The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness

The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness

by David Gelernter


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"The arch-genius…has some radical ideas about the supremacy of the human mind…[Gelernter] is a computer virtuoso who happens to find human consciousness even more entrancing than the most amazing digital apparatus." —Time

The holy grail of scientists and psychologists since the beginning of artificial intelligence has been to replicate thought patterns of the human mind. Challenging the notion that this can ever be achieved through state-of-the-art research, legendary AI authority David Gelernter—a "rock star" (New York Times) of the computing world—surprisingly turns to literature, hoping that the works of introspective geniuses like Shakespeare, J. M. Coetzee, and Karen Blixen can help answer the same fundamental questions that neuroscientists have been struggling with for generations. Indeed, Gelernter’s landmark "spectrum of consciousness" decodes some of the deepest, most mysterious aspects of the human mind, such as the numinous light of early childhood, why sadism and masochism underpin some of our greatest artistic achievements, and why dreams often do predict the future. With "penetrating insight and a graceful, inviting presentation" (National Review), The Tides of Mind revolutionizes our very understanding of what it means to be a human being.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631492495
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 02/28/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 752,822
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David Gelernter is the author of eight books and a professor of computer science at Yale University. His 1991 work, Mirror Worlds, not only "foresaw" (Reuters) the World Wide Web but is considered "one of the most influential books in computer science" (Technology Review). Gelernter's research has proved important to several leading Web-search efforts, and has been central in the development of the Java programming language as well as the first modern social network. He lives in Woodbridge, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 The Tides of Mind 1

2 Three Thirds of the Spectrum 20

3 Every Day 55

4 A Map 104

5 Spectrum, Upper Third: Abstraction 133

6 Spectrum, Middle Third: Creativity 149

7 Spectrum, Lower Third: Descent into Lost Time 173

8 Where It All Leads 205

9 Conclusions 241

Acknowledgments 253

Literary Works Cited in the Text 255

Notes 259

Index 269

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