The Mind and the Machine

The Mind and the Machine : What it Means to be Human and Why it Matters

3.96 (30 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$19.99

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

What does it mean to be human? Some naturalists believe that the human mind can be reduced to brain biology, suggesting that we are no more than complex biochemical machines. Computer scientist Matthew Dickerson critiques a physicalist/naturalist view of human persons and defends theistic accounts of human nature. He responds to the widespread assertion that human consciousness is nothing more than "software" that can one day be downloaded into supercomputers. Drawing on C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, Dickerson gets at the heart of human nature itself, highlighting a far richer vision of personhood, creativity, and love. This thought-provoking book on a timely topic will appeal to those interested in science and religion, philosophy, and technology; readers of the materialist New Atheists; and anyone who simply cares what it means to be human.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 340.19g
  • Baker Publishing Group
  • Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • English
  • 1587432722
  • 9781587432729
  • 735,564

About Matthew Dickerson

Matthew Dickerson (PhD, Cornell University) is professor of computer science and environmental studies at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, and the author of "From Homer to Harry Potter";" Narnia and the Fields of Arbol";" "and" Ents, Elves, and Eriador. "He is an internationally known Tolkien scholar and directs the New England Young Writers' Conference at Bread Loaf.show more

Back cover copy

Are We More Than Biochemical Machines? "An engaging and probing exploration of some of the fundamental questions humans ask about themselves: Is a human being just a machine made out of protein? Are humans completely determined by the physical processes going on in their bodies? Is the belief that humans are spiritual just a vestige of prescientific thinking? Dickerson attacks these questions--and many others--with verve and elan. The book is a model of interdisciplinary inquiry, drawing on a deep understanding of contemporary philosophy, science, and computers."--C. Stephen Evans, Baylor University "[A] complex, thoughtful book."--"Publishers Weekly " "Dickerson deftly evaluates cutting-edge cultural implications of physicalist treatments of human persons. Refreshingly, he presents a specific dualist alternative and underscores the important entailments of that alternative. I am glad to recommend this wonderful book."--J. P. Moreland, Biola University; author, "The Recalcitrant" Imago Dei "Dickerson is one of the most gifted, clear-headed contemporary writers working on consciousness today. He has a command of the philosophical literature, a love for well-crafted, compelling arguments, and a matchless grasp of the deep wisdom that can be found in the work of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. His latest book is both an accessible introduction to central questions about human nature and a sustained, rigorous argument for recognizing the distinctive, overwhelming value of human persons."--Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College; author, "Consciousness and the Mind of God " "Whether human minds are machines is a central question not only for philosophers and scientists but also for the future of our culture and of the human race itself. This book is clearer, fairer, more helpful, and more reliable than 99 out of 100 others on the subject. Its author knows both halves of his book's title very well."--Peter Kreeft, Boston College "I highly recommend this engaging critique of how contemporary popular culture and techno-gurus reduce human beings to machine-like creatures supposedly in the name of progress."--Quentin J. Schultze, Calvin Collegeshow more

Rating details

30 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 23% (7)
4 50% (15)
3 27% (8)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X