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eBook Brain, Mind and Computers ePub

eBook Brain, Mind and Computers ePub

by Stanley L. Jaki

  • ISBN: 0895269074
  • Category: Computer Science
  • Subcategory: Computers
  • Author: Stanley L. Jaki
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gateway Books; Reprint edition (December 1, 1989)
  • Pages: 267
  • ePub book: 1103 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1744 kb
  • Other: doc lit mobi txt
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 753


Stanley L. Jaki OSB (Jáki Szaniszló László) (17 August 1924 in Győr . Jaki authored more than two dozen books on the relation between modern science and orthodox Christianity. Brain, Mind and Computers. The Paradox of Olbers' Paradox.

From 1975 to his death, he was Distinguished University Professor at Seton Hall University, in South Orange, New Jersey. He was Fremantle Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford (1977), Hoyt Fellow at Yale University (1980) and Farmington Institute Lecturer at Oxford University (1988–1989).

Stanley L. Jaki, historian and philosopher of science, deals with these and related questions in Brain, Mind and Computers, a thoroughly documented rebuttal of contemporary claims about the existence of, or possibility for, man-made minds

Brain, Mind, and Computers book.

Brain, Mind, and Computers book.

Jaki's first book on the history of science, The Relevance of Physics (TRP, 1966), its relevance being but the narrowly defined . The quantity-quality theme is also the driving force behind Brain, Mind and Computers (BMC).

Jaki's first book on the history of science, The Relevance of Physics (TRP, 1966), its relevance being but the narrowly defined flip-side of its Irrelevance in many areas of life, an irrelevance acknowledged by many of physics' brightest lights. Indeed, Jaki mentions he originally intended to make BMC a closing chapter of TRP, but, upon reading M. Taube's Computers and Common Sense , he decided the cognitive/AI issue needed a lengthier, manifold treatment on its own. Ideally,.

As indicated in an earlier post, Stanley Jaki argues that "Intelligent Design" . Real View Books presents Father Stanley L. Jaki books on the History and Philosophy of Science, and on Theology.

As indicated in an earlier post, Stanley Jaki argues that "Intelligent Design" theory, on multiple levels, fails to correctly explain design. But inasmuch as the positivist mind has failed to school itself in careful metaphysical thinking, its ventures at such points will be apt to appear pitiful, inadequate, or even fantastic. E. A. Burtt: "The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science," Chap. VI. The Metaphysics of Newton.

Brain, Mind and Computers (Paperback). Stanley L. Jaki More books by Stanley L. Jaki. Computing & IT Computer science Artificial l Engineering & General Technology History of engineering & technology Publisher: Regnery Gateway In. U. Publication Date: 31/12/1989 ISBN-13: 9780895269072 Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books. More books by Stanley L. All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed.

Brain, mind, and computers. by. Jaki, Stanley L. Publication date. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Trent University Library Donation.

Originally, my book Brain, Mind and Computers was supposed to be a chapter with the title, "Physics and Psychology," in another book of mine, The Relevance of Physics

Originally, my book Brain, Mind and Computers was supposed to be a chapter with the title, "Physics and Psychology," in another book of mine, The Relevance of Physics. I must therefore say something about The Relevance to help you understand the real aim of the Brain, Mind and Computers. The Relevance grew out of air experience which I had in 1952 as a young professor of systematic theology. In that year the lectures had to he on the essence, existence and attributes of God. Jaki (Jáki Szaniszló László), OSB (17 August 1924 in Győr .


Larosa Larosa
I am a mere 45 years late in reviewing this book (first published, 1969). I had never run across Fr. Jaki. He was clearly a brilliant, very learned mind. I wish he were here to write an updated version, for I am not quite sure who is on the planet right now with the same analytical capability, yet the version we have in hand provides a base of argument and thought that is both an indispensable starting point – a general starting framework of thought - and a base entirely relevant to the subject today, the subject today being framed in terms of AI and the proposed “Singularity” wherein AIs will equal and exceed human intelligence. I wish I had known of this book when I launched into the subject circa 1970. Bottom line, 45+ years old or not, the book is a brilliant, perfectly relevant critique.

Jaki divides the work into five chapters, each roughly 55-70 pages: 1) Computers and Physics, 2) Computers and the Brain, 3) Computers and the Psyche, 4) Computers and Thought, and for this (3rd) edition, 5) Language, Logic. Logos. The Physics chapter drives relentlessly into the real implications of the concept that the science of physics will explain the phenomena of mind. These are not pretty; hence their obscuration in the AI world today. These physics implications are revisited and extended throughout the book. The Brain chapter is a tour de force of the then known facts of the brain and its neuronal structure, its scope and complexity, as opposed to that of a computing machine. Not all that much has changed. Witness the recent, "The Future of the Brain," describing the planned onslaught of “brain-mapping” research with the magnitude of the perils and challenges, to include the neuroscientist authors’ admission that we yet have no clue on something so fundamental as how experience is stored in the brain, and their certainty that the brain is NOT employing what we understand today as “computation,” (i.e., it is therefore nothing like current computers). Everything Jaki said on this still holds, and he says it better.

The Psyche chapter – it is a great history of the intellectual origins and evolution of psychological theory in the context of its attempts to achieve its physicalist and physics-worshiping vision, from Hobbes, Hume, Mills, Kohler, Stevens, James (i.e., his burial by contemporary psych), Watson, Allport, Skinner and on. It is essential for grasping where cognitive science is today. In the Thought chapter, we examine the great problem of language and its comprehension and in this, Leibniz, Wittgenstein, Norbert Wiener, and then to a great discussion of Gödel and his Theorem (at least as good as Penrose’s discussion), and Turing’s slippery response. If we were to add something today, it would be Hofstadter’s recent, profound study on analogy ("Surfaces and Essences") as the absolute base of language, Hofstadter’s doubt as to the ability of computers to handle this basic operation, and his skewering of current machine pinnacles of language translation. Jaki’s points on the language problem still remain – untouched. Ultimately we hit the point where Jaki lets off a bit of frustration at the mind-as-machine folks, with a withering critique for their ever-shifting, refusal-to-be-pinned-down argumentative techniques. His invocation of Butler’s novel, Erewhon - a land whose inhabitants, in their belief in a “continuum” of being and refusal thereby to make a hard distinction between human and machine, have made a mash of their culture - has to be pondered in its subtly spreading manifestions today in the sweep of liberal philosophy.

The last chapter, added 20 years later, is really not an update re specific developments in the twenty years since 1969, e.g., neural networks, but rather an expansion or yet larger perspectives re the subject, for in reality not that much actually changed, though a few new commentators/theorists are critiqued, for example, Boden, Dreyfus, Edelman. We are even taken to reflections on the role of Christianity in making the AI revolution even possible in the first place. All worthy of reflection.

What has happened in the intervening 45 years since the first edition? What would merit a new addition, with more detailed response re specific developments? The reader can make his own list; this would start mine: Physics itself has become ever more mathematical, to the point of being divorced from physics, let alone from psychological phenomena (see Smolin, “Whats Wrong with Physics?” or Woit, “Not Even Wrong,” or Unger and Smolin, “The Singular Universe”). In cognitive science, connectionism (neural networks) emerged circa 1980, providing the typical illusion of progress, but no real progress on language, cognition or consciousness (one can see my “Collapsing the Singularity: Bergson, Gibson and the Mythologies of AI”). Computer programs captured championships in chess, checkers, Jeopardy, Othello, etc., but each program remained useless as a base for generalization to a truly general intelligence or AI (AGI). In neuroscience, neuro-imaging techniques developed, lighting up areas of the brain - and raising even more mysteries as to how the brain really works, while the above mentioned book, “The Future of the Brain,” details both the severe limitations of these new techniques and the depth of the mysteries. There is Hofstadter’s analogy study, as noted above. And Chalmers coined his “hard problem” in 1995, demanding that for any neural or computer architecture, we must explain how it supports the “qualia” of experience – the “redness” of the sunsets, the “zingy” taste of Pepsi. Yet in reading Jaki, it is made so clear that this problem was so thoroughly understood by philosophy and neuroscience from, say, 1850 onwards, and expressed repeatedly, that Jaki’s work is really a vast question as to how Chalmers ever received such fame for recoining the most obvious of known problems. In short, Jaki is a great, fundamental preparation for anyone wishing to prepare his mind to view this entire subject of AI/Consciousness/Mind from a very informed perspective.
Lamranilv Lamranilv
I wondered if this book was going to be antiquated. The cover looks old, the topic seems old... I mean, haven't computers advanced since then? Certainly not in the way this book discusses mind vs. brain. This is a philosophy book that gets into the notion of whether or not intellect can arise given complex processing power. The basic line of reasoning is that some scientists insist that a complex brain will lead to a complex mind, that a complex brain itself is synonymous with intellect. Jaki gives a great defense against this line of thinking. His metaphysical insight is a pleasure to see, and makes it a worthwhile read.

This is a bit dry, but it's an actual philosophy piece, and gets into much detail.
Delari Delari
[I meant to rate this with 4 stars.]

If you read enough of Fr. Jaki's works, or at least enough of the right ones, you see certain themes emerge time and again. One of the most important of those "Jakian" themes is the irreducible ontological gap between "the quantitative and the qualitative." Fr. Jaki explicitly cites an early source for this distinction as Aristotle (cf. Categories 16a). What makes physics the chief of natural sciences is its ability (sometimes envy-producing for other sciences) to isolate minute areas of material reality and explain them to an exhaustive quantitative degree. However, given the gap between quantities and qualities, this limits physics to quantitative concerns (when physics brings in literally meta-physical perspectives and assumptions, it makes proper use of the realm of qualitative reality). Given the nature of reality, you could call physics the supreme, because supremely limited, science. The disparity between quantities and qualities is the thesis of Fr. Jaki's first book on the history of science, **The Relevance of Physics** (TRP, 1966), its relevance being but the narrowly defined flip-side of its Irrelevance in many areas of life, an irrelevance acknowledged by many of physics' brightest lights.

The quantity-quality theme is also the driving force behind **Brain, Mind and Computers** (BMC). Indeed, Jaki mentions he originally intended to make BMC a closing chapter of TRP, but, upon reading M. Taube's **Computers and Common Sense**, he decided the cognitive/AI issue needed a lengthier, manifold treatment on its own. Ideally, then, BMC should be read in conjunction with, and perhaps only shortly after, TRP. BMC originally (ca. 1969) consisted of four chapters (each averaging 160 footnotes) and an epilogue, but in 1989 Fr. Jaki reissued BMC with a new fifth chapter (sort of like H. Dreyfus did with his **What Computers STILL Can't Do**, though Fr. Jaki thinks not very highly of Dreyfus's phenomenological arguments against strong AI), so be sure you get the newer paperback edition from Regnery.

Not only as a "Jakian" Catholic myself, but also as a believer in academic rigor -- one of Jaki's great strengths -- I am constantly miffed and surprised not to see this book cited in the indices or bibliographies of books dealing with the philosophy of mind and cognitive sciences. (An exception is D. Hofstadter's annotated bibliography in **Gödel, Escher, Bach**, but even then he brushes BMC aside as mere polemics, albeit with some "interesting" points ... yet he never engages those interesting points.) Certainly BMC is dated in terms of its contemporary analysis of AI. Even so, the gaps it fills in the historical record and the emphasis it lays on key issues -- such as 1) the futility of a physicalist reduction of human consciousness, 2) the important (rather Gödelian) discrepancies between human cognition and computerization (i.e., between language-as-understood and terms as formally describable), and 3) the crucial difference between computational results and intellection per se (i.e., the immateriality of thought per se). This last point deserves some elaboration. To borrow one of Fr. Jaki's own metaphors, just as two rivers may combine molecules when they converge but do not thereby perform addition, as a formal mental operation, so a computer may produce an algorithmic solution without thereby grasping the problem. The immateriality of intellection is understood by Fr. Jaki in terms of all words being universals and all meaningful discourse being predicated on methodical realism.

For these reasons alone, BMC should not be so consistently ignored by supposedly well read scholars in the field. The praise the book earned when it first appeared, coupled with the status of its author, should make BMC more prevalent in the discussion, even if only as a matter of academic thoroughness. BMC should remain especially significant in the AI/cog-sci debates since it is argued in tandem with TRP, a book no scholar of science can do without reading.

Of course, I am inclined to believe that, despite his accolades on a formally academic level, the priestly collar so proudly worn around Fr. Jaki's neck has led, even if unconsciously, to chronic disparagement of him on a personal level, moreso than some academics might care to admit.

Works that could profitably be read with BMC include:

M. Adler's **The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes**
M. Adler's **Intellect: Mind over Matter**
J. Maritain's **The Degrees of Knowledge**
E. Gilson's **Linguistics and Philosophy**
E. Gilson's **Methodical Realism**
M. Taube's **Computers and Common Sense**
S. Jaki's "The Brain-Mind Unity" (Real View Books pamphlet)
S. Jaki's **The Relevance of Physics**
J. Ross's "Immaterial Aspects of Thought" (available via JSTOR)