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Logic and Information

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 231mm x 36mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 1 October 1991
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521410304
  • ISBN 13: 9780521410304
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

Intelligence can be characterised both as the ability to absorb and process information and as the ability to reason. Humans and other animals have both of these abilities to a greater or lesser degree, but the search for artificial intelligence has been hampered by our inability to create a theory that covers both of these characteristics. In this provocative and ground-breaking book, Professor Keith Devlin argues that to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of intelligence and knowledge acquisition, we must broaden our concept of logic. For these purposes, Devlin introduces the concept of the infon, a quantum of information, and merges it with situations, a mathematical construction generalising the notion of sets developed by Barwise and Perry at Stanford University in order to study the meaning of natural languages. He develops and describes the theory here in general and intuitive terms, and discusses its relevance to a variety of concerns such as artificial intelligence, cognition, natural language and communication.

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Review quote

'It is exciting to see a mathematician of Devlin's calibre joining the endeavour, and wonderful to have someone with his expository abilities explaining the work to others. His book Logic and Information is an important milestone in fulfilling this old hope.' Jon Barwise '... the fascinating account of a mathematician's views on how true mathematics - and not just a formalisation of it - can be used to model reality.' New Scientist ' ... can be recommended to anyone who has recognized the need for a better understanding of the nature of information.' The Computer Journal 'The ideas in this fascinating, challenging, but speculative book are set forth with clarity and wit that does them justice.' D. V. Feldman, Choice

Back cover copy

In this provocative and ground-breaking book, Professor Keith Devlin argues that in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of intelligence and knowledge acquisition, we must broaden our concept of logic.

Table of contents

1. Logic; 2. Information; 3. Situation theory; 4. Meaning and constraints; 5. Some logical issues; 6. Mental states; 7. Perception and action; 8. Situation semantics; 9. Topics in situation semantics; 10. Historical perspectives and future directions.