dramatically in recent years, with exciting new findings and theoretical developments. Core concepts have been investigated in greater depth and new lines of inquiry have blossomed, with researchers from an ever broader range of disciplines making important contributions. In this volume, leading philosophers and cognitive scientists offer original essays that present the state-of-the-art in the study of concepts. The Conceptual Mind: New Directions in the Study of Concepts 

What is Thinking? Human thinking is probably the most complex phenomenon that evolution has come up with until now. This book focuses on assembling building blocks for a conceptual framework that might – after several iterations – contribute to a future theory of thinking. It brings together an international group of leading scientists coming from the different fields upon which a theory of thinking must build: brain and cognitive sciences, experimental and developmental psychology, evolutionary anthropology and biology, linguistics, transcultural neuroimaging, modeling, and philosophy. Towards a Theory of Thinking – Building Blocks for a Conceptual Framework. Editors: Glatzeder, Britt, Goel, Vinod, von Müller, Albrecht

This book is the second volume of the Parmenides book series “On Thinking” dedicated to exploring current approaches and contributions towards a fuller understanding of human thought processes.

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In The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them the theoretical foundations and the origins of what we call concept maps are presented.While at first glance concept maps may appear to be just another graphic representation of information, understanding the foundations for this tool and its proper use will lead the user to see that this is truly a profound and powerful tool. Concept mapping has been shown to help learners learn, researchers create new knowledge, administrators to better structure and manage organizations, writers to write, and evaluators access learning.

About non-mainstream

It’s easy to find a good movie (well at least a movie for our general taste) between the big blockbusters, when wherever you look you see a giant poster or ad from it. But it’s a bit harder to get around a good, not so famous but nevertheless highly entertaining movie. Six upcoming non-mainstream films to watch out for!

Non-Mainstream Dimensions of Global Political Economy: Essays in Honour of Sunanda Sen is a collection of essays written by scholars of global repute in honour of Professor Sunanda Sen. Each paper is well-researched and offers some new dimension to the understanding of the current global crisis, finance, and labour including the epistemological viewpoints regarding the current global order. The uniqueness of the book is that in one place one can find different heterodox positions dealing with the present global order of finance and labour – post-Keynesian, Marxist etc.

About Criticism and  Critical Thinking

Working with his students at a risk analysis center, Wildavsky examined all the evidence behind the charges and countercharges in several controversial cases involving environmental health and public safety. Here he lays out these cases in terms an average citizen can understand, weighs the merits of the claims of various parties, and offers reasoned judgments on the government’s response. But Is It True? A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Health and Safety Issues by Aaron Wildavsky

“Critical Thinking: Proven Strategies To Improve Decision Making Skills, Increase Intuition And Think Smarter!” is a well-rounded introduction to the principles of critical thinking. The book provides tips and steps that are easy to follow, yet very effective in solving problems of all kinds.

For more resources, take a tour in the bookstore of the Critical Thinking Community

In our post,  Interesting Books? we stated that we can safely assume that the majority of the books published each year (approximately 2,200,000) belong to mainstream thinking. That is: non-critical. We were reassured when researching this post. We can’t find books that are classified by search engines as, for instance, “Criticism on…” or “Critical thinking on…”. Perhaps we should search for a list of critical thinkers instead….

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We found a great resource: Critical Thinking on the Web at the website of Rationale, about health, art, post-modernism, the media and lot’s more.

However, we did find interesting books when we combined the search term criticism with the term environment. The environment has moved from a marginal concern to a major political, personal, and philosophical issue that pervades everyday life. Ecocritics try to explore issues and questions such as: What are the ethics of human interaction with the environment? What do we mean when we use the word “nature”? What does our cultural output say about our perception of the world we live in?

Ecology without Nature investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and engaging.  This book by Timothy Morton rethinks the way we use an idea of nature to try to heal what society has damaged and introduces a new radical form of ecological criticism – dark ecology.

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Provocations and alternatives

When using the search term “Provocative Books” we were much more successful: Popular Provocative Books although we are not sure the authors themselves are non-mainstream; the prefix “popular” makes us fear the worst.

Abandon parenting, and just be a parent – is a provocation and a step away from the idea that parenting is helpful. Today, thousands of books on parenting are published every year. But what is parenting? In the book, The Gardener and the Carpenter the author Alison Gopnik explores how the concept of parenting has transformed child care into obsessive,  and goal-oriented labour. The aim with this type of parenting is to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult.

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The Huffington’s Post 21 Provocative Books By Women Every Bookshelf Needs might be more remote from mainstream and less “popular”.

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