Mind and Mechanism
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Mind and Mechanism

By Drew V. McDermott

An exploration of the mind-body problem from the perspective of artificial intelligence.

A Bradford Book

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Summary

An exploration of the mind-body problem from the perspective of artificial intelligence.

In Mind and Mechanism, Drew McDermott takes a computational approach to the mind-body problem (how it is that a purely physical entity, the brain, can have experiences). He begins by demonstrating the falseness of dualist approaches, which separate the physical and mental realms. He then surveys what has been accomplished in artificial intelligence, clearly differentiating what we know how to build from what we can imagine building. McDermott then details a computational theory of consciousness claiming that the mind can be modeled entirely in terms of computation—and deals with various possible objections. He also discusses cultural consequences of the theory, including its impact on religion and ethics.

Hardcover

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262133920 280 pp. | 9 in x 6 in 22 illus.

Endorsements

  • In this book, Drew McDermott, one of today's shrewdest thinkers on the role of computation in cognitive capacity, tackles the problem of meaning and consciousness.

    Stevan Harnad

    Research Chair of Canada, and Center for Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Quebec