Book Reviews

Additions to the Bibliography on Mind and Consciousness

compiled by Piero Scaruffi

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(Copyright © 2000 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

Haken, Hermann: SYNERGETICS (Springer-Verlag, 1977)

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Halpern, Diane: THOUGHT AND KNOWLEDGE (Lawrence Erlbaum, 1995)

Third edition of a popular text, written in a conversational style, on the development of critical thinking and learning skills.

Halpern, Mark: BINDING TIME (Ablex, 1990)

A collection of essays criticizing popular assumptions by computer scientists, starting with Turing's test itself.

Hamblin, Charles: IMPERATIVES (Basil Blackwell, 1987)

The book describes Hamblin's action-state semantics for dealing with imperatives. The theory provides for a time scale, distinction between actions and states, physical and mental causation, agency and action-reduction, and intensionality.


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Hamilton, Ternell: PROCESS AND PATTERN IN EVOLUTION (MacMillan, 1967)

Mutation, recombination, selection and isolation are the driving forces of evolution. Natural selection results in differential reproduction, i.e. in adaptation of populations, i.e. in evolutionary change. The phenotype of an organism is the result of the conflict between different selection forces. The individual is the unit of natural selection, gene substitution is the unit process in adaptation, and the species is the major unit of evolution.
Hamilton thinks that evolution is accelerated by parasites. Organisms adopted sexual reproduction in order to cope with invasions of parasites. Life is a symbiotic process which necessitates of competitors.

Hamilton, William Donald: NARROW ROADS OF GENE LAND (W.H. Freeman, 1996)

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Hampson, Peter & Morris, Peter: UNDERSTANDING COGNITION (Blackwell, 1995)

An introduction to the main topics of cognitive psychology: memory, vision, language, attention. Three paradigms for studying cognition are discussed: artificial intelligence, cognitive science and connectionism.

Hanson, Norwood: PATTERNS OF DISCOVERY (Cambridge Univ Press, 1958)

We see what we know. In order to see what another person sees we first need to learn what he knows. As we learn new knowledge, the world as we perceive it changes.

Hardcastle, Valerie: LOCATING CONSCIOUSNESS (John Benjamins, 1995)

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Hardin, Larry: COLOR FOR PHILOSOPHERS (Hackett, 1988)

This was the Bible of "color eliminativism" (the theory that objects do not have colors, that colors are only in our minds) Philosophers engaged into lengthy discussions on this theory, that simply states the obvious: brains are slightly different, thus they see slightly different colors. It would be surprising if all brains saw the exact same colors.

Harris, Sam: "Free Will" (Free Press, 2012)

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An excellent textbook on how to process natural language with a computer. It starts with a historic review, from Chomsky to Fillmore's case grammar and generative semantics. The main chapters address transformational generative grammar (phrase marker, transformational rules, etc); transition networks (recursive and augmented); case grammar; semantic networks; Schank's conceptual dependency; knowledge representation (scripts, frames).

Harth, Erich: CREATIVE LOOP (Addison-Wesley, 1993)

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A textbook on neural networks that begins with linear threshold gates, expands computational properties into the most popular supervised and unsupervised learning rules. A neural network is defined as a parallel computational model comprised of densely interconnected adaptive processing units in which learning by example replaces programming.. Neural learning is viewed mathematically as a search/approximation method. Extensive treatment is provided of adaptive multilayer networks. The book makes an effort to provide a unified and logical summary of the field.

Hassoun, Mohamad: ASSOCIATIVE NEURAL MEMORIES (Oxford, 1993)

Articles by James Anderson, Pentti Kanerva, Amir Dembo and lots of japanese contributions.

Haugeland, John: MIND DESIGN II (MIT Press, 1997)

The revised edition of the original collection of papers on Artificial Intelligence (which came out in 1981), focusing on the debate around Turing's test.

Haugeland, John: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (MIT Press, 1985)

An introduction to the field, that begins with an overview of modern science and explains the basic concepts for a broad audience.


A general overview of animal communication.

Hawkins, Jeff: ON INTELLIGENCE (Henry Holt, 2004)

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Hayes-Roth Frederick: BUILDING EXPERT SYSTEMS (Addison Wesley, 1983)

Hayles, Katherine: "How We Became Post-Human" (1999)

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Haykin, Simon: NEURAL NETWORKS (Macmillan, 1994)

One of the most comprehensive and updated surveys of neural network algorithms.

Hebb, Donald: ESSAY ON MIND (Lawrence Erlbaum, 1980)

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Hebb, Donald: THE ORGANIZATION OF BEHAVIOR (John Wiley, 1949)

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Hecht-Nielsen, Robert: NEUROCOMPUTING (Addison-Wesley, 1989)

A textbook on neural networks (parallel, distributed, adaptive information processing systems), from a pragmatic, industrial viewpoint. All the most popular learning laws are examined extensively.
Hecht-Nielsen uses Kolmogorov's theorem to demonstrate that for every function there exists a three-layer neural net which can compute its values.

Heidegger, Martin: BEING AND TIME (1962)

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Heil, John: PHILOSOPHY OF MIND (Routledge, 1998)

An up-to-date, technical but not too much, introduction to dualism, materialism, functionalism. Davidson and Dennett.

Heil, John: PERCEPTION AND COGNITION (Univ of California Press, 1983)

Heil attempts to reconcile Gibson's theory of perception, that perception is largely a process of gathering of information from the environment, with a cognitive account of cognition. Perception is a link between beliefs and events or objects. In the end perception is the acquisition of beliefs by way of the senses. Concepts are simply skills that enable the perceiving agent to acquire beliefs. Having beliefs does not necessarily require language. Having beliefs does not necessarily require internal representations or computational capabilities.
The class of perceptual objects for a perceiving agent is determined by 1. the agent's sensory system (which is sensitive to some environmental stimuli and not others, and even for those stimuli it is tuned to detect only some high-order features) and 2. the agent's set of concepts, or perceptual beliefs.
Heil has modified Dretske's theory by assuming, with Kant, that the transition from analogic to digital is made possible by concepts that are innate in the agent.

Herbert, Nick: ELEMENTAL MIND (Dutton, 1993)

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Herbert, Nick: QUANTUM REALITY: BEYOND THE NEW PHYSICS (Doubleday, 1985)

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Hertz, John, Krogh Anders & Palmer Richard: INTRODUCTION TO THE THEORY OF NEURAL COMPUTATION (Addison-Wesley, 1990)

A textbook on neural networks that starts with the Hopfield model and then covers perceptrons, multi-layer networks, Boltzmann machines, unsupervised learning (adaptive resonance, Kohonen). It provides a very modern expositions of the computational concepts.


Hewitt has developed a semantics of intelligent communities. A system is "open" when the outcome of its actions can be predicted and at any time it can absorb new information from the outside world. Distributed intelligent systems are a particular type of open systems that can interact. The dynamics of such systems depends on the balance between two factors: self-reliance, i.e. the ability to act based only on local resources, and interdependency, the need to find resources elsewhere. That translates into the dualism of "committment" (the action that a system is determined to perform) and "cooperation" (the set of mutually dependent roles among systems).
The main property of such systems is their "deductive indecisiveness": since many agents compete for the same resources in parallel, the state of the world at any time is indeterminate. The distributed system can only exhibit "global coherence".

Heyting, Arend: INTUITIONISM (North Holland, 1956)

A classic textbook for intuitionism. Intuitionism prescribes that all proofs of theorems must be constructive. Only constructable objects are legitimate. The meaning of a statement resides not in its truth conditions but in the means of proof or verification.

Hintikka, Jaakko: KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF (Cornell Univ Press, 1962)

A very technical epistemic and doxastic theory. Hintikka sets up a formal system and shows its applications to the use of the verbs "know" and "believe".

Hintikka, Jaakko THE INTENTIONS OF INTENTIONALITY (Reidel, 1975)

A collection of articles, including "Objects of knowledge", which defines the principles of his logic of attitudes.
Propositional attitudes can be interpreted using possible worlds and an "alternativeness" relation. Alternatives are relative to an attitude, an agent and the world in which the agent has that attitude. The sentence "a believes that p" can be therefore interpreted as "a believes that p is true in a world if and only if p is true in all the alternatives to that world".
Following Gibson's biological theory, Hintikka argues that perception is intentional because it is informational. Possible-world semantics is advanced as a promising candidate for a general theory of intentionality.

Hintikka, Jaakko: THE GAME OF LANGUAGE (Reidel, 1983)

Hintikka proposed his "game-theoretical semantics" as an alternative to compositional semantics. The semantic interpretation of a sentence is conceived of as a game between two agents. The semantics searches truth through a process of falsification and verification. The truth of an expression is determined through a set of domain-dependent rules which define a "game" between two agents: one agent is trying to validate the expression, the other one is trying to refute it. The expression is true if the truth agent wins. Unlike Dummett's verificationist semantics, Hintikka's is still a "truth-conditional" semantics.
The existence of a winning strategy for either player can be expressed in the form of a higher-order sentence. This sentence asserts the existence of the relevant Skolem functions. Game-theoretical semantics is therefore a translation of first-order languages into higher-order languages. Game-theoretical semantics can be easily extended to intensional logic as a successive step to possible-world semantics. The transition to natural languages is performed by substituting proper names for entire quantifier phrases. In natural languages the application of game rules is governed by second-order principles.

Hintikka, Jaakko: LOGIC OF EPISTEMOLOGY (Kluwer Academics, 1989)

A collection of articles on the (limitations of) semantics of possible worlds and epistemic logic (logic of knowledge).

Hintikka, Jaakko & Sandu Gabriel: ON THE METHODOLOGY OF LINGUISTICS (Blackwell, 1990)

Hintikka presents a case study for his "game-theoretic semantics" by applying it to the treatment of coreference.

Hintikka, Jaakko: ASPECTS OF METAPHOR (Kluwer Academics, 1994)

A collection of papers on metaphor, including Bipin Indurkhya's argument for an interaction theory of cognition and metaphor, Noel Carroll's presentation of visual metaphors and Eric Steinhart's model for generating metaphors in the context of semantic fields.

Hinton, Geoffrey & Anderson James: PARALLEL MODELS OF ASSOCIATIVE MEMORY (Lawrence Erlbaum, 1989)

A selection of readings on parallel associative memory.
D. Willshaw's "Holography, associative memory and inductive generalization" notes similarities between neural networks and holograms (such as information is not localized but spread over the entire system).

Hirst, William: MAKING OF COGNITIVE SCIENCE (Cambridge, 1988)

A collection of essays in honor of George Miller.

Hobbs, Jerry & Moore, Robert: FORMAL THEORIES OF THE COMMONSENSE WORLD (Ablex Publishing, 1985)

A collection of seminal papers on commonsense reasoning, including the official version of Pat Hayes' "The naive physics manifesto".
Pat Hayes' "The Naive Physics Manifesto" defines "measure space" for each quantity (length, weight, date, temperature) as a space in which an ordering relationship holds. Measurement spaces are usually conceived as discrete spaces, even if the quantities they measure are in theory continous. In common use things like birth dates, temperatures, distances, heights and weights are always rounded. Unlike McCarthy's situations, Hayes' "histories" (connected pieces of space-time) have a restricted spatial extent, thereby avoiding some of the inconveniences of situations. Hayes' logistic approach was very influential in formalizing and axiomatizing common sense knowledge.
The elementary unit of measure for common sense is not the point, but the interval. Which interval makes sense depends on the domain: history is satisfied with years (and sometimes centuries), but birth dates require the day and track and fields races need tenths of seconds.
The relationships between intervals differ from relationships between points. Two intervals can partially overlap. An interval can be open or closed. Points require Physics' differential equations, but intervals can be handled with a logic of time that deals with their ordering relationship.
The book includes Johan DeKleer's "A Qualitative Physics Based on Confluences", Robert Moore's "A Formal Theory of Knowledge and Action" and James Allen's "A Model of Naive Temporal Reasoning".
Allen's representation of time is based on intervals, not instants. Intervals may be related in several ways: one being before, after or equal to another.

Hobson, Allan: THE CHEMISTRY OF CONSCIOUS STATES (Little & Brown, 1994)

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Hobson, Allan: DREAMING AS DELIRIUM (MIT Press, 1999)

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Hobson, Allan: THE DREAMING BRAIN (Basic, 1989)

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Hoffmeyer, Jesper: SIGNS OF MEANING IN THE UNIVERSE (Indiana Univ. Press, 1996)

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Hofstadter, Douglas: FLUID CONCEPTS AND CREATIVE ANALOGIES (Basic, 1995)

With this book Hofstadter goes as far as to propose a cognitive model, or at least refuse existing cognitive models, for the mind. The book comes with the software that was built to implement these analogical strategies, Copycat.

Hofstadter Douglas & Dennett Daniel: THE MIND'S I (Bantam, 1982)

A collection of articles from philosophers, mathematicians and novelists, surrounded by HJofstadter's own reflections on the themes of mind and consciousness.

Hofstadter, Douglas: GODEL ESCHER BACH (Vintage, 1980)

A bold synthesis of mathematics, art and music, and a collection of intriguing thought experiments with recursion, self-reference, decision theory, artificial intelligence and genetics presented in a very elegant and creative manner.

Hofstadter, Douglas: I AM A STRANGE LOOP (Basic, 2007)

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Hogan, James-Patrick: Mind Matters; Exploring the World of Artificial Intelligence (Del Rey, 1998)

The science fiction writer provides a very superficial reading of the history of Artificial Intelligence.

Holland John et al: INDUCTION (MIT Press, 1986)

A study of induction (perceived as "how knowledge is modified through its use") built around a rule-based framework. Induction is directed by problem-solving activity and based on feedback about the value of its predictions. Learned categories are identified by clusters of rules. Induction involves two fundamental processes: a process to revise parameters of existing rules and a process to generate new rules. Both processes are guided by knowledge about the domain.
Classifier systems are message-passing variants of production systems. A classifier system learns syntactically rules (or "classifiers") to guide its performance in the environment. A classifier system consists of three main components: a production system, a credit system (such as the "bucket brigade") and a genetic algorithm to generate new rules.
Analogical reasoning is considered as a special case of induction.


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Holland, John: HIDDEN ORDER (Addison Wesley, 1995)

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Horgan, John: THE END OF SCIENCE (Broadway, 1996)

A comprehensive survey of Physics, Philosophy, Biology, Neuroscience, etc. at the end of our century. Unfortunately, littered with autobiographical distractions and interviews of distinguished philosophers and scientists. The topic is the idea that Science may have reached a dead end, may be slowing down and fading out. The book is a collection of interviews with the most distinguished scientists of our time, with a brief introduction to their theories and then their (bleak) vision of the future of science.

Hughes, Howard: SENSORY EXOTICA (MIT Press, 1999)

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Humphrey, Nicholas: CONSCIOUSNESS REGAINED (Oxford Univ Press, 1983)

Humphrey thinks that the function of consciousness is that of social interaction with other consciousnesses. Consciousness gives every human a priviliged picture of her own self as a model for what it is like to be another human.
Consciousness provides humans with an explanatory model of their own behavior. Psychological skills are a biologically adaptive trait in human beings: the best psychologists are the best survivors. The best psychologists are those who have the widest range of personal experience.

Humphrey, Nicholas: A HISTORY OF THE MIND (Simon & Schuster, 1993)

A study of the evolution of consciousness from simple matter to thought, emotions and self-consciousness.
Humphrey claims that to be conscious is to feel sensations, as opposed to perceptions. Sensations are to be found at the boundary between the organism and the world and at the boundary of past and future. One "senses" a circle of light hitting the retina; one "perceives" the sun in the sky. One can have sensations about perceptions and perceptions about sensations. Animals have developed two ways of representing the interaction between the body and the world: affect-laden sensations and affect-neutral perceptions.
Sensation and perception are separate and parallel forms of representation. Consciousness is about sensation. Humphrey develops a theory of sensations, feelings and actions. The last stage of the evolutionary journey is a "sensory reverberating feedback loop" within the brain. Then consciousness arises.

Humphreys, Glyn: UNDERSTANDING VISION (Blackwell, 1992)

A collection of articles on the subject.

Hutchinson, George Evelyn: AN INTRODUCTION TO POPULATION ECOLOGY (Yale University Press, 1978)

Hutchinson reviews the field of population dynamics, introduces formal definitions for quantities such as "ecological niche" ("an N-dimensional hypervolume within which environmental conditions at every point permit an organism to live") and derives nonlinear analyses of populations.
The whole theory is based on two postulates: the principle of abiogenesis (every living organism has originated from at least one parent of like kind to itself, "omne vivum ex vivo"); and the postulate of upper limit (there is an upper limit to the number of beings that can utilize a given finite space). They are both reflected in Verhulst's "logistic", a mathematical model for a continously growing population with an upper limit. There exist a number of variants of the original logistic, mainly to take into account factors such as competition and coexistence.
Any sulf-sustaining biological community must include on population of photosynthetic plants at its lower level. Herbivores feed on this level and form a new level, on which primary carnivores feed and form a new level, on which secondary carnivores feed, etc. Each level is smaller (not only in number but also in biomass) than the lower one, thereby originating a pyramidal structure.

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