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Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul A Philosophical Journey into the Brain

ISBN-10: 0262531429

ISBN-13: 9780262531429

Edition: N/A

Authors: Paul M. Churchland

List price: $38.00
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Description:

A new picture of the mind is emerging, and explanations now exist for what has so long seemed mysterious. This real understanding of how the biological brain works -- of how wework -- has generated a mood of excitement that is shared in a half-dozen intersecting disciplines. Philosopher Paul Churchland, who is widely known as a gifted teacher and expository writer, explains these scientific developments in a simple, authoritative, and pictorial fashion. He not only opens the door into the ongoing research of the neurobiological and connectionist communities but goes further, probing the social and moral dimensions of recent experimental results that assign consciousness to all but the very simplest forms of animals. In a fast-paced, entertaining narrative, replete with examples and numerous explanatory illustrations, Churchland brings together an exceptionally broad range of intellectual issues. He summarizes new results from neuroscience and recent work with artificial neural networks that together suggest a unified set of answers to questions about how the brain actually works; how it sustains a thinking, feeling, dreaming self; and how it sustains a self-conscious person. Churchland first explains the science -- the powerful role of vector coding in sensory representation and pattern recognition, artificial neural networks that imitate parts of the brain, recurrent networks, neural representation of the social world, and diagnostic technologies and therapies for the brain in trouble. He then explores the far-reaching consequences of the current neurocomputational understanding of mind for our philosophical convictions, and for our social, moral, legal, medical, and personal lives. Churchland's wry wit and skillful teaching style are evident throughout. He introduces the remarkable representational power of a single human brain, for instance, via a captivating brain/World-Trade-Tower TV screen analogy. "Who can be watching this pixilated show?" Churchland queries; the answer is a provocative "no one." And he has included a folded stereoscopic viewer, attached to the inside back cover of the book, that readers can use to participate directly in several revealing experiments concerning stereo vision. A Bradford Book
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Book details

List price: $38.00
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 7/25/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 341
Size: 10.00" wide x 7.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Preface
The Little Computer that Could: The Biological Brain
Introduction
The Newly Transparent Brain
How the Brain Represents the World: General Features
How the Brain Represents the World: Fleeting Features
Brains versus TV Screens
Computation in the Brain: Pattern Transformation
The Cunning of Reason: Parallel Distributed Processing
Speed and Power
Functional Persistence
Toward More Lifelike Cognitive Capacities
Theory and Experiment: Historical Parallels
Reworking the Mirror of Our Self Conception
The Aim of This Book
Sensory Representation: The Incredible Power of Vector Coding
Taste Coding
Color Coding
Smell Coding
Face Coding
Vector Processing: How It Works and Why It Is Essential
Where and How Are Faces Coded?
Simple Pattern Recognition
Face Recognition
Network Learning: Repeated Synaptic Adjustment
Performance in the Trained Network
Internal Coding and Distributed Representations
The Emergence of Categories
Inductive Inference, Network Style
Artificial Neural Networks: Imitating Parts of the Brain
Entering the Third Dimension: Stereoscopic Vision
The Neuroanatomy of Stereoscopic Vision
How Stereoscopic Vision Works
Expanding One's Visual Grip on the World
Fusion.net: A Network with Stereo Vision
Submarine Intrigue: A Network for Sonar Perception
NETtalk: A Network that Reads Aloud
Vector Coding at the Output End: Sensorimotor Coordination
Recurrent Networks: The Conquest of Time
The Temporal Dimension of Behavior
Recognizing Causal Processes
Ambiguous Figures and Recurrent Modulation
Recognition, Theoretical Understanding, and Scientific Progress
The Neural Representation of the Social World
Social Space
EMPATH: A Network for Recognizing Human Emotions
Social Features and Prototypical Sequences
Are There "Social Areas" in the Brain?
The Human Capacity for Language
Recurrent Networks for Grammatical Discrimination
Moral Perception and Moral Understanding
The Brain in Trouble: Cognitive Dysfunction and Mental Illness
Diagnostic Techniques: The Literally Transparent Brain
CAT Scans
PET Scans
MRI Scans
Apraxia and Motor Dysfunction
Perceptual and Cognitive Dysfunction
Mood Disorders and Emotional Dysfunction
Social Dysfunction
Therapies: Talk versus Chemical and Surgical Intervention
Exploring the Consequences: Philosophical, Scientific, Social, and Personal
The Puzzle of Consciousness
Some Cautionary Parallels
Is Consciousness a Brain Process? Leibniz's View
The Elusive Contents of the First-Person Perspective: Nagel's Bat
Sensory Qualities Once More: Jackson's Neuroscientist
Mentality Without Reduction: Searle's Hybrid Position
The Contents and Character of Consciousness: Some First Steps
Reconstructing Consciousness in Neurocomputational Terms
Could an Electronic Machine Be Conscious?
The Turing Test and a Bit of Fun
The Defects of the Turing Test, and the Need for Real Theory
Building an Artificial Brain
Some Principled Objections to Machine Intelligence
Language, Science, Politics, and Art
Intelligence Differences: Between Individuals, and Between Species
Is Language Unique to Humans?
Dennett's Language-Centered Theory of Consciousness: A Critique
The Role of Language in Thought and Consciousness
Theoretical Science, Creativity, and Reaching Behind the Appearances
Cognitive Progress in the Moral and Political Domain
Neural Representation and the Many Forms of Art
Neurotechnology and Human Life
Medical Issues: Psychiatric and Neurological Medicine
Medical Issues: Neural Networks for Diagnosis and Treatment
Legal Issues: The Birth and Death of the Self
Legal Issues: Sociopathology and Corrective Policy
Turbocharged Science: Using Neural Networks for Research
The Impact on Our Self Conception
Selected Bibliography
Index