Essays on Designing Minds

Minds are complex artifacts, partly biological and partly social; only a unified, multidisciplinary approach will yield a realistic theory of how they came into existence and how they work. One of the foremost workers in this multidisciplinary field is Daniel Dennett. This book brings together his essays on the philosphy of mind, artificial intelligence, and cognitive ethology that appeared in inaccessible journals from 1984 to 1996. Highlights include "Can Machines Think?," "The Unimagined Preposterousness of Zombies," "Artificial Life as Philosophy," and "Animal Consciousness: What Matters and Why." Collected in a single volume, the essays are now available to a wider audience.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. I. Philosophy of Mind
  3. 1. Can Machines Think?
  4. 2. Speaking for Our Selves

    with Nicholas Humphrey

  5. 3. Do-It-Yourself Understanding
  6. 4. Two Contrasts: Folk Craft versus Folk Science, and Belief versus Opinion
  7. 5. Real Patterns
  8. 6. Julian Jaynes's Software Archeology
  9. 7. Real Consciousness
  10. 8. Instead of Qualia
  11. 9. The Practical Requirements for Making a Conscious Robot
  12. 10. The Unimagined Preposterousness of Zombies: Commentary on Moody, Flanagan, and Polger
  13. II. Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life
  14. 11. Cognitive Wheels: The Frame Problem of AI
  15. 12. Producing Future by Telling Stories
  16. 13. The Logical Geography of Computational Approaches: A View from the East Pole
  17. 14. Hofstadter's Quest: A Tale of Cognitive Pursuit
  18. 15. Foreword to Robert French, The Subtlety of Sameness
  19. 16. Cognitive Science as Reverse Engineering: Several Meanings of "Top-Down" and "Bottom-Up"
  20. 17. Artificial Life as Philosophy
  21. 18. When Philosophers Encounter Artificial Intelligence
  22. 19. Review of Allen Newell, Unified Theories of Cognition
  23. III. Ethology, Animal Mind
  24. 20. Out of the Armchair and into the Field
  25. 21. Cognitive Ethology: Hunting for Bargins or a Wild Goose Chase
  26. 22. Do Animals Have Beliefs?
  27. 23. Why Creative Intelligence Is Hard to Find: Commentary on Whiten and Byrne
  28. 24. Animal Consciousness: What Matters and Why
  29. IV. Standing Back
  30. 25. Self-Portrait
  31. 26. Information, Technology, and the Virtues of Ignorance
  32. Bibliography
  33. Index