The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and the Laws of Physics by Roger Penrose

The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and the Laws of Physics by Roger Penrose soon to be presented for sale on the dazzling BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London, New York & Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1989, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Graphs; Diagrams;

From the cover: For decades, the proponents of artificial intelligence have argued that computers will soon be doing everything that a human mind can do. Admittedly, computers now play chess at the grandmaster level, but do they understand the game as we do? Will a computer eventually be able to do everything a human mind can do?

In this absorbing and frequently contentious book, Roger Penrose eminent physicist and winner, with Stephen Hawking, of the prestigious Wolf Prize puts forward his view that there are some facets of human thinking that can never be emulated by a machine. Although the book ranges widely over relativity theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology, its central concern is what philosophers call the mind-body problem. Penrose examines what physics and mathematics can tell us about how the mind works, what they cant, and what we need to know to understand the physical processes of consciousness. In particular, he argues that there is an important gap in our knowledge at the place where classical and quantum physics meet. He is among a growing number of physicists who think Einstein wasnt being stubborn when he said his little finger told him that quantum mechanics is incomplete; and he concludes that laws even deeper than quantum mechanics are essential for the operation of a mind. To support this contention, Penrose takes the reader on a dazzling tour that covers such topics as complex numbers, Turing machines, complexity theory, quantum mechanics, Godel undecidability, phase space, Hilbert space, black holes, white holes, Hawking radiation, entropy, quasicrystals, the structure of the brain, and scores of other subjects. Penroses illuminating (and sometimes amusing) drawings highlight his discussions throughout.

As Martin Gardner states in his foreword to the book, Penroses achievements in mathematics and physics spring from a lifelong sense of wonder toward the mystery and beauty of being. His little finger tells him that the human mind is more than just a collection of tiny wires and switches. The Emperors New Mind will appeal to anyone with a serious interest in modern physics and its relation to philosophical issues, as well as to physicists, mathematicians, philosophers, and those on either side of the AI debate.

Introduction by: Martin Gardner

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with a nick to the top corner of the upper panel and tanning to the verso. Text complete, clean and tight.

Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 466 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I fascinate you with a carefully selected medley hither or maybe further, hand picked, books in my Science catalogue?


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