Additions to the Bibliography on Mind and Consciousness
compiled by Piero Scaruffi
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(Copyright © 2000 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
Waddington Conrad: THE EVOLUTION OF AN EVOLUTIONIST (Edinburgh University Press, 1975)
An accessible exposition of canalization, which Waddington discovered in the 1950s. Waddington was looking for an explanation to the apparent paradox that different genetic programs can produce the same organism (in most cases, far less than 50% of the genes of an individual are shared with individuals of the same species). The individuals of a species differ in all sorts of ways, but somehow their genetic programs are tolerant to such differences and eventually yield the same species. Development of an individual is immune to the pull of the genes, or it is "canalized". Waddington imagined an "epigenetic landscape" created by the concurrent pressures of the environment and the genetic program. Development occurs as a traversing of this landscape. The landscape varies from individual to individual, but it always maintains its fundamental shape of a gently sloping surface, that ends in the same valley. No matter how the landscape is traversed, the motion will always end in that valley.
Waddington C.H.: PRINCIPLES OF DEVELOPMENT AND DIFFERENTIATION (Macmillan, 1966)
By analyzing the processes of differentiation in time (histogenesis), in space (regionalization) and in shape (morphogenesis) during embryo development, Waddington argues that development must be genetically determined, as a ball rolling into progressively-deepening valleys as time progresses. Once they start, developmental processes become more and more stable and more and more differentiated. The "epigenetic landscape" depicts the process of "canalization" (increasing differentiation of tissues and organs during embryogenesis).
Wagman Morton: COGNITIVE SCIENCE AND CONCEPTS OF MIND (Praeger, 1991)
A general introduction to the themes of artificial intelligence and cognitive science, from Turing's test to problem solving in production systems, from conceptual dependency systems to learning systems. Each historical system/project of artificial intelligence (BORIS, CYRUS, ACT, LEX, AM, BACON) is briefly described, together with its cognitive implications.
Waldrop Mitchell: MAN-MADE MINDS (Walker, 1987)
An accessible introduction to the ideas, the history and the systems of artificial intelligence.
Waldrop Mitchell: COMPLEXITY (Simon & Schuster, 1992)
Complexity is presented as a discipline that can unify the laws of physical, chemical, biological, social and economic phenomena through the simple principle that all things in nature are driven to organize themselves into patterns. The book, written in plain english, focuses on the Santa Fe` Institute school of thought. Lots of biographies and a history of the field.
Walker, Evan: THE PHYSICS OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Perseus, 2000)
Wallin Ivan: SYMBIOTICISM AND THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES (?, 1927)
Ivan Wallin was the first biologist to propose that bacteria may represent the fundamental cause of the "origin of species" (Darwin's unsolved mystery) and that the creation of a species may occur via endosymbiosis.
Waltz David: SEMANTIC STRUCTURES (Lawrence Erlbaum, 1989)
A collection of articles on natural language processing. Michael Dyer discusses BORIS, a system for story understanding based on Schank's conceptual dependency. Wendy Lehnert discusses "plot units" for discourse analysis.
Way Ellen Cornell: KNOWLEDGE REPRESENTATION AND METAPHOR (Kluwer Academic, 1991)
Metaphor is the essence of our ability to represent the world, to assimilate new knowledge into the old. Metaphor is better suited than logic to represent knowledge.
Webelhuth Gert: GOVERNMENT & BINDING THEORY (MIT Press, 1995)
A collection of articles by authoritative researchers who describe different approaches to equip Chomsky's universal grammar with constraints. The editor surveys progress made in the field since its invention.
Weber Bruce, Depew David & Smith James: ENTROPY, INFORMATION AND EVOLUTION (MIT Press, 1988)
The thesis of this book is that biological phenomena are governed by laws that are purely physical. Evolutionary change results from the interplay of two elementary and independent processes: genetic variation and differential reproduction (natural selection).
Weinberg Steven: DREAMS OF A FINAL THEORY (Pantheon, 1993)
Weinberg, a theoretical physicist who was awarded the Nobel prize for the unification of the electromagnetic and weak forces, believes that a unified theory of all theories exists that would explain the behavior of all animate and inanimate systems in the universe. Such a "grand grand" unification theory should arise from today's theories of elementary particles, and from quantum theory in particular. Weinberg discusses at length the super-string theories as the first step towards such a unification process. Weinberg does not seem to consider the mind a system worth of studying, therefore he never mentions the discrepancies between today's Physics and the disciplines that study the mind. The reader is left with the feeling that, if such a grand-grand unification theory is possible, it is highly unlikely that a physicist will ever discovered it, even by mistake. In his previous book, "The First Three Minutes", Weinberg stated: "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless". I would suggest that he replaces the word "it" with the word "Physics".
Weld Daniel & DeKleer Johan: QUALITATIVE REASONING ABOUT PHYSICAL SYSTEMS (Morgan Kaufman, 1990)
A collection of seminal papers on qualitative reasoning, which follows Daniel Bobrow's book with the same title: a general survey of the state of the art by Ken Forbus, Pat Hayes' new updated "naive physics manifesto", Johan DeKleer's "A qualitative physics based on confluences", Ken Forbus' "Qualitative process theory" and Benjamin Kuipers' "Qualitative simulation". Each of the classical papers is revised and followed by an update that provides more details.
Wellman Henry: THE CHILD'S THEORY OF MIND (MIT Press, 1990)
Human knowledge is organized around naive theories that encompass specific domains. Such theories provide constraints for daily actions. One such theory is the theory of the mind (of the mental world of thoughts, beliefs, fantasies, reasoning, etc). The book analyzes how children develop a commonsense understanding of the mind.
Wexler Ken & Culicover Peter: FORMAL PRINCIPLES OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION (MIT Press, 1980)
A study of "learnability" (the process by which a child learns a natural language when placed in the appropriate environment) in the context of Chomsky's theory (that the child has innate universale principles, or a "universal grammar", with open "parameters" that are set by experience).
Whorf Benjamin Lee: LANGUAGE, THOUGHT AND REALITY (MIT Press, 1956)
A collection of essays by Whorf.
Wicken Jeffrey: EVOLUTION, INFORMATION AND THERMODYNAMICS (Oxford Univ Press, 1987)
Wicken thinks that the most general entities subject to natural selection are neither genes nor populations but information patterns of thermodynamic flows, such as ecosystems and socioeconomic systems. Natural selection is not an external force, but an internal process such that macromolecules are accrued in proportion to their usefulness for the efficiency of the global system.
Wiener Norbert: "The Human Use of Human Beings" (Avon, 1950)
Wiener Norbert: CYBERNETICS (John Wiley, 1948)
Wierzbicka Anna: SEMANTICS, CULTURE, AND COGNITION (Oxford University Press, 1992)
Language is not just a tool for communication, but a tool to express meaning. To what extent meaning is language-independent depends on to what extent is is innate and to what extent it is shaped by culture. Meaning can be transferred from one language to another to some degree, but not fully. There exist a broad variety of semantic differences among languages (even emotions seem to be cultural artefacts), but a few semantic primitives have been proposed. Such universal semantic primitives make up a semantic metalanguage that could be used to explicate all other concepts in all languages.
Wierzbicka, Anna: UNDERSTANDING CULTURES THROUGH THEIR KEY WORDS (Oxford University Press, 1997)
The Polish linguist shows how language embeds and influences a culture. Each language uses key concepts that are at the core of the corresponding culture.
Wierzbicka Anna: THE SEMANTICS OF GRAMMAR (Benjamins, 1988)
Language is a tool to communicate meaning, semantics is the study of meaning encoded in language, syntax is a piece of semantics. Corresponding to the three types of tools employed by language to convey meaning (words, grammatical constructions and illocutionary devices), linguistics can be divided in lexical semantics, grammatical semantics and illocutionary semantics. The division in syntax, semantics and pragmatics makes no sense because every element and aspect of language carries meaning. Meaning is an individual's interpretation of the world. It is subjective and depends on the social and cultural context. Therefore, semantics encompasses lexicon, grammar and illocutionary structure.
Wilensky Robert: PLANNING AND UNDERSTANDING (Addison Wesley, 1983)
A pragmatic essay on planning techniques applied to natural language understanding.
Wilczek, Frank: "The Lightness of Being" (Basic Books, 2008)
Wilks York: THEORETICAL ISSUES IN NATURAL LANGUAGE (Lawrence Erlbaum, 1989)
A collection of articles on techniques for natural language processing, including connectionist models, discourse theory and approaches to metaphor.
Williams George: ADAPTATION AND NATURAL SELECTION (Princeton University Press, 1966)
Wills, Christopher & Bada, Jeffrey: THE SPARK OF LIFE (Perseus, 2000)
Wilson Edward Osborne: CONSILIENCE (Knopf, 1998)
Wilson Edward Osborne: "The Social Conquest of Earth" (Liveright, 2012)
Wilson Edward Osborne: SOCIOBIOLOGY (Belknap, 1975)
Wilson Edward Osborne: THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE (Harvard University Press, 1992)
Wilson Edward & Lumsden Charles: GENES, MIND AND CULTURE (Harvard Univ Press, 1981)
Wilson, Frank: THE HAND (Pantheon Books, 1998)
Winograd Terry: LANGUAGE AS A COGNITIVE PROCESS (Addison Wesley, 1983)
A textbook for natural language processing: grammars, parsing, transformations, ATNs, case grammar, lexical-functional grammar, generalized phrase-structure grammar. Techniques are detailed for computer implementation.
Winograd Terry: UNDERSTANDING NATURAL LANGUAGE (Academic Press, 1972)
A description and discussion of a natural lnaguage understanding program (SHRDLU) based on an integrated model of syntax, semantics and inference and applied to the blocks world.
Winograd Terry & Flores Fernando: UNDERSTANDING COMPUTERS AND COGNITION (Ablex, 1986)
Drawing from Heidegger's phenomenology and Maturana's cognitive biology, Winograd denies that intelligence can be due to processes of the type of production systems, i.e. to the systematic manipulation of representations. Intelligent systems act, don't think. They think when action does not yield the desired result. Only then do they decompose the situation and try to infer action from knowledge.
Winson Jonathan: BRAIN AND PSYCHE (Anchor Press, 1985)
Winston Patrick: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (Addison Wesley, 1993)
Third edition of one of the earliest textbooks on artificial intelligence.
Wittgenstein Ludwig: PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS (Macmillan, 1953)
One of the milestone books of modern philosophy, it contains a wealth of ideas.
Wolf, Fred Alan: MIND INTO MATTER (Moment Point, 2001)
Wolf, Fred Alan: STAR WAVE: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS AND QUANTUM PHYSICS (Macmillan, 1984)
Wolfram, Stephen: CELLULAR AUTOMATA AND COMPLEXITY (Addison-Wesley, 1994)
A collection of papers by Wolfram from 1982 to 1986. A number of studies present a general mathematical model for cellular automata viewed as discrete self-organizing dynamical systems. They can be organized in four classes, which behave respectively like limit points, limit cycles, chaotic attractors and universal computating machine. Their evolution is almost always irreversible. Entropies and Lyapunov exponents measure the information content and rate of information transmission in cellular automata.
Wood Mary McGee: CATEGORIAL GRAMMARS (Routledge, 1993)
A short, compact but very technical manual that summarizes the state of the art in categorial grammars.
Woods William: SEMANTICS FOR A QUESTION-ANSWERING SYSTEM (Garland, 1967)
This question-answering system employed the first computational model for natural-language semantic interpretation. It defined a procedural semantics and introduced the ATN grammar.
Wrangham, Richard: CATCHING FIRE (Basic, 2009)
Wright Larry: TELEOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS (Univ of California Press, 1976)
This "etiological analysis of goals and functions" employs a slight variation of Charles Taylor's definition of behavior (a goal-directed function of the state of the system and the environment). Wright thinks that any feature of a species exists because it was needed to overcome natural selection. Evolution is the fundamental criterion to determine the function of a property.
Wright Robert: "The Evolution of God" (Little Brown & Co, 2009)
Wright Robert: THE MORAL ANIMAL (Random House, 1994)
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