From Bacteria to Bach and Back The Evolution of Minds

From Bacteria to Bach and Back  The Evolution of Minds
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: W. W. Norton & Company
Total Pages: 496
Release: 2017-02-07
ISBN: 0393242080
Category: Philosophy
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

From Bacteria to Bach and Back The Evolution of Minds Book Excerpt:

"A supremely enjoyable, intoxicating work." —Nature How did we come to have minds? For centuries, poets, philosophers, psychologists, and physicists have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled abilities. Disciples of Darwin have explained how natural selection produced plants, but what about the human mind? In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Daniel C. Dennett builds on recent discoveries from biology and computer science to show, step by step, how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. A crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Competition among memes produced thinking tools powerful enough that our minds don’t just perceive and react, they create and comprehend. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and scientists, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain all those curious about how the mind works.

Summary of Daniel C Dennett s From Bacteria to Bach and Back

Summary of Daniel C  Dennett s From Bacteria to Bach and Back
Author: Everest Media,
Publsiher: Everest Media LLC
Total Pages: 135
Release: 2022-05-04T22:59:00Z
ISBN: 1928374650XXX
Category: Science
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Summary of Daniel C Dennett s From Bacteria to Bach and Back Book Excerpt:

Please note: This is a companion version & not the original book. Sample Book Insights: #1 The path leading from the initial assumption that we are physical objects obeying the laws of physics to an understanding of our conscious minds is strewn with difficulties, both empirical and conceptual. #2 I have often dismissed ideas that seem strange to me at first, but I have found that they are extremely important and have deeply contributed to my view. I am eager to pass on my newfound solutions to the big puzzles about the mind. #3 The first two billion years of life on Earth were spent optimizing the basic machinery for self-maintenance, energy acquisition, and reproduction. Then, two different prokaryotes, each with its own set of competences and habits, collided. #4 The Eukaryotic Revolution, which occurred about half a billion years ago, saw the arrival of a bounty of new life forms. The MacCready Explosion, which occurred about 10,000 years ago, saw the arrival of humans and their livestock and pets, who now dominate the planet.

From Bacteria to Bach and Back

From Bacteria to Bach and Back
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: Penguin UK
Total Pages: 496
Release: 2017-02-21
ISBN: 0141978058
Category: Psychology
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

From Bacteria to Bach and Back Book Excerpt:

'Required reading for anyone remotely curious about how they came to be remotely curious' Observer 'Enthralling' Spectator What is human consciousness and how is it possible? These questions fascinate thinking people from poets and painters to physicists, psychologists, and philosophers. This is Daniel C. Dennett's brilliant answer, extending perspectives from his earlier work in surprising directions, exploring the deep interactions of evolution, brains and human culture. Part philosophical whodunnit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett's career at the forefront of philosophical thought. In his inimitable style, laced with wit and thought experiments, Dennett shows how culture enables reflection by installing a profusion of thinking tools, or memes, in our brains, and how language turbocharges this process. The result: a mind that can comprehend the questions it poses, has emerged from a process of cultural evolution. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and thinkers, From Bacteria to Bach and Back is essential for anyone who hopes to understand human creativity in all its applications.

Brainchildren

Brainchildren
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 430
Release: 1998-02-17
ISBN: 9780262540902
Category: Philosophy
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Brainchildren Book Excerpt:

A new collection of wide-ranging essays from one of cognitive science's most distingushed figures. Minds are complex artifacts, partly biological and partly social; only a unified, multidisciplinary approach will yield a realistic theory of how they came into existence and how they work. One of the foremost workers in this multidisciplinary field is Daniel Dennett. This book brings together his essays on the philosphy of mind, artificial intelligence, and cognitive ethology that appeared in inaccessible journals from 1984 to 1996. Highlights include "Can Machines Think?," "The Unimagined Preposterousness of Zombies," "Artificial Life as Philosophy," and "Animal Consciousness: What Matters and Why." Collected in a single volume, the essays are now available to a wider audience.

The Intentional Stance

The Intentional Stance
Author: Daniel Clement Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 406
Release: 1987
ISBN: 9780262540537
Category: Psychology
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Intentional Stance Book Excerpt:

Through the use of such "folk" concepts as belief, desire, intention, and expectation, Daniel Dennett asserts in this first full scale presentation of a theory of intentionality that he has been developing for almost twenty years.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 216
Release: 2006-09-08
ISBN: 0262541912
Category: Philosophy
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Sweet Dreams Book Excerpt:

In the years since Daniel Dennett's influential Consciousness Explained was published in 1991, scientific research on consciousness has been a hotly contested battleground of rival theories—"so rambunctious," Dennett observes, "that several people are writing books just about the tumult." With Sweet Dreams, Dennett returns to the subject for "revision and renewal" of his theory of consciousness, taking into account major empirical advances in the field since 1991 as well as recent theoretical challenges. In Consciousness Explained, Dennett proposed to replace the ubiquitous but bankrupt Cartesian Theater model (which posits a privileged place in the brain where "it all comes together" for the magic show of consciousness) with the Multiple Drafts Model. Drawing on psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and artificial intelligence, he asserted that human consciousness is essentially the mental software that reorganizes the functional architecture of the brain. In Sweet Dreams, he recasts the Multiple Drafts Model as the "fame in the brain" model, as a background against which to examine the philosophical issues that "continue to bedevil the field." With his usual clarity and brio, Dennett enlivens his arguments with a variety of vivid examples. He isolates the "Zombic Hunch" that distorts much of the theorizing of both philosophers and scientists, and defends heterophenomenology, his "third-person" approach to the science of consciousness, against persistent misinterpretations and objections. The old challenge of Frank Jackson's thought experiment about Mary the color scientist is given a new rebuttal in the form of "RoboMary," while his discussion of a famous card trick, "The Tuned Deck," is designed to show that David Chalmers's Hard Problem is probably just a figment of theorists' misexploited imagination. In the final essay, the "intrinsic" nature of "qualia" is compared with the naively imagined "intrinsic value" of a dollar in "Consciousness—How Much is That in Real Money?"

Elbow Room new edition

Elbow Room  new edition
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 248
Release: 2015-08-07
ISBN: 0262527790
Category: Philosophy
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Elbow Room new edition Book Excerpt:

A landmark book in the debate over free will that makes the case for compatibilism. In this landmark 1984 work on free will, Daniel Dennett makes a case for compatibilism. His aim, as he writes in the preface to this new edition, was a cleanup job, “saving everything that mattered about the everyday concept of free will, while jettisoning the impediments.” In Elbow Room, Dennett argues that the varieties of free will worth wanting—those that underwrite moral and artistic responsibility—are not threatened by advances in science but distinguished, explained, and justified in detail. Dennett tackles the question of free will in a highly original and witty manner, drawing on the theories and concepts of fields that range from physics and evolutionary biology to engineering, automata theory, and artificial intelligence. He shows how the classical formulations of the problem in philosophy depend on misuses of imagination, and he disentangles the philosophical problems of real interest from the “family of anxieties” in which they are often enmeshed—imaginary agents and bogeymen, including the Peremptory Puppeteer, the Nefarious Neurosurgeon, and the Cosmic Child Whose Dolls We Are. Putting sociobiology in its rightful place, he concludes that we can have free will and science too. He explores reason, control and self-control, the meaning of “can” and “could have done otherwise,” responsibility and punishment, and why we would want free will in the first place. A fresh reading of Dennett's book shows how much it can still contribute to current discussions of free will. This edition includes as its afterword Dennett's 2012 Erasmus Prize essay.

Elbow Room new edition

Elbow Room  new edition
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 248
Release: 2015-08-07
ISBN: 0262332043
Category: Philosophy
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Elbow Room new edition Book Excerpt:

A landmark book in the debate over free will that makes the case for compatibilism. In this landmark 1984 work on free will, Daniel Dennett makes a case for compatibilism. His aim, as he writes in the preface to this new edition, was a cleanup job, “saving everything that mattered about the everyday concept of free will, while jettisoning the impediments.” In Elbow Room, Dennett argues that the varieties of free will worth wanting—those that underwrite moral and artistic responsibility—are not threatened by advances in science but distinguished, explained, and justified in detail. Dennett tackles the question of free will in a highly original and witty manner, drawing on the theories and concepts of fields that range from physics and evolutionary biology to engineering, automata theory, and artificial intelligence. He shows how the classical formulations of the problem in philosophy depend on misuses of imagination, and he disentangles the philosophical problems of real interest from the “family of anxieties” in which they are often enmeshed—imaginary agents and bogeymen, including the Peremptory Puppeteer, the Nefarious Neurosurgeon, and the Cosmic Child Whose Dolls We Are. Putting sociobiology in its rightful place, he concludes that we can have free will and science too. He explores reason, control and self-control, the meaning of “can” and “could have done otherwise,” responsibility and punishment, and why we would want free will in the first place. A fresh reading of Dennett's book shows how much it can still contribute to current discussions of free will. This edition includes as its afterword Dennett's 2012 Erasmus Prize essay.

Brainstorms Fortieth Anniversary Edition

Brainstorms  Fortieth Anniversary Edition
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 438
Release: 2017-12-15
ISBN: 026253438X
Category: Psychology
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Brainstorms Fortieth Anniversary Edition Book Excerpt:

An anniversary edition of a classic in cognitive science, with a new introduction by the author. When Brainstorms was published in 1978, the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science was just emerging. Daniel Dennett was a young scholar who wanted to get philosophers out of their armchairs—and into conversations with psychologists, linguists, computer scientists. This collection of seventeen essays by Dennett offers a comprehensive theory of mind, encompassing traditional issues of consciousness and free will. Using careful arguments and ingenious thought experiments, the author exposes familiar preconceptions and hobbling intuitions. The essays are grouped into four sections: “Intentional Explanation and Attributions of Mentality”; “The Nature of Theory in Psychology”; “Objects of Consciousness and the Nature of Experience”; and “Free Will and Personhood.” This anniversary edition includes a new introduction by Dennett, “Reflections on Brainstorms after Forty Years,” in which he recalls the book's original publication by Harry and Betty Stanton of Bradford Books and considers the influence and afterlife of some of the essays. For example, “Mechanism and Responsibility” was Dennett's first articulation of his concept of the intentional stance; “Are Dreams Experiences?” anticipates the major ideas in his 1991 book Consciousness Explained; and “Where Am I?” has been variously represented in a BBC documentary, a student's Javanese shadow puppet play, and a feature-length film made in the Netherlands, Victim of the Brain.

Brainstorms Fortieth Anniversary Edition

Brainstorms  Fortieth Anniversary Edition
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 440
Release: 2017-12-15
ISBN: 0262343738
Category: Psychology
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Brainstorms Fortieth Anniversary Edition Book Excerpt:

An anniversary edition of a classic in cognitive science, with a new introduction by the author. When Brainstorms was published in 1978, the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science was just emerging. Daniel Dennett was a young scholar who wanted to get philosophers out of their armchairs—and into conversations with psychologists, linguists, computer scientists. This collection of seventeen essays by Dennett offers a comprehensive theory of mind, encompassing traditional issues of consciousness and free will. Using careful arguments and ingenious thought experiments, the author exposes familiar preconceptions and hobbling intuitions. The essays are grouped into four sections: “Intentional Explanation and Attributions of Mentality”; “The Nature of Theory in Psychology”; “Objects of Consciousness and the Nature of Experience”; and “Free Will and Personhood.” This anniversary edition includes a new introduction by Dennett, “Reflections on Brainstorms after Forty Years,” in which he recalls the book's original publication by Harry and Betty Stanton of Bradford Books and considers the influence and afterlife of some of the essays. For example, “Mechanism and Responsibility” was Dennett's first articulation of his concept of the intentional stance; “Are Dreams Experiences?” anticipates the major ideas in his 1991 book Consciousness Explained; and “Where Am I?” has been variously represented in a BBC documentary, a student's Javanese shadow puppet play, and a feature-length film made in the Netherlands, Victim of the Brain.

Wonder and Education

Wonder and Education
Author: Anders Schinkel
Publsiher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Total Pages: 240
Release: 2020-11-12
ISBN: 1350071919
Category: Education
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Wonder and Education Book Excerpt:

Many people, whether educators or not, will agree that an education that does not inspire wonder is barren. Wonder is commonly perceived as akin to curiosity, as stimulating inquiry, and as something that enhances pleasure in learning, but there are many experiences of wonder that do not have an obvious place in education. In Wonder and Education, Anders Schinkel theorises a kind of wonder with less obvious yet fundamental educational importance which he calls 'contemplative wonder'. Contemplative wonder disrupts frameworks of understanding that are taken for granted and perceived as natural and draws our attention to the world behind our constructions, sparking our interest in the world as something worth attending to for its own sake rather than for our purposes. It opens up space for the consideration of (radical) alternatives wherever it occurs, and in many cases is linked with deep experiences of value; therefore, it is not just important for education in general, but also, more specifically, for moral and political education.

Breaking the Spell

Breaking the Spell
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 464
Release: 2006-02-02
ISBN: 110121886X
Category: Religion
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Breaking the Spell Book Excerpt:

The New York Times bestseller – a “crystal-clear, constantly engaging” (Jared Diamond) exploration of the role that religious belief plays in our lives and our interactions For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.

Theological Territories

Theological Territories
Author: David Bentley Hart
Publsiher: University of Notre Dame Pess
Total Pages: 420
Release: 2020-04-15
ISBN: 026810719X
Category: Religion
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Theological Territories Book Excerpt:

In Theological Territories, David Bentley Hart, one of America’s most eminent contemporary writers on religion, reflects on the state of theology “at the borders” of other fields of discourse, including metaphysics, philosophy of mind, science, the arts, ethics, and biblical hermeneutics. The book advances many of Hart’s larger theological projects, developing and deepening numerous dimensions of his previous work. Theological Territories constitutes a manifesto regarding the manner in which theology should engage other fields of concern and scholarship. The essays within this volume are divided into five sections: the nature of theology, the relations between theology and science, the connections between gospel and culture, the literary representations of and engagements with transcendence, and the New Testament. Hart responds to influential books, theologians, philosophers, and poets, including Rowan Williams, Jean-Luc Marion, Tomáš Halík, Sergei Bulgakov, Jennifer Newsome Martin, and David Jones. Drawn from live lectures delivered in various settings, these essays show how Hart’s mind works with the academic veneer of more formal pieces stripped away. Theological Territories contains new and expanded material previously unpublished by Hart and will appeal to both academic and non-academic readers interested in the place of theology in the modern world.

What s with Free Will

What s with Free Will
Author: Philip Clayton,James W. Walters
Publsiher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Total Pages: 222
Release: 2020-03-10
ISBN: 1532681623
Category: Religion
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

What s with Free Will Book Excerpt:

Are humans free, or are we determined by our genes and the world around us? The question of freedom is not only one of philosophy’s greatest conundrums, but also one of the most fundamental questions of human existence. It’s particularly pressing in societies like ours, where our core institutions of law, ethics, and religion are built around the belief in individual freedom. Can one still affirm human freedom in an age of science? And if free will doesn’t exist, does it make sense to act as though it does? These are the issues that are presented, probed, and debated in the following chapters. A dozen experts―specialists in medicine, psychology, ethics, theology, and philosophy—grapple with the multiple and often profound challenges presented by today’s brain science. After examining the arguments against traditional notions of free will, several of the authors champion the idea of a chastened but robust free will for today, one that allows us still to affirm the value of first-person experience.

Inside Jokes

Inside Jokes
Author: Matthew M. Hurley,Daniel C. Dennett,Reginald B. Adams, Jr.
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 374
Release: 2013-02-08
ISBN: 0262518694
Category: Psychology
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Inside Jokes Book Excerpt:

An evolutionary and cognitive account of the addictive mind candy that is humor. Some things are funny—jokes, puns, sitcoms, Charlie Chaplin, The Far Side, Malvolio with his yellow garters crossed—but why? Why does humor exist in the first place? Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks, watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, and Reginald Adams offer an evolutionary and cognitive perspective. Humor, they propose, evolved out of a computational problem that arose when our long-ago ancestors were furnished with open-ended thinking. Mother Nature—aka natural selection—cannot just order the brain to find and fix all our time-pressured misleaps and near-misses. She has to bribe the brain with pleasure. So we find them funny. This wired-in source of pleasure has been tickled relentlessly by humorists over the centuries, and we have become addicted to the endogenous mind candy that is humor.

The Coevolution

The Coevolution
Author: Edward Ashford Lee
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 384
Release: 2020-04-21
ISBN: 0262043939
Category: Technology & Engineering
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Coevolution Book Excerpt:

Should digital technology be viewed as a new life form, sharing our ecosystem and coevolving with us? Are humans defining technology, or is technology defining humans? In this book, Edward Ashford Lee considers the case that we are less in control of the trajectory of technology than we think. It shapes us as much as we shape it, and it may be more defensible to think of technology as the result of a Darwinian coevolution than the result of top-down intelligent design. Richard Dawkins famously said that a chicken is an egg's way of making another egg. Is a human a computer's way of making another computer? To understand this question requires a deep dive into how evolution works, how humans are different from computers, and how the way technology develops resembles the emergence of a new life form on our planet. Lee presents the case for considering digital beings to be living, then offers counterarguments. What we humans do with our minds is more than computation, and what digital systems do—be teleported at the speed of light, backed up, and restored—may never be possible for humans. To believe that we are simply computations, he argues, is a “dataist” faith and scientifically indefensible. Digital beings depend on humans—and humans depend on digital beings. More likely than a planetary wipe-out of humanity is an ongoing, symbiotic coevolution of culture and technology.

In Search of the Soul

In Search of the Soul
Author: John Cottingham
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 192
Release: 2022-04-12
ISBN: 0691234035
Category: Philosophy
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

In Search of the Soul Book Excerpt:

How our beliefs about the soul have developed through the ages, and why an understanding of it still matters today The concept of the soul has been a recurring area of exploration since ancient times. What do we mean when we talk about finding our soul, how do we know we have one, and does it hold any relevance in today’s scientifically and technologically dominated society? From Socrates and Augustine to Darwin and Freud, In Search of the Soul takes readers on a concise, accessible journey into the origins of the soul in Western philosophy and culture, and examines how the idea has developed throughout history to the present. Touching on literature, music, art, and theology, John Cottingham illustrates how, far from being redundant in contemporary times, the soul attunes us to the importance of meaning and value, and experience and growth. A better understanding of the soul might help all of us better understand what it is to be human. Cottingham delves into the evolution of our thoughts about the soul through landmark works—including those of Aristotle, Plato, and Descartes. He considers the nature of consciousness and subjective experience, and discusses the psychoanalytic view that large parts of the human psyche are hidden from direct conscious awareness. He also reflects on the mysterious and universal longing for transcendence that is an indelible part of our human makeup. Looking at the soul’s many dimensions—historical, moral, psychological, and spiritual—Cottingham makes a case for how it exerts a powerful pull on all of us. In Search of the Soul is a testimony to how the soul remains a profoundly significant aspect of human flourishing.

Rationalism in Politics

Rationalism in Politics
Author: Peter J. Steinberger
Publsiher: Cambridge University Press
Total Pages: 197
Release: 2022-08-25
ISBN: 1009204424
Category: Political Science
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Rationalism in Politics Book Excerpt:

Argues for the discourse of truth-both 'factual' and 'rational'-as an essential and defining feature of political enterprise.

The Naturalness of Belief

The Naturalness of Belief
Author: Paul Copan,Charles Taliaferro
Publsiher: Lexington Books
Total Pages: 300
Release: 2018-11-13
ISBN: 1498579914
Category: Philosophy
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Naturalness of Belief Book Excerpt:

This volume exposes naturalism’s unnaturalness and defends theism’s naturalness and greater explanatory power to account for wide-ranging phenomena in the world and human experience. A broadening of naturalism to accommodate these features means borrowing heavily from—and thus more closely resembling—a theistic worldview.

The Crash of Flight 3804

The Crash of Flight 3804
Author: Charlotte Dennett
Publsiher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2020-04-02
ISBN: 1603588787
Category: Political Science
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Crash of Flight 3804 Book Excerpt:

"Charlotte Dennett has written an excellent book summarizing the geopolitics of the Middle East historically through to current events. . . . This is an amazing piece of historical writing. . . . Students, foreign affairs ‘experts’ and officials should have this work as required reading."—Jim Miles, The Palestine Chronicle Unraveling the mystery of a master spy’s death by following pipelines and mapping wars in the Middle East In 1947, Daniel Dennett, America’s sole master spy in the Middle East, was dispatched to Saudi Arabia to study the route of the proposed Trans-Arabian Pipeline. It would be his last assignment. A plane carrying him to Ethiopia went down, killing everyone on board. Today, Dennett is recognized by the CIA as a “Fallen Star” and an important figure in US intelligence history. Yet the true cause of his death remains clouded in secrecy. In The Crash of Flight 3804, investigative journalist Charlotte Dennett digs into her father’s postwar counterintelligence work, which pitted him against America’s wartime allies—the British, French, and Russians—in a covert battle for geopolitical and economic influence in the Middle East. Through stories and maps, she reveals how feverish competition among superpower intelligence networks, military, and Big Oil interests have fueled indiscriminate attacks and targeted killings that continue to this day—from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder to drone strikes. The book delivers an irrefutable indictment of these devastating forces and how the brutal violence they incite has shaped the Middle East and birthed an era of endless wars. The Crash of Flight 3804 provides important context for understanding the region, while bringing new questions to the fore: To what lengths has the United States negotiated with the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS to secure Big Oil’s holdings in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen? Was the Pentagon’s goal of defeating ISIS a fraudulent pretext for America’s occupation of Syrian eastern provinces and a land grab for oil? What part does Ukraine play in the energy-dominance struggle between the US and Russia? Did the infamous double agent Kim Philby, who worked for the British while secretly spying for the Russians, have anything to do with Dennett’s death? Why have the US and China made North Africa the next major battleground in the Great Game for Oil? Part personal pilgrimage, part deft critique, Dennett’s insightful reportage examines what happens to international relations when oil wealth hangs in the balance and shines a glaring light on what so many have actually been dying for.