Kinds of Minds: Toward an Understanding of Consciousness

Kinds of Minds: Toward an Understanding of Consciousness

By: Daniel C. Dennett (author)Paperback

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Description

Combining ideas from philosophy, artificial intelligence, and neurobiology, Daniel Dennett leads the reader on a fascinating journey of inquiry, exploring such intriguing possibilities as: Can any of us really know what is going on in someone elses mind? What distinguishes the human mind from the minds of animals, especially those capable of complex behavior? If such animals, for instance, were magically given the power of language, would their communities evolve an intelligence as subtly discriminating as ours? Will robots, once they have been endowed with sensory systems like those that provide us with experience, ever exhibit the particular traits long thought to distinguish the human mind, including the ability to think about thinking? Dennett addresses these questions from an evolutionary perspective. Beginning with the macromolecules of DNA and RNA, the author shows how, step-by-step, animal life moved from the simple ability to respond to frequently recurring environmental conditions to much more powerful ways of beating the odds, ways of using patterns of past experience to predict the future in never-before-encountered situations. Whether talking about robots whose video-camera eyes give us the powerful illusion that there is somebody in there or asking us to consider whether spiders are just tiny robots mindlessly spinning their webs of elegant design, Dennett is a master at finding and posing questions sure to stimulate and even disturb.

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About Author

Daniel C. Dennett is director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University and the author of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life" and "Consciousness Explained"

Contents

What Kinds of Minds Are There? * Knowing Your Own Mind * We Mind-Havers, We Minders * Words and Minds * The Problem of Incommunicative Minds Intentionality: The Intentional Systems Approach * Simple Beginnings: The Birth of Agency * Adopting the Intentional Stance * The Misguided Goal of Propositional Precision * Original and Derived Intentionality The Body and Its Minds * From Sensitivity to Sentience? * The Media and the Messages * My Body Has a Mind of Its Own! How Intentionality Came into Focus * The Tower of Generate-and-Test * The Search for Sentience: A Progress Report * From Phototaxis to Metaphysics The Creation of Thinking * Unthinking Natural Psychologists * Making Things to Think With * Talking to Ourselves Our Minds and Other Minds * Our Consciousness, Their Minds * Pain and Suffering: What Matters

Product Details

  • publication date: 22/05/1997
  • ISBN13: 9780465073511
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 192
  • ID: 9780465073511
  • weight: 500
  • ISBN10: 0465073514

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