15.400 McDermott, Mind and Mechanism

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Tue Dec 04 2001 - 01:50:49 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 400.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 06:42:52 +0000
             From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi
             Subject: Drew McDermott on _Mind and Mechanism_

    Dear Humanist scholars,

    Hi, I just wanted to inform you about the book "Mind and Mechanism" by
    Drew V. McDermott published by MIT, 2001

    Adding more threads to the below --Drew McDermott works on artificial
    intelligence, but disavows any theory of ``intelligence.'' Instead, he
    believes that the field should focus on basic problems of getting agents
    to react appropriately to events in the world around them, regardless of
    whether we normally call such behavior intelligent.

    For more information, please visit http://mitpress.mit.edu/026213392X/

    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

    Drew V. McDermott is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the
    Department of Computer Science at Yale University.

    6 x 9, 280 pp., 22 illus.
    cloth ISBN 0-262-13392-X
    A Bradford Book

    Best regards,

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