Mind Out of Matter

Mind Out of Matter : Topics in the Physical Foundations of Consciousness and Cognition

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Description

Mind Out of Matter aims to transform the way we think about consciousness and the physical world. Unlike many contemporary volumes, it develops a robust and philosophically satisfying account of the mind/body relationship without doing violence to fundamental physics. It expunges popular but ludicrous assumptions about the `in principle' capabilities of cognizers and, with the help of tools from mathematics and scientific fields, supplants flawed notions of representation, function, and mental state with objective and physically grounded alternatives. It debunks quantum theories of consciousness, constructs a simple zombie recipe, and evaluates recent research on chaotic analogue networks. This book is indispensable for readers in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence, and for mathematicians applying complexity theory or information theory to biological cognition.
Audience: General academic/university libraries, plus university departmental libraries in philosophy, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and computer science. Researchers and specialists in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, artificial life, complexity theory, and information theory. Researchers in the telecommunications industry.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 291 pages
  • 162.6 x 241.3 x 22.9mm | 612.36g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1998 ed.
  • XIX, 291 p.
  • 0792351037
  • 9780792351030

Table of contents

Series Preface. Table of Figures. Foreword. 1. Frontal Assault. 2. Zombies and their Look-Alikes. 3. Information, Complexity, and Representation. 4. A Rose, By Any Other Name (Or Description). 5. Functional Systems. 6. Self Models. 7. Schroedinger's Cat is Dead. 8. Building Conscious Data Structures. 9. Chaos, Computability, and Real Life. 10. My `Hidden' Agenda. References. Index.
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Review quote

Professional endorsements:
`You've read the rest, now try the best. Mulhauser takes on a wild safari tour of the outer limits of mind science. There are a lot of dangerous ideas out there; many a good mind has come back worse for the encounter. Mulhauser's technical sophistication and philosophical sensitivity make him the ideal guide. No metaphysical snake-oil here; just unswerving good sense at the frontiers of cognitive science.'
Tim van Gelder, University of Melbourne
`One of the first serious applications of algorithmic information theory; fun to read!'
G.J. Chaitin, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
`Though I still regard myself to live in what Mulhauser calls `Platonic Heaven' (he would place me - as someone who believes that my mental gymnastics go beyond the physical and the computable - in `Platonic Hell'), reading his book was an absolute joy. It is a remarkable blend of technical know-how, smooth prose, and stimulating examples. This book can give readers command over the relevant formal landscape, while simultaneously engaging them in good old-fashioned philosophical reflection.'
Selmer Bringsjord, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
`We all know that chaos, neural nets, and consciousness must be connected. Mulhauser's challenging book gives us the first thought-out account of what the connections could be.'
Adam Morton, University of Bristol
`It is engagingly written, and Mulhauser is well informed, acute, and enthusiastic.'
Robert Kirk in Philosophical Books, July 2000
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