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Very Short Introductions

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  • The Psychology of Music: A Very Short Introduction by Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis
    The Psychology of Music: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    The Psychology of Music: A Very Short Introduction seeks to answer fundamental questions of enduring interest, such as "What is musicality?" and "How does music move us?" In doing so, it reveals what happens when science attempts to confront some of the deepest questions about music.

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  • Child Psychology: A Very Short Introduction by Usha Goswami
    Child Psychology: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    This Very Short Introduction tracks child development from birth to early adolescence. Exploring the process of attachment and psychological relationships, as well as methods of active learning, including language and reasoning, Usha Goshwami explains how children develop as they do and how we can understand developmental differences.

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  • Homer: A Very Short Introduction by Barbara Graziosi
    Homer: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    The Iliad and the Odyssey are the cornerstones of Western literature, inspiring artists, writers, philosophers, musicians, playwrights, and film-makers throughout history. Barbara Graziosi introduces Homer's key works and discusses the main literary, historical, and archaeological issues at the heart of Homeric studies.

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  • Matter: A Very Short Introduction by Geoff Cottrell
    Matter: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    Geoff Cottrell explores matter, from its familiar forms as solids, liquids, and gases to plasmas, exotic forms of quantum matter, and antimatter. Discussing the origins of matter in the Big Bang, he looks at atoms, energy, mass, and the mysterious forms of dark matter and dark energy.

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  • Ethics: A Very Short Introduction by Simon Blackburn
    Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    Presenting an introduction to ethics, this work tackles the moral questions surrounding birth, death, happiness, desire, and freedom. It also shows us how we should think about the meaning of life, and how we should mistrust the soundbite-sized absolutes that often dominate moral debates.

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  • Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Dunn
    Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    Dealing with some of the thorniest problems in medicine, from euthanasia to the distribution of health care resources, this book introduces the reasoning we can use to approach medical ethics. Exploring how medical ethics supports health professionals' work, it also considers the impact of the media, pressure groups, and legal judgments.

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  • Beauty: A Very Short Introduction by Roger Scruton
    Beauty: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    From Botticelli to birdsong, Mozart, and the Turner Prize, Roger Scruton explores what it means for something to be beautiful. This thought-provoking introduction to the philosophy of beauty draws conclusions that some may find controversial, but, as Scruton shows, help us to find greater sense of meaning in the beautiful objects around us.

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  • The Calculus Story by David Acheson
    The Calculus Story (English, Hardback)

    Calculus is the mathematical method for the analysis of things that change, and since in the natural world we are surrounded by change, the development of calculus was a huge breakthrough in the history of mathematics. David Acheson charts the historical development of calculus and takes readers through the basic ideas, step by step.

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  • Marine Biology: A Very Short Introduction by Philip V. Mladenov
    Marine Biology: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a fascinating overview of marine biology. Including a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, he outlines the principles of marine biology whilst demonstrating the fundamental impact humans have on the oceans and their ecology.

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  • Identity: A Very Short Introduction by Florian Coulmas
    Identity: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    'Identity' as a concept has many faces, and its very versatility in different contexts can make it hard to define. Florian Coulmas discusses the many meanings of this slippery concept, considering why individual and collective identities are important to us, and discussing the problems asserting individual identities can create.

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  • Film Noir: A Very Short Introduction by James Naremore
    Film Noir: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    James Naremore introduces film noir, highlighting key themes, films, and styles, and exploring why the genre is so difficult to categorize. First associated with Hollywood thrillers of the 1940s and 50s, film noir has become fully international in its nature and appeal, attracting the interest of great directors right up to our present time.

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  • Cognitive Neuroscience: A Very Short Introduction by Richard Passingham
    Cognitive Neuroscience: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    This Very Short Introduction describes the new field of cognitive neuroscience - the study of what happens in the brain when we perceive, think, reason, remember, and act. Focusing on the human brain, Passingham looks at the most recent research in the field, the modern brain imaging technologies, and what the images can and can't tell us.

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  • Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction by Erle C. Ellis
    Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    Climate scientists, geologists, ecologists, and archaeologists recognize the profound effects of human activity on Earth, though whether and how this should be recognized as a formal geological epoch - the Anthropocene - remains under debate, Erle Ellis describes how the Anthropocene concept is affecting the sciences, humanities, and politics.

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  • American History: A Very Short Introduction by Paul S. Boyer
    American History: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    In a miracle of concision, Paul S. Boyer provides a wide-ranging and authoritative history of America, capturing in a compact space the full story of our nation. Ranging from the earliest Native American settlers to the presidency of Barack Obama, this Very Short Introduction offers an illuminating account of politics, diplomacy, and war as well as the full spectrum of social, cultural, and...

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  • Big Data: A Very Short Introduction by Dawn E. Holmes
    Big Data: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    An unimaginably vast amount of data is now generated by our on-line lives and businesses, At the same time, our ability to store, manage, analyse, and exploit this data is becoming ever more sophisticated. This Very Short Introduction maps out the technology, and also the range of possibilities, challenges, and ethical questions it raises.

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  • Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction by Jennifer Nagel
    Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    Human beings naturally desire knowledge. But what is knowledge? Is it the same as having an opinion? Highlighting the major developments in the theory of knowledge from Ancient Greece to the present day, Jennifer Nagel uses a number of simple everyday examples to explore the key themes and current debates of epistemology.

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  • Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction by Timothy Rice
    Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    Ethnomusicology, an academic discipline founded in 1950, has been defined as the study of the music of others. This definition, at once whimsical and very nearly true, is incomplete. Many of its strongest threads have emerged because a person or a people have wanted to understand themselves, their history, and their identity.

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  • Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction by Raymond Wacks
    Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life, shaping the character of our community and underlying issues from racism and abortion to human rights and international war. The revised edition of this Very Short Introduction examines the central questions about law's relation to justice, morality, and democracy.

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  • Waves: A Very Short Introduction by Mike Goldsmith
    Waves: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    From sound waves to gravitational waves, and from waves of light to crashing rollers on the ocean, Mike Goldsmith explores the fundamental features shared by all waves in the natural world, and considers the range of phenomena resulting from wave motion, including reflection, diffraction, and polarization in light, and beats and echoes in sound.

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  • Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction by Jens Zimmermann
    Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction (English, Paperback)

    This Very Short Introduction to hermeneutics demonstrates the central role of interpretation in our daily lives. By considering the historic developments in hermeneutic theory as well as its contemporary relevance, Zimmermann explains how humans continue to draw knowledge from the world around them.

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