Herbert A. Simon

Herbert A. Simon (1916–2001) was an influential psychologist and political scientist, awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics and the 1975 Turing Award (with Allen Newell). His many published books include Models of Bounded Rationality and Models of My Life (both published by the MIT Press)..

  • The Sciences of the Artificial, Reissue Of The Third Edition With A New Introduction By John Laird

    The Sciences of the Artificial, Reissue Of The Third Edition With A New Introduction By John Laird

    Herbert A. Simon

    Herbert Simon's classic work on artificial intelligence in the expanded and updated third edition from 1996, with a new introduction by John E. Laird.

    Herbert Simon's classic and influential The Sciences of the Artificial declares definitively that there can be a science not only of natural phenomena but also of what is artificial. Exploring the commonalities of artificial systems, including economic systems, the business firm, artificial intelligence, complex engineering projects, and social plans, Simon argues that designed systems are a valid field of study, and he proposes a science of design. For this third edition, originally published in 1996, Simon added new material that takes into account advances in cognitive psychology and the science of design while confirming and extending the book's basic thesis: that a physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligent action.

    Simon won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1978 for his research into the decision-making process within economic organizations and the Turing Award (considered by some the computer science equivalent to the Nobel) with Allen Newell in 1975 for contributions to artificial intelligence, the psychology of human cognition, and list processing. The Sciences of the Artificial distills the essence of Simon's thought accessibly and coherently. This reissue of the third edition makes a pioneering work available to a new audience.

    • Paperback $40.00 £30.00
  • Models of Bounded Rationality, Volume 3

    Models of Bounded Rationality, Volume 3

    Empirically Grounded Economic Reason

    Herbert A. Simon

    Offering alternative models based on such concepts as satisficing (acceptance of viable choices that may not be the undiscoverable optimum) and bounded rationality (the limited extent to which rational calculation can direct human behavior), Simon shows concretely why more empirical research based on experiments and direct observation, rather than just statistical analysis of economic aggregates, is needed.

    Throughout Herbert Simon's wide-ranging career—in public administration, business administration, economics, cognitive psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, and computer science—his central aim has been to explain the nature of the thought processes that people use in making decisions.

    The third volume of Simon's collected papers continues this theme, bringing together work on this and other economics-related topics that have occupied his attention in the 1980s and 1990s: how to represent causal ordering formally in dynamic systems, the implications for society of new electronic information systems, employee and managerial motivation in the business firm (specifically the implications for economics of the propensity of human beings to identify with the goals of organizations), and the state of economics itself.

    Offering alternative models based on such concepts as satisficing (acceptance of viable choices that may not be the undiscoverable optimum) and bounded rationality (the limited extent to which rational calculation can direct human behavior), Simon shows concretely why more empirical research based on experiments and direct observation, rather than just statistical analysis of economic aggregates, is needed.

    The twenty-seven articles, in five sections, each with an introduction by the author, examine the modeling of economic systems, technological change: information technology, motivation and the theory of the firm, and behavioral economics and bounded rationality.

    • Hardcover $68.00 £53.00
    • Paperback $39.00 £30.00
  • Models of My Life

    Models of My Life

    Herbert A. Simon

    In this candid and witty autobiography, Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon looks at his distinguished and varied career, continually asking himself whether (and how) what he learned as a scientist helps to explain other aspects of his life.

    A brilliant polymath in an age of increasing specialization, Simon is one of those rare scholars whose work defines fields of inquiry. Crossing disciplinary lines in half a dozen fields, Simon's story encompasses an explosion in the information sciences, the transformation of psychology by the information-processing paradigm, and the use of computer simulation for modeling the behavior of highly complex systems.

    Simon's theory of bounded rationality led to a Nobel Prize in economics, and his work on building machines that think—based on the notion that human intelligence is the rule-governed manipulation of symbols—laid conceptual foundations for the new cognitive science. Subsequently, contrasting metaphors of the maze (Simon's view) and of the mind (neural nets) have dominated the artificial intelligence debate.

    There is also a warm account of his successful marriage and of an unconsummated love affair, letters to his children, columns, a short story, and political and personal intrigue in academe.

    • Paperback $60.00 £47.00
  • The Sciences of the Artificial, Third Edition

    The Sciences of the Artificial, Third Edition

    Herbert A. Simon

    Continuing his exploration of the organization of complexity and the science of design, this new edition of Herbert Simon's classic work on artificial intelligence adds a chapter that sorts out the current themes and tools—chaos, adaptive systems, genetic algorithms—for analyzing complexity and complex systems. There are updates throughout the book as well. These take into account important advances in cognitive psychology and the science of design while confirming and extending the book's basic thesis: that a physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligent action. The chapter "Economic Reality" has also been revised to reflect a change in emphasis in Simon's thinking about the respective roles of organizations and markets in economic systems.

    • Hardcover $70.00 £48.95
    • Paperback $45.00 £35.00
  • Protocol Analysis, Revised Edition

    Protocol Analysis, Revised Edition

    Verbal Reports as Data

    K. Anders Ericsson and Herbert A. Simon

    Since the publication of Ericsson and Simon's ground-breaking work in the early 1980s, verbal data has been used increasingly to study cognitive processes in many areas of psychology, and concurrent and retrospective verbal reports are now generally accepted as important sources of data on subjects' cognitive processes in specific tasks. In this revised edition of the book that first put protocol analysis on firm theoretical ground, the authors review major advances in verbal reports over the past decade, including new evidence on how giving verbal reports affects subjects' cognitive processes, and on the validity and completeness of such reports.

    In a substantial new preface Ericsson and Simon summarize the central issues covered in the book and provide an updated version of their information-processing model, which explains verbalization and verbal reports. They describe new studies on the effects of verbalization, interpreting the results of these studies and showing how their theory can be extended to account for them. Next, they address the issue of completeness of verbally reported information, reviewing the new evidence in three particularly active task domains. They conclude by citing recent contributions to the techniques for encoding protocols, raising general issues, and proposing directions for future research.

    All references and indexes have been updated.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £34.95
    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00
  • Scientific Discovery

    Scientific Discovery

    Computational Explorations of the Creative Process

    Patrick W. Langley, Herbert A. Simon, Gary Bradshaw, and Jan M. Zytkow

    Scientific discovery is often regarded as romantic and creative—and hence unanalyzable—whereas the everyday process of verifying discoveries is sober and more suited to analysis. Yet this fascinating exploration of how scientific work proceeds argues that however sudden the moment of discovery may seem, the discovery process can be described and modeled.

    Using the methods and concepts of contemporary information-processing psychology (or cognitive science) the authors develop a series of artificial-intelligence programs that can simulate the human thought processes used to discover scientific laws. The programs—BACON, DALTON, GLAUBER, and STAHL—are all largely data-driven, that is, when presented with series of chemical or physical measurements they search for uniformities and linking elements, generating and checking hypotheses and creating new concepts as they go along.

    Scientific Discovery examines the nature of scientific research and reviews the arguments for and against a normative theory of discovery; describes the evolution of the BACON programs, which discover quantitative empirical laws and invent new concepts; presents programs that discover laws in qualitative and quantitative data; and ties the results together, suggesting how a combined and extended program might find research problems, invent new instruments, and invent appropriate problem representations. Numerous prominent historical examples of discoveries from physics and chemistry are used as tests for the programs and anchor the discussion concretely in the history of science.

    • Hardcover $27.50
    • Paperback $8.75 £7.95
  • Models of Bounded Rationality, Volume 1

    Models of Bounded Rationality, Volume 1

    Economic Analysis and Public Policy

    Herbert A. Simon

    The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Herbert Simon in 1978. At Carnegie-Mellon University he holds the title of Professor of Computer Science and Psychology. These two facts together delineate the range and uniqueness of his contributions in creating meaningful interactions among fields that developed in isolation but that are all concerned with human decision-making and problem-solving processes. In particular, Simon has brought the insights of decision theory, organization theory (especially as it applies to the business firm), behavior modeling, cognitive psychology, and the study of artificial intelligence to bear on economic questions. This has led not only to new conceptual dimensions for theoretical constructions, but also to a new humanizing realism in economics, a way of taking into account and dealing with human behavior and interactions that lie at the root of all economic activity.

    The sixty papers and essays contained in these two volumes are grouped under eight sections, each with a brief introductory essay. These are: Some Questions of Public Policy, Dynamic Programming Under Uncertainty; Technological Change; The Structure of Economic Systems; The Business Firm as an Organization; The Economics of Information Processing; Economics and Psychology; and Substantive and Procedural Reality. Most of Simon's papers on classical and neoclassical economic theory are contained in volume one. The second volume collects his papers on behavioral theory, with some overlap between the two volumes. The second edition of Simon's widely read and referenced The Sciences of the Artificial was published by The MIT Press 1981 and is available in both hardcover and paperback.

    • Hardcover
    • Paperback $54.00 £42.00
  • Models of Bounded Rationality, Volume 2

    Behavioral Economics and Business Organization

    Herbert A. Simon

    The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Herbert Simon in 1978. At Carnegie-Mellon University he holds the title of Professor of Computer Science and Psychology. These two facts together delineate the range and uniqueness of his contributions in creating meaningful interactions among fields that developed in isolation but that are all concerned with human decision-making and problem-solving processes. In particular, Simon has brought the insights of decision theory, organization theory (especially as it applies to the business firm), behavior modeling, cognitive psychology, and the study of artificial intelligence to bear on economic questions. This has led not only to new conceptual dimensions for theoretical constructions, but also to a new humanizing realism in economics, a way of taking into account and dealing with human behavior and interactions that lie at the root of all economic activity.

    The sixty papers and essays contained in these two volumes are grouped under eight sections, each with a brief introductory essay. These are: Some Questions of Public Policy, Dynamic Programming Under Uncertainty; Technological Change; The Structure of Economic Systems; The Business Firm as an Organization; The Economics of Information Processing; Economics and Psychology; and Substantive and Procedural Reality.

    Most of Simon's papers on classical and neoclassical economic theory are contained in volume one. The second volume collects his papers on behavioral theory, with some overlap between the two volumes. The second edition of Simon's widely read and referenced The Sciences of the Artificial was published by The MIT Press 1981 and is available in both hardcover and paperback.

    • Hardcover $47.50
    • Paperback $15.00
  • The Sciences of the Artificial, Third Edition

    Herbert A. Simon

    The Sciences of the Artificial reveals the design of an intellectual structure aimed at accommodating those empirical phenomena that are “artificial” rather than “natural.” The goal is to show how empirical sciences of artificial systems are possible, even in the face of the contingent and teleological character of the phenomena, their attributes of choice and purpose. Developing in some detail two specific examples—human psychology and engineering design—Professor Simon describes the shape of these scientists as they are emerging from developments of the past 25 years.

    “Artificial” is used here in a very specific sense: to denote systems that have a given form and behavior only because they adapt (or are adapted), in reference to goals or purposes, to their environment. Thus, both man-made artifacts and man himself, in terms of his behavior, are artificial. Simon characterizes an artificial system as an interface between two environments—inner and outer. These environments lie in the province of “natural science,” but the interface, linking them, is the realm of “artificial science.” When an artificial system adapts successfully, its behavior shows mostly the shape of the outer environment and reveals little of the structure or mechanisms of the inner. The inner environment becomes significant for behavior only when a system reaches the limits of its rationality and adaptability, and contingency degenerates into necessity.

    Separating the contributions of the two environments, Simon identifies the complexity in human behavior as a reflection primarily of the outer environment: a man, he asserts, viewed as a behaving system, is quite simple. The apparent complexity of his behavior is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which he finds himself. Examining this thesis in the light of evidence from recent work in cognitive psychology and linguistics, Simon sets forth an information-processing theory of man's thinking processes that provides an operational, empirically based alternative to behaviorism. He then uses this description of an information-processing system, combining it with other developments in computer science and optimization theory, to propose a curriculum for the emerging science of engineering design.

    Beyond his specific examples, the author indicates how the sciences of the artificial are relevant to economics, management and administration, medicine, education, architecture, art..., to all fields that create designs to perform tasks or fulfill goals and functions.

    • Hardcover $6.95
    • Paperback $3.95
  • Essays on the Structure of Social Science Models

    Essays on the Structure of Social Science Models

    Albert Ando, Franklin M. Fisher, and Herbert A. Simon

    A set of related papers dealing with the meaning of causality in simulataneous dynamic equation systems. Investigation of the systems which only approximately satisfy the conditions enabling the definition of causality, leads to a set of limiting theorems concerning the dynamic behavior of such systems over time, and estimation procedures for the parameters of such systems. Implications of these theorems for some well-known propositions in economics and other social sciences are considered.

    • Hardcover $7.95
    • Paperback $24.00 £18.99

Contributor

  • Whole Earth Field Guide

    Whole Earth Field Guide

    Caroline Maniaque-Benton

    A source book for American culture in the 1960s and 1970s: “suggested reading” from the Last Whole Earth Catalog, from Thoreau to James Baldwin.

    The Whole Earth Catalog was a cultural touchstone of the 1960s and 1970s. The iconic cover image of the Earth viewed from space made it one of the most recognizable books on bookstore shelves. Between 1968 and 1971, almost two million copies of its various editions were sold, and not just to commune-dwellers and hippies. Millions of mainstream readers turned to the Whole Earth Catalog for practical advice and intellectual stimulation, finding everything from a review of Buckminster Fuller to recommendations for juicers. This book offers selections from eighty texts from the nearly 1,000 items of “suggested reading” in the Last Whole Earth Catalog.

    After an introduction that provides background information on the catalog and its founder, Stewart Brand (interesting fact: Brand got his organizational skills from a stint in the Army), the book presents the texts arranged in nine sections that echo the sections of the Whole Earth Catalog itself. Enlightening juxtapositions abound. For example, “Understanding Whole Systems” maps the holistic terrain with writings by authors from Aldo Leopold to Herbert Simon; “Land Use” features selections from Thoreau's Walden and a report from the United Nations on new energy sources; “Craft” offers excerpts from The Book of Tea and The Illustrated Hassle-Free Make Your Own Clothes Book; “Community” includes Margaret Mead and James Baldwin's odd-couple collaboration, A Rap on Race. Together, these texts offer a sourcebook for the Whole Earth culture of the 1960s and 1970s in all its infinite variety.

    • Paperback $34.95 £27.00
  • Modularity

    Modularity

    Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems

    Werner Callebaut and Diego Rasskin-Gutman

    Experts from diverse fields, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, developmental and evolutionary biology, and the arts, discuss modularity.

    Modularity—the attempt to understand systems as integrations of partially independent and interacting units—is today a dominant theme in the life sciences, cognitive science, and computer science. The concept goes back at least implicitly to the Scientific (or Copernican) Revolution, and can be found behind later theories of phrenology, physiology, and genetics; moreover, art, engineering, and mathematics rely on modular design principles. This collection broadens the scientific discussion of modularity by bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, evolutionary computation, developmental and evolutionary biology, linguistics, mathematics, morphology, paleontology, physics, theoretical chemistry, philosophy, and the arts.

    The contributors debate and compare the uses of modularity, discussing the different disciplinary contexts of "modular thinking" in general (including hierarchical organization, near-decomposability, quasi-independence, and recursion) or of more specialized concepts (including character complex, gene family, encapsulation, and mosaic evolution); what modules are, why and how they develop and evolve, and the implication for the research agenda in the disciplines involved; and how to bring about useful cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer on the topic. The book includes a foreword by the late Herbert A. Simon addressing the role of near-decomposability in understanding complex systems.

    • Hardcover $57.00
    • Paperback $60.00 £47.00