Warren S. McCulloch

Warren S. McCulloch was an American neurophysiologist and cybernetician, known for his work on the foundation for certain brain theories and his contribution to the cybernetics movement.

  • Embodiments of Mind

    Embodiments of Mind

    Warren S. McCulloch

    Writings by a thinker—a psychiatrist, a philosopher, a cybernetician, and a poet—whose ideas about mind and brain were far ahead of his time.

    Warren S. McCulloch was an original thinker, in many respects far ahead of his time. McCulloch, who was a psychiatrist, a philosopher, a teacher, a mathematician, and a poet, termed his work “experimental epistemology.” He said, “There is one answer, only one, toward which I've groped for thirty years: to find out how brains work.” Embodiments of Mind, first published more than fifty years ago, teems with intriguing concepts about the mind/brain that are highly relevant to recent developments in neuroscience and neural networks. It includes two classic papers coauthored with Walter Pitts, one of which applies Boolean algebra to neurons considered as gates, and the other of which shows the kind of nervous circuitry that could be used in perceiving universals. These first models are part of the basis of artificial intelligence.

    Chapters range from “What Is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man, that He May Know a Number,” and “Why the Mind Is in the Head,” to “What the Frog's Eye Tells the Frog's Brain” (with Jerome Lettvin, Humberto Maturana, and Walter Pitts), “Machines that Think and Want,” and “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity” (with Walter Pitts). Embodiments of Mind concludes with a selection of McCulloch's poems and sonnets. This reissued edition offers a new foreword and a biographical essay by McCulloch's one-time research assistant, the neuroscientist and computer scientist Michael Arbib.

    • Paperback $45.00
  • Embodiments of Mind

    Warren S. McCulloch

    Embodiments of Mind, first published more than two decades ago, teems with intriguing concepts about the mind/brain that are highly relevant to current developments in neuroscience and neural networks.

    Preface by Jerome Y. Lettvin. Warren S. McCulloch was an original thinker, in many respects far ahead of his time. "Of all our contemporaries in brain research McCulloch is the most personal, idiosyncratic... he is at the center, the pivot of a whirligig of explosive thinking," wrote a colleague in 1966. Embodiments of Mind, first published more than two decades ago, teems with intriguing concepts about the mind/brain that are highly relevant to current developments in neuroscience and neural networks. In his preface to this timely reissue of McCulloch's work, Jerome Lettvin notes in particular that among the papers are two classics coauthored with Walter Pitts. One applies Boolean algebra to neurons considered as gates; another shows the kind of nervous circuitry that could be used in perceiving universals. These first models are part of the basis of artificial intelligence. McCulloch, who was a doctor, a philosopher, a teacher, a mathematician and a poet, terms his work "experimental epistemology."

    In this collection of 21 essays and lectures he pursues a physiological theory of knowledge that touches on philosophy, neurology, and psychology: "There is one answer, only one, toward which I've groped for thirty years; to find out how brains work..."Chapters range from "What is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man, that He May Know a Number," and "Why the Mind is in the Head," to "What the Frog's Eye Tells the Frog's Brain" (with Jerome Lettvin, Humberto Maturana, and Walter Pitts), "Machines that Think and Want," and "A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity (with Walter Pitts). Embodiments of Mind concludes with a selection of McCulloch's poems and sonnets.

    • Hardcover $15.95
    • Paperback $35.00

Contributor

  • Brain Processes, Theories, and Models

    An International Conference in Honor of W.S. McCulloch 25 Years After His Death

    Jose Mira-Mira and Roberto Moreno-Díaz

    These 55 contributions celebrate the lasting impact that McCulloch had on the study of the brain and the formal modeling of human intelligence.

    W. S. McCulloch, a professor of psychiatry at Illinois, later a scientist at the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT and author of the groundbreaking book, Embodiments of Mind (reissued in paperback in 1988), was one of the founding fathers of "Cybernetics." Along with Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, and H. von Foerster, he sought to integrate the disciplines of neurophysiology, mathematics, and engineering in a rigorous investigation into what brains do and how they do it. A magnetic personality, McCulloch set thoughts into motion (for instance neural nets as parallel computers) that have sparked research and controversy for decades. These 55 contributions celebrate the lasting impact that McCulloch had on the study of the brain and the formal modeling of human intelligence. They cover a number of varied topics in the general area of neural modeling and are divided into five sections: Essays and General Brain Theory, Mathematical Tools and Global Models, Neurons and Neural Nets, Vision, and AI and Engineering related topics.

    ContributorsH. von Foerster, Michael Arbib, James A. Anderson, Shun-Ichi Amari, Kunihiko Fukushima, Shunsuke Sato, Paul Cull, and Gregory Mulhauser

    • Paperback $75.00