Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness

Front Cover
Basic Books, Aug 4, 2008 - Psychology - 192 pages
12 Reviews
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 else's 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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
5
3 stars
4
2 stars
1
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarkBeronte - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

Definitely able and interesting, and a better place than most for someone to begin to explore the problem of what makes a creature a "thinking," and thus a morally cognizable entity. I did think he ... Read full review

Contents

What Kinds of Minds Are There?
2
We MindHavers We Minders
4
Words and Minds
9
The Problem of Incommunicative Minds
13
Intentionality The Intentional Systems Approach
20
Adopting the International Stance
28
The Misguided Goal of Propositional Precision
42
Original and Derived Intentionality
51
A Progress Report
94
From Phototaxis to Metaphysics
99
The Creation of Thinking
120
Making Things to Think With
135
Talking to Ourselves
148
Our Minds and Other Minds
154
What Matters
162
Further Reading
170

The Body and Its Minds
58
The Media and the Messages
66
My Body Has a Mind of Its Own
74
How Intentionality Came into Focus
82

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Simulation and Social Theory
Sean Cubitt
No preview available - 2001
All Book Search results »

About the author (2008)

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

Bibliographic information