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
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