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Goodbye Descartes: End of Logic and the Search for a New Cosmology of the Mind

Goodbye Descartes: End of Logic and the Search for a New Cosmology of the Mind

Paperback

By (author) Keith J. Devlin

List price $21.92

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 22mm | 459g
  • Publication date: 1 April 1998
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0471251860
  • ISBN 13: 9780471251866
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,284,744

Product description

"[Goodbye, Descartes] is certain to attract attention and controversy..a fascinating journey to the edges of logical thinking and beyond." -Publishers Weekly (???) Critical Acclaim for Keith Devlin's Previous Book Mathematics: The Science of Patterns "A book such as this belongs in the personal library of everyone interested in learning about some of the most subtle and profound works of the human spirit." -American Scientist "Devlin's very attractive book is a well-written attempt to explain mathematics to educated nonmathematicians . the basic ideas are presented in a clear, concise, and easily understood manner. Highly recommended." -Choice "[Devlin] has found an interesting way of exhibiting how mathematics is unified . the author's presentation is a tour de force." -Mathematical Reviews A Selection of the Newbridge Library of Science and Reader's Subscription

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Author information

KEITH DEVLIN, Ph.D., is a mathematician and the Dean of the School of Science of St. Mary's College. He is also the Senior Researcher at Stanford University's Center for the Study of Language and Communication. He is the author of Life by the Numbers (Wiley), Mathematics: The New Golden Age, and Mathematics: The Science of Patterns.

Editorial reviews

Devlin argues that conventional logic and maths will never be able to describe the way the mind works - hence his title. His variation on the theme is relatively short. It is also extremely accessible, and he makes a convincing case that the image of the mind as a 'logic machine' is mistaken. People trying to build thinking machines will hate it; the non-specialist will be enthralled by this different perspective on how it works. (Kirkus UK)

Back cover copy

"[Goodbye, Descartes] is certain to attract attention and controversy . . . a fascinating journey to the edges of logical thinking and beyond."--Publishers Weekly(P)."A masterly survey of Aristotelian and Stoic logic, of George Boole's 19th-century "algebra of thought," [and] of the contemporary project to produce a talking computer."--Wall Street Journal."Superb historical analysis of how 'mind' and natural language came to be understood as products of a logic machine. . . . This is frontier science, conveyed by a practitioner who cares about and knows how to enliven the relevant history."--Wilson Quarterly.What are the laws of thought that allow human beings to reason and communicate so effectively? Can rules of thought and language be written down and programmed into computers that will one day think and communicate as well as we do?In a lively and stimulating narrative, acclaimed author Keith Devlin chronicles scientists' centuries-old quest to discover the laws of thought, from the astonishingly adept efforts of the ancient Greeks, to the invention of the first primitive "thinking machine" in the late nineteenth century, to radical findings that are challenging the very notion that the mind follows logical rules.A Selection of the Newbridge Library of Science and Reader's Subscription

Table of contents

Patterns of Mind. A Passion for Order. The Laws of Thought. From Symbols to Silicon. The Science of Language. Language in the Mind. Machines that Think. Communication Is the Key. Verbal Tangos. The Cheshire Cat's Grin. Goodbye, Descartes. Selected Further Reading. Index.