Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

Front Cover
Vintage, 1995 - Artificial intelligence - 457 pages
1 Review
Penrose contends that some aspects of the human mind lie beyond computation. This is not a religious argument (that the mind is something other than physical) nor is it based on the brain's vast complexity (the weather is immensely complex, says Penrose, but it is still a computable thing, at least in theory). Instead, he provides powerful arguments to support his conclusion that there is something in the conscious activity of the brain that transcends computation - and will find no explanation in terms of present-day science. To illuminate what he believes this "something" might be, and to suggest where a new physics must proceed so that we may understand it, Penrose cuts a wide swathe through modern science, providing penetrating looks at everything from Turing computability and Godel's incompleteness, via Schrodinger's Cat and the Elitzur-Vaidman bomb-testing problem, to detailed microbiology.

What people are saying - Write a review

Shadows of the mind: a search for the missing science of consciousness

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This book asserts that human consciousness is not necessarily intelligible in terms of computational models. The brain's conscious activity essentially transcends the forms or possibilities of ... Read full review

Review: Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

User Review  - RJ O'Connor - Goodreads

Extremely thought provoking and a real wake up call for those assuming we will achieve the singularity in a few short decades. The theories espoused here are truly amazing, and if shown to be true will change the way we think about just about everything. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1995)

Professor Sir Roger Penrose is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their joint contribution to our understanding of the universe.

Bibliographic information