The Final Volume of the Groundbreaking Trilogy on Agent-Based Modeling In this pioneering synthesis, Joshua Epstein introduces a new theoretical entity: Agent_Zero. This software individual, or "agent," is endowed with distinct emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded in contemporary neuroscience, these internal components interact to generate observed, often far-from-rational, individual behavior. When multiple agents of this new type move and interact spatially, they collectively generate an astonishing range of dynamics spanning the fields of social conflict, psychology, public health, law, network science, and economics. Epstein weaves a computational tapestry with threads from Plato, Hume, Darwin, Pavlov, Smith, Tolstoy, Marx, James, and Dostoevsky, among others. This transformative synthesis of social philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, and agent-based modeling will fascinate scholars and students of every stripe. Epstein's computer programs are provided in the book or on its Princeton University Press website, along with movies of his "computational parables." Agent_Zero is a signal departure in what it includes (e.g., a new synthesis of neurally grounded internal modules), what it eschews (e.g., standard behavioral imitation), the phenomena it generates (from genocide to financial panic), and the modeling arsenal it offers the scientific community. For generative social science, Agent_Zero presents a groundbreaking vision and the tools to realize it.
With contributions from founders of the field, including Justin Barrett, E. Thomas Lawson, Robert N. McCauley, Paschal Boyer, Armin Geertz and Harvey Whitehouse, as well as from younger scholars from successive stages in the field's development, this is an important survey of the first twenty-five years of the cognitive science of religion. Each chapter provides the author's views on the contributions the cognitive science of religion has made to the academic study of religion, as well as any shortcomings in the field and challenges for the future. Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-five Years calls attention to the field whilst providing an accessible and diverse survey of approaches from key voices, as well as offering suggestions for further research within the field. This book is essential reading for anyone in religious studies, anthropology, and the scientific study of religion.
Economics is a broad and diverse discipline, but most economics textbooks only cover one way of thinking about the economy. This book provides an accessible introduction to nine different approaches to economics: from feminist to ecological and Marxist to behavioural. Each chapter is written by a leading expert in the field described and is intended to stand on its own as well as providing an ambitious survey that seeks to highlight the true diversity of economic thought. Students of economics around the world have begun to demand a more open economics education. This book represents a first step in creating the materials needed to introduce new and diverse ideas into the static world of undergraduate economics. This book will provide context for undergraduate students by placing the mainstream of economic thought side by side with more heterodox schools. This is in keeping with the Rethinking Economics campaign which argues that students are better served when they are presented with a spectrum of economic ideas rather than just the dominant paradigm. Rethinking Economics: An Introduction to Pluralist Economics is a great entry-level economics textbook for lecturers looking to introduce students to the broader range of ideas explored within the economics profession. It is also appropriate and accessible for people outside of academia who are interested in economics and economic theory.