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John Haugeland

John Haugeland is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and the editor of Mind Design: Essays in Philosophy, Psychology, and Artificial Intelligence.

Titles by This Author

The Very Idea

"Machines who think—how utterly preposterous," huff beleaguered humanists, defending their dwindling turf. "Artificial Intelligence—it's here and about to surpass our own," crow techno-visionaries, proclaiming dominion. It's so simple and obvious, each side maintains, only a fanatic could disagree.

Deciding where the truth lies between these two extremes is the main purpose of John Haugeland's marvelously lucid and witty book on what artificial intelligence is all about. Although presented entirely in non-technical terms, it neither oversimplifies the science nor evades the fundamental philosophical issues. Far from ducking the really hard questions, it takes them on, one by one.

Artificial intelligence, Haugeland notes, is based on a very good idea, which might well be right, and just as well might not. That idea, the idea that human thinking and machine computing are "radically the same," provides the central theme for his illuminating and provocative book about this exciting new field. After a brief but revealing digression in intellectual history, Haugeland systematically tackles such basic questions as: What is a computer really? How can a physical object "mean" anything? What are the options for computational organization? and What structures have been proposed and tried as actual scientific models for intelligence?

In a concluding chapter he takes up several outstanding problems and puzzles—including intelligence in action, imagery, feelings and personality—and their enigmatic prospects for solution.

Titles by This Editor

Philosophy, Psychology, and Artificial Intelligence
Edited by John Haugeland

Mind design is the endeavor to understand mind (thinking, intellect) in terms of its design (how it is built, how it works). Unlike traditional empirical psychology, it is more oriented toward the "how" than the "what." An experiment in mind design is more likely to be an attempt to build something and make it work—as in artificial intelligence—than to observe or analyze what already exists. Mind design is psychology by reverse engineering.

When Mind Design was first published in 1981, it became a classic in the then-nascent fields of cognitive science and AI. This second edition retains four landmark essays from the first, adding to them one earlier milestone (Turing's "Computing Machinery and Intelligence") and eleven more recent articles about connectionism, dynamical systems, and symbolic versus nonsymbolic models. The contributors are divided about evenly between philosophers and scientists. Yet all are "philosophical" in that they address fundamental issues and concepts; and all are "scientific" in that they are technically sophisticated and concerned with concrete empirical research.

Contributors: Rodney A. Brooks, Paul M. Churchland, Andy Clark, Daniel C. Dennett, Hubert L. Dreyfus, Jerry A. Fodor, Joseph Garon, John Haugeland, Marvin Minsky, Allen Newell, Zenon W. Pylyshyn, William Ramsey, Jay F. Rosenberg, David E. Rumelhart, John R. Searle, Herbert A. Simon, Paul Smolensky, Stephen Stich, A. M. Turing, Timothy van Gelder