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The Mind's I (Anglais) Broché – avril 1985


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Book by Hofstadter Douglas Dennett Daniel C



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  • Broché: 512 pages
  • Editeur : Bantam Books; Édition : Reissue (avril 1985)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0553345842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553345841
  • Dimensions du produit: 15,2 x 2,6 x 22,9 cm
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par FrKurt Messick TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 14 décembre 2005
Format: Broché
After writing the magnificent 'Godel, Escher, Bach', for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, computer scientist Douglas Hofstadter (a professor at my alma mater, Indiana University) collaborated with philosopher Daniel Dennett on this anthology of essays and stories that explore the areas of human and artificial intelligence.
What is the mind? What is the self? Is there really a soul? Are feelings and emotions artificial constructs of information bits inside of us, and if so, is it possible that machines can think and feel for themselves?
For that matter, do we truly think and feel for ourselves?
Hofstadter and Dennett have selected pieces that approach these questions from many angles, from hard-science observational techniques to spirituality dimensions in stories. Each piece is followed by a reflection that sets the context of the piece in relation to the larger question of intelligence.
Contributors include mathematician Rudy Rucker ('Infinity and the Mind'), philosophers Raymond Smullyan (perhaps best known for logic puzzles) and Robert Nozick, literary figures such as Jorge Luis Borges and Stanislaw Lem, and pioneers in the field such as Alan Turing.
The editors use a section of Turing's early article on 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence' from 1950 to set up much of the subsequent discussion. One often overlooked idea from Turing, oddly popular among British scholars of the first half of the twentieth century (and still more prevalent among British scholars and intellectuals than those of other cultures) is the idea of ESP and paranormal abilities. Turing felt that the final difference between machine-thinking, once it had reached full potential, and human thinking would be that humans have the capacity for ESP and other such abilities.
Lire la suite ›
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Sylvain Périfel le 27 juillet 2005
Format: Broché
Ai-je un corps ou suis-je un corps ? Qu'est-ce que ça ferait d'être une chauve-souris ? Les machines ont-elles une conscience ? Qu'est-ce que l'âme ? Qu'est-ce que la chose a de plus par rapport à la simulation de la chose ? Toutes ces questions, et bien d'autres, sont abordées dans un très cohérent recueil de textes pour la plupart fort bien écrits ; certains proposent des réponses, d'autres se contentent de poser les bonnes questions. Il y a certainement moult matière à réflexion dans ce livre si vous vous intéressez au problème de la conscience.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par FrKurt Messick TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 20 décembre 2005
Format: Broché
After writing the magnificent `Godel, Escher, Bach', for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, computer scientist Douglas Hofstadter (a professor at my alma mater, Indiana University) collaborated with philosopher Daniel Dennett on this anthology of essays and stories that explore the areas of human and artificial intelligence.
What is the mind? What is the self? Is there really a soul? Are feelings and emotions artificial constructs of information bits inside of us, and if so, is it possible that machines can think and feel for themselves?
For that matter, do we truly think and feel for ourselves?
Hofstadter and Dennett have selected pieces that approach these questions from many angles, from hard-science observational techniques to spirituality dimensions in stories. Each piece is followed by a reflection that sets the context of the piece in relation to the larger question of intelligence.
Contributors include mathematician Rudy Rucker (`Infinity and the Mind'), philosophers Raymond Smullyan (perhaps best known for logic puzzles) and Robert Nozick, literary figures such as Jorge Luis Borges and Stanislaw Lem, and pioneers in the field such as Alan Turing.
The editors use a section of Turing's early article on `Computing Machinery and Intelligence' from 1950 to set up much of the subsequent discussion. One often overlooked idea from Turing, oddly popular among British scholars of the first half of the twentieth century (and still more prevalent among British scholars and intellectuals than those of other cultures) is the idea of ESP and paranormal abilities. Turing felt that the final difference between machine-thinking, once it had reached full potential, and human thinking would be that humans have the capacity for ESP and other such abilities.
Lire la suite ›
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Pierre Kimouth le 5 janvier 2012
Format: Broché
De Borges à Thomas Nagel, cette compilation de textes éditée par le philosophe darwinien D. Dennett et D. R. Hofstadter fait bien davantage qu'offrir les bases nécessaires pour comprendre les questions qui angoissent les philosophent de l'esprit. Cet ouvrage est conçu comme un parcours initiatique. C'est un pèlerinage intellectuel. Les auteurs nous invitent à nous débarrasser de nos habituelles façon de penser et nous ouvrir à une nouvelle conception de l'esprit.
Après une surprenante introduction de Borges, le voyage commence sur les flancs de l'Himalaya. Dans cette contrée propice aux révélations de toute sorte, D. E. Harding découvre qu'il n'a pas de tête, au sens propre. Plus loin on y trouve encore le texte séminal "Qu'est-ce que ça fait d'être une chauve-souris" de Thomas Nagel. Entre autres bonheurs citons aussi les textes d'Alan Turing "Computing machinery and intelligence" ou R. Dawkins "Selfish genes, selfish memes". L'initiation se termine par une "Conversation avec le cerveau d'Einstein*. Chaque texte est suivie par une réflexion menée par Dennett ou Hofstadter.

Il existe une traduction française de cet ouvrage, parue sous le titre "Vues de l'esprit: fantaisies et réflexions sur l'être et l'âme", Paris, 1987
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72 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A fascinating tour of fundamental issues 27 octobre 1998
Par Tony Mayo, Top Executive Coach - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
A fascinating tour of fundamental issues too often ignored or finessed.
Philosopher scientists Hofstadtler and Dennett offer an anthology of probing essays along with their own running commentary on the the topics of identity, consciousness, and reductionism vs. holism. More compelling and less of a challenge to read than Hofstadtler's more famous book, Goëdel, Escher and Bach, it none the less guides the reader to reconsider many of his assumptions about what he is and where he fits in the world.
The book unfortunately was written just as complexity theory was maturing and Maturana's autopoetic version of consciousness was appearing in English. [See Capra's Web of Life] Its confidence in the creation of programmed Artificial Intelligence might also not withstand the arguments presented by Winograd and Flores in Understanding Computers and Cognition. I would very much like to know what these authors think of those approaches to the problem, paradigms I find more plausible and useful than anything presented here.
Still, I highly recommend the book to two classes of readers. First, those interested in a slightly incomplete survey of modern thinking about consciousness and, second, those fascinated by mental gymnastics, cerebral cleverness, and the ultimate puzzles of existence. Happily, I am firmly in both classes.
46 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wonderful introduction to a wonderous subject. 23 janvier 2001
Par Andrew X. Lias - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Philosophy, especially cognitive philosophy, can be a rather dull and dry topic, which is a shame given that it directly pertains to questions that we all ask, such as "Who am I?", "What is self?", "What would it be like to be another person?", and so on.
This books takes the innovative approach of presenting an anthology of absolutely fascinating essays and stories that relate to these subjects, with each essay/story followed by commentary from Dennet and Hofstadter (both of whom are heavy hitters in Philosophic circles).
It is especially interesting that a large fraction of the stories are taken directly from the annals of science-fiction, capitalizing on the genres ability to deal with these kinds of deep issues in a manner that's entertaining and accessable.
Nor does the book push any particular agenda. For instance, although Dennet and Hofstadter are both strong AI proponents (in every sense of the term "strong"), they do not hesitate to include essays that argue against the possibility of AI.
Of course, there is a certain point beyond which popularizations cease to illuminate, and anyone seriously interested in these topics would be well advised to turn to heavier treatments (including those of the editors), but, as an introduction to the subject, you could certainly do worse, although you would be hard-pressed to do better, than to read this book.
33 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An I-opening experience 5 juin 2003
Par FrKurt Messick - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
After writing the magnificent `Godel, Escher, Bach', for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, computer scientist Douglas Hofstadter (a professor at my alma mater, Indiana University) collaborated with philosopher Daniel Dennett on this anthology of essays and stories that explore the areas of human and artificial intelligence.
What is the mind? What is the self? Is there really a soul? Are feelings and emotions artificial constructs of information bits inside of us, and if so, is it possible that machines can think and feel for themselves?
For that matter, do we truly think and feel for ourselves?
Hofstadter and Dennett have selected pieces that approach these questions from many angles, from hard-science observational techniques to spirituality dimensions in stories. Each piece is followed by a reflection that sets the context of the piece in relation to the larger question of intelligence.
Contributors include mathematician Rudy Rucker (`Infinity and the Mind'), philosophers Raymond Smullyan (perhaps best known for logic puzzles) and Robert Nozick, literary figures such as Jorge Luis Borges and Stanislaw Lem, and pioneers in the field such as Alan Turing.
The editors use a section of Turing's early article on `Computing Machinery and Intelligence' from 1950 to set up much of the subsequent discussion. One often overlooked idea from Turing, oddly popular among British scholars of the first half of the twentieth century (and still more prevalent among British scholars and intellectuals than those of other cultures) is the idea of ESP and paranormal abilities. Turing felt that the final difference between machine-thinking, once it had reached full potential, and human thinking would be that humans have the capacity for ESP and other such abilities.
Turing's foundational point rests on the answer to and the meaning of the question, will a machine ever think? Turing's answer to this is yes, and upon this assumption, the meaning of a machine thinking becomes the critical determinant. People infuse too much emotionalism into the question, Turing thought. Ironically, half a century after Turing and two decades after publication of The Mind's I, people watch depictions of thinking machines in science fiction shows without a second thought, even as these shows explore the connection between thinking and emotion.
As many of the essays and stories make clear, it is often as much the way the question is asked as it is the content of the answer that can make a difference in the way the observer reacts and interprets. And yet, it becomes difficult to distinguish linguistic intelligence, intellect, and 'having a soul'. One question that is addressed can serve as illustration: Do animals have souls? For instance, does a chimpanzee with with partial linguistic ability learned in a laboratory and greater ability to care for herself and her offspring have more of a soul than an human being who is physical and mentally impaired? Almost everyone would say no, but how this difference is characterised becomes difficult in many contexts.
Terrel Miedaner has an intriguing set of stories, `The Soul of Martha, a Beast' and `The Soul of the Mark III Beast', which explores the fuzzy dividing line between the way in which we think of human feelings, animal feelings, and potentially even machine emotional responses. Part of the analysis of Hofstadter and Dennett focuses upon the construction of the stories, which are purposefully designed to evoke human emotional responses to anthropomorphised creatures. But this begs the question -- if we can anthropomorphise them, to what extent might they in fact have elements in common with human beings that make them worthy of consideration on a human level?
Issues such as the difference between education and programming, free will and determined patterns, conscious and unconscious potentials, and (perhaps both most maddening and enlightening) the difference between reality, apparent reality, belief, and thought about belief (see Smullyan's `An Epistemological Nightmare').
This is a very entertaining, often witty, occasionally disturbing book, that presents these philosophical problems in an accessible format.
36 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
dated but still worth the time 5 mai 2005
Par rhynchosaur - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is a followup to Hofstadter's famous Godel, Escher, Bach (1980)(see my review). Like its predecessor, it is concerned mostly with the foundations of artificial intelligence, but it is composed mostly of stories, essays and extracts from a wide range of people, with a few essays by DH and DD and comments to all of the contributions by one or the other of them.

Much of it is very reductionistic in tone(ie, explain everything in terms of physics/math) but as Hofstadter notes, the quantum field equations of a water molecule are too complex to solve(and so is a vacuum)and nobody has a clue about how to explain the way properties emerge(eg, water properties from H2 and 02) as you go up the scale from the vacuum to the brain, so reductionism, like holism, requires a great deal of faith. There is not only the uncertainty principle, and chaos(eg, no way to predict how a pile of sand will fall) but the logically necessary incompleteness of math, which is now fused at the highest levels with physics(eg, string theory). Godels incompleteness theorem was a central theme of his first book.

This is really a psychology text, though perhaps none of the authors realized it. It is about human behavior and reasoning-about why we think and act the way we do. But(like all such discussion until recently) none of the explanations are really explanations. Nobody discusses the mental mechanisms involved. In fact,like most 'explanations` of behavior the texts here and the comments by DH and DD are often more interesting for what kinds of things they accept as explanations(and omit), than for the actual content. As with all reasoning and explaining one now wants to know which of the brains inference engines are activated to produce the authors biases and results. It is the relevance filters which determine what sorts of things we can accept as appropriate data for each engine and their automatic and unconscious operation and interaction that determines what we can accept as an answer.

Cognitive and evolutionary psychology are still not evolved enough to provide full explanations but an interesting start has been made. Boyer's `Religion Explained` shows what a modern scientific explanation of human behavior looks like. Pinker's `How the mind Works` is a good general survey. See several of the recent texts(ie, 2004 onwards) with evolutionary psychology in the title or the web for further info.

We now recognize that art,music,math,language and religion are all results of the automatic functioning of the inference engines. This is why we can expect similarities and puzzles and inconsistencies or incompleteness and often, dead ends. The brain has no general intelligence but numerous specialized modules or inference engines, each of which works on certain aspects of some problem and the results are then added. Hofstadter, like everyone, can only generate or recognize explanations that are consistent with the operations of his own inference engines, which were evolved to deal with such things as resource accumulation, coalitions in small groups, social exchanges and the evaluation of the intentions of other persons. It is amazing they can produce art or music or math and not surprising that figuring out how they themselves work together to produce overall intelligence or consciousness or choice is way beyond reach even 25 years later.

The article on Turing (and many others) left me thinking- 'Oh where is Wittgenstein when we need him!' Turing attended W's lectures on the foundations of math but he does not seem to have understood them(not surprising as almost nobody else did). As W so famously said, decades before this book was written--`Philosophy is the battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by language`(or we might now say by the brain's inference engines) and it is a battle that DH and DD have lost. Wittgenstein is one of the most original and influential thinkers of all time but there is no evidence of this in any of the writings of either of them to this day. He explained in detail how the language games of simulation(eg, Turing test of computer thinking), imitation, pretense, belief, etc., are parasitic on knowing and understanding. We are told(p94) that we 'believe' in other minds( try disbelieving--eg, look at your child or even your dog and think `this is just a robot, or imagine you step on it's foot and it howls and you think `its doing that for the same reason noise comes out of the radio when I turn it on`) and that we treat others as black boxes--- but only the mentally ill or autistic do that(ask yourself how we know that). It is only computers that we treat as black boxes and about which we might have beliefs concerning their interior processes. DH stopped writing such books after this one but DD continues to this day to produce treatises full of the same basic confusions(as do thousands of others).

By far the best philosophical article in the book is John Searle's famous `Minds, Brains and Programs` in which he introduces the Chinese room argument, which shows why computer programs don't think(NOT why they cannot ever be designed to think--he continues to point out to this day that WE are examples of computing devices that think!). DD and DH offer superficial and arrogant criticisms but Searle is now widely regarded as the top living philospher and the Chinese room is probably the most famous philosophical debate of the last 100 years. It would have saved them alot of embarassment if they had just offered to let Searle coedit the book, or at least rebut their comments.

Nagel's lovely `What is it like to be a bat` shows that we don't have any idea what an answer is like, nor how to even try to find one. In this respect its quite similar to Searle's comments on AI--nobody to this day has any idea what a program mimicing thinking would be like, nor even how to go about making one. Some say neural nets and fuzzy logic are like the brain, but what is the evidence? Searle has made similar comments in his criticisms of those like Dennet, who claim to explain consciousness(eg, see `The Mystery of Consciousness`) and the same applies to free will, causality, perception etc. So far as I can see, neither this book nor GEB, nor any of their others, further the study of mind in any way. We did not then and do not now(ie, 25 years later) know how to conceptualize thinking(or consciousness, uncertainty, entanglement, wave/particle duality, free will etc) nor even how to recognize what such an explanatory concept would look like. But DD and DH did not get the point.

DH has new(since GEB) speculations on how music, art, math and programs may map onto each other but they don't seem to go anywhere. He has some new Q & A sessions, so extensively used in GEB, but they seem to leave only questions and on the key issue of how programs might be like thinking, the only convincing reply is that of Searle--we don't even know how to conceptualize the difference. So DH winds up just as lost as DD `Maybe, just like beauty, the sound `I` denotes nothing at all`(p456). If 'I' means nothing then so do all other words. DD says the Chinese room aims to refute materialism and that it fails as an argument because the room is too slow--both clearly untrue. And now, after 40 years of philosophizing(eg, in C`Consciousness Explained` and in `Freedom Evolves`), he repeats the same mistakes that Wittgenstein pointed out 70 years ago.

We ought to consider it extremely odd that any philosopher should think he can answer empirical questions. Thinking, feeling, perceiving, choosing, etc are phenomena of the world like any others and we can investigate them in various ways. But how can anyone investigate them by thinking? A philospher cannot answer questions about genetics, chemistry or physics, but when it comes to the realm of mind, consciousness, perception, free will, causality, reality, they feel qualified--why? Like all behavior, we now look at the operations of the inference engines to see why they make us think like this. Is it the operations of the intuitive psychology and social mind engines that forces them to deny the reality of the very things they are investigating(eg, thinking, consciousness, choice)?

DH makes a glaringly stupid remark --comparing LSD effects to a bullet through the brain(p412). By 1981 millions of people had taken LSD and there were hundreds of books and thousands of articles and numerous films showing that it was precisely its ability to specifically trigger emotions, memories, images, intellectual and visual fantasies etc that gives it such great power and interest.

They attempt(p403) an explanation of mirror reversal, but in spite of this and Ned Block's article(J. Phil p259-77. 1974) and even one by Feynmann, I think the only complete explanation is that found in the book and article by British psychologist Richard Gregory.

Because of the wide range of famous writers represented, this book is still well worth reading. Where else can you find Turing, Searle's Chinese room, Nagels famous `What is it like to be a bat?`and several xlnt selections from Sci Fi writer Stanislaw Lem?

Perhaps the bottom line here is that 25 years of research in AI and programming by tens of thousands of people with billions of dollars have failed to produce a program that can perceive and respond like a 3 month old baby, or a robot with the real world intelligence of an ant. Cognitive psychology is slowly exposing the inference engines that make it possible and one day,probably, we can mimic them with a program. Even so, it is not clear how to decide if it is thinking!.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A fascinating tour of fundamental issues too often ignored 27 août 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
A fascinating tour of fundamental issues too often ignored or finessed.
Philosopher scientists Hofstadtler and Dennett offer an anthology of probing essays along with their own running commentary on the the topics of identity, consciousness, and reductionism vs. holism. More compelling and less of a challenge to read than Hofstadtler's more famous book, Goëdel, Escher and Bach, it none the less guides the reader to reconsider many of his assumptions about what he is and where he fits in the world.
The book unfortunately was written just as complexity theory was maturing and Maturana's autopoetic version of consciousness was appearing in English. [See Capra's Web of Life] Its confidence in the creation of programmed Artificial Intelligence might also not withstand the arguments presented by Winograd and Flores in Understanding Computers and Cognition. I would very much like to know what these authors think of those approaches to the problem, paradigms I find more plausible and useful than anything presented here.
Still, I highly recommend the book to two classes of readers. First, those interested in a slightly incomplete survey of modern thinking about consciousness and, second, those fascinated by mental gymnastics, cerebral cleverness, and the ultimate puzzles of existence. happily, I am firmly in both classes.
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