Hubert L. Dreyfus

Hubert L. Dreyfus is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley.

  • Disclosing New Worlds

    Disclosing New Worlds

    Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity

    Charles Spinosa, Fernando Flores, and Hubert L. Dreyfus

    Argues that human beings are at their best not when they are engaged in abstract reflection, but when they are intensely involved in changing the taken-for-granted, everyday practices in some domain of their culture—that is, when they are making history.

    Disclosing New Worlds calls for a recovery of a way of being that has always characterized human life at its best. The book argues that human beings are at their best not when they are engaged in abstract reflection, but when they are intensely involved in changing the taken-for-granted, everyday practices in some domain of their culture—that is, when they are making history. History-making, in this account, refers not to wars and transfers of political power, but to changes in the way we understand and deal with ourselves. The authors identify entrepreneurship, democratic action, and the creation of solidarity as the three major arenas in which people make history, and they focus on three prime methods of history-making—reconfiguration, cross-appropriation, and articulation.

    • Hardcover $26.95 £22.00
    • Paperback $31.95 £26.00
  • What Computers Still Can't Do

    What Computers Still Can't Do

    A Critique of Artificial Reason

    Hubert L. Dreyfus

    When it was first published in 1972, Hubert Dreyfus's manifesto on the inherent inability of disembodied machines to mimic higher mental functions caused an uproar in the artificial intelligence community. The world has changed since then. Today it is clear that "good old-fashioned AI," based on the idea of using symbolic representations to produce general intelligence, is in decline (although several believers still pursue its pot of gold), and the focus of the Al community has shifted to more complex models of the mind. It has also become more common for AI researchers to seek out and study philosophy. For this edition of his now classic book, Dreyfus has added a lengthy new introduction outlining these changes and assessing the paradigms of connectionism and neural networks that have transformed the field.

    At a time when researchers were proposing grand plans for general problem solvers and automatic translation machines, Dreyfus predicted that they would fail because their conception of mental functioning was naive, and he suggested that they would do well to acquaint themselves with modern philosophical approaches to human beings. What Computers Can't Do was widely attacked but quietly studied. Dreyfus's arguments are still provocative and focus our attention once again on what it is that makes human beings unique.

    • Hardcover $27.50 £22.00
    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00
  • Being-in-the-World

    Being-in-the-World

    A Commentary on Heidegger's Being in Time, Division I

    Hubert L. Dreyfus

    Being-in-the-World is a guide to one of the most influential philosophical works of this century: Division I of Part One of Being and Time, where Martin Heidegger works out an original and powerful account of being-in-the-world which he then uses to ground a profound critique of traditional ontology and epistemology. Hubert Dreyfus's commentary opens the way for a new appreciation of this difficult philosopher, revealing a rigorous and illuminating vocabulary that is indispensable for talking about the phenomenon of world.

    The publication of Being and Time in 1927 turned the academic world on its head. Since then it has become a touchstone for philosophers as diverse as Marcuse, Sartre, Foucault, and Derrida who seek an alternative to the rationalist Cartesian tradition of western philosophy. But Heidegger's text is notoriously dense, and his language seems to consist of unnecessarily barbaric neologisms; to the neophyte and even to those schooled in Heidegger thought, the result is often incomprehensible.

    Dreyfus's approach to this daunting book is straightforward and pragmatic. He explains the text by frequent examples drawn from everyday life, and he skillfully relates Heidegger's ideas to the questions about being and mind that have preoccupied a generation of cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind.

    • Hardcover $30.00 £25.00
    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00
  • Husserl, Intentionality, and Cognitive Science

    Hubert L. Dreyfus

    As this book makes clear, current use of data structures such as frames, scripts, and stereotypes in psychology, artificial intelligence, and all the other disciplines now grouped together as Cognitive Science develop ideas already explored by Husserl who believed that the analysis of mental representations was the proper subject of philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines that deal with the mind. This new anthology will serve as an ideal introduction to phenomenology for analytic philosophers, both as a text and as the single most useful source book on Husserl for cognitive scientists.

    An MIT Press/Bradford Book.

    • Hardcover $42.50
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00

Contributor

  • The Mechanical Mind in History

    The Mechanical Mind in History

    Phil Husbands, Owen Holland, and Michael Wheeler

    Scientists, artists, historians, and philosophers trace the evolution of the idea of intelligent machines, reflecting on the multidisciplinary quest to explain mind scientifically as a wholly mechanical process.

    The idea of intelligent machines has become part of popular culture. But tracing the history of the actual science of machine intelligence reveals a rich network of cross-disciplinary contributions—the unrecognized origins of ideas now central to artificial intelligence, artificial life, cognitive science, and neuroscience. In The Mechanical Mind in History, scientists, artists, historians, and philosophers discuss the multidisciplinary quest to formalize and understand the generation of intelligent behavior in natural and artificial systems as a wholly mechanical process. The contributions illustrate the diverse and interacting notions that chart the evolution of the idea of the mechanical mind. They describe the mechanized mind as, among other things, an analogue system, an organized suite of chemical interactions, a self-organizing electromechanical device, an automated general-purpose information processor, and an integrated collection of symbol manipulating mechanisms. They investigate the views of pivotal figures that range from Descartes and Heidegger to Alan Turing and Charles Babbage, and they emphasize such frequently overlooked areas as British cybernetic and pre-cybernetic thinkers. The volume concludes with the personal insights of five highly influential figures in the field: John Maynard Smith, John Holland, Oliver Selfridge, Horace Barlow, and Jack Cowan.

    Contributors Peter Asaro, Horace Barlow, Andy Beckett, Margaret Boden, Jon Bird, Paul Brown, Seth Bullock, Roberto Cordeschi, Jack Cowan, Ezequiel Di Paolo, Hubert Dreyfus, Andrew Hodges, Owen Holland, Jana Horáková, Philip Husbands, Jozef Kelemen, John Maynard Smith, Donald Michie, Oliver Selfridge, Michael Wheeler

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
  • Ways of the Hand

    Ways of the Hand

    A Rewritten Account

    David Sudnow

    A detailed account of the experience of learning to improvise on the piano.

    Ways of the Hand tells the story of how David Sudnow learned to improvise jazz on the piano. Because he had been trained as an ethnographer and social psychologist, Sudnow was attentive to what he experienced in ways that other novice pianists are not. The result, first published in 1978 and now considered by many to be a classic, was arguably the finest and most detailed account of skill development ever published. Looking back after more than twenty years, Sudnow was struck by the extent to which he had allowed his academic background to shape the book's language. He realized that he could now do a much better job of describing his experiences in a way that would not require facility with formal social science and philosophical discourse. The result is a revised version of the book that carries the same intellectual energy as the original but is accessible to a much wider audience.

    • Hardcover $30.00 £25.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Body and World

    Body and World

    Samuel Todes

    Body and World is the definitive edition of a book that should now take its place as a major contribution to contemporary existential phenomenology. Samuel Todes goes beyond Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his description of how independent physical nature and experience are united in our bodily action. His account allows him to preserve the authority of experience while avoiding the tendency towards idealism that threatens both Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. Todes emphasizes the complex structure of the human body; front/back asymmetry, the need to balance in a gravitational field, and so forth; and the role that structure plays in producing the spatiotemporal field of experience and in making possible objective knowledge of the objects in it. He shows that perception involves nonconceptual, but nonetheless objective forms of judgment. One can think of Body and World as fleshing out Merleau-Ponty's project while presciently relating it to the current interest in embodiment, not only in philosophy but also in psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and anthropology. Todes's work opens new ways of thinking about problems such as the relation of perception to thought and the possibility of knowing an independent reality; problems that have occupied philosophers since Kant and still concern analytic and continental philosophy.

    • Hardcover $75.00 £62.00
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00