From Representation and Mind series. A Bradford Book. A new collection of wide-ranging essays from one of cognitive science's most distingushed figures. Minds are complex artifacts, partly biological and partly social; only a unified, multidisciplinary approach will yield a realistic theory of how they came into existence and how they work. One of the foremost workers in this multidisciplinary field is Daniel Dennett. This book brings together his essays on the philosphy of mind, artificial intelligence, and cognitive ethology that appeared in inaccessible journals from to
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Daniel C. This book, a selection of his essays published during the past twelve years, demonstrates the breadth of his thinking—the essays cover fundamental issues relating to consciousness and belief as well as artificial intelligence, artificial life, ethology, and the animal mind—and the extent of his knowledge of the relevant science and technology.
This is an uncomfortable position to occupy if you also reject dualism: if beliefs are not real in a physical sense but exist then how do they exist? There is no master judge in the mind who oversees the construction of conscious experience our narrative from each tiny experience but a continuous process of interaction that in itself constitutes consciousness. And contained within our narrative are our beliefs.
His essays on machines except for the one on the requirements for making a conscious robot are dated in their conclusions; for example, the concerns about the subtle dangers of expert systems are now well known and heeded or are they?
Nevertheless, the arguments presented are interesting and worth reading. Moreover, he asserts, any computer robot, or other form of artificial intelligent entity that passes the test must be accepted as a self-conscious thinking entity.
But he doubts that we will build such a machine, simply because it will be pointless to do so: machines that meet restricted, special-purpose needs will suffice. The essays in the book are themselves interesting, but for whom is book intended?
The short notes at the beginning of each essay are too brief and fragmented to serve this purpose. Some are also tantalizing: Dennett tells us, in the opening remarks for the final essay in the book, which dates from , that he has returned to the issue discussed and it is more complicated than he thought. The issue in question is the proposition that we have reached a point at which advances in technology are such that, rather than its supporting us in achieving interesting and morally good lives, we may be forced to choose between lives that are interesting and lives that are morally good.
The book is offered as a student text, and it will serve this purpose well, particularly since a good bibliography is included. It ought, perhaps, to be [End Page ] compulsory reading for students studying artificial intelligence and related topics.
As a book for the historian of technology, it offers no more than an easy way of accessing the selected papers.
Bennett is reader in automatic control and systems engineering at the University of Sheffield and author of two books and many papers on the history of control engineering. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
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Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Dennett Published Psychology. From the Publisher: Minds are complex artifacts, partly biological and partly social, and only a unified, multidisciplinary approach will yield a realistic theory of how minds came into existence and how they work. One of the foremost thinkers in this multidisciplinary field is Daniel Dennett. This book brings together his essays on philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, and cognitive ethology that appeared in relatively inaccessible journals from to
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