(Copyright © 2000 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
This book offers a monumental excursion in the topic of infinite:
history of the concept, transfinite numbers, Goedel's theorem,
self-reference, etc. Many paradoxes highlight the main discussion.
But the mathematician Rudy Rucker also deals with the nature of mind. Rucker asks: "Is what you thought yesterday still part of your mind?" Rucker believes in a world of ideas separate from the mental and the physical. Consciousness explores this "mindscape" that contains all possible thoughts, just like the body explores the universe. We all share the same mindscape, just like we all share the same universe.
One chapter is devoted to "Robots and Souls". Rucker believes that conscious machines could be built, following an observation of Godel himself, that we cannot build a machine that has our mathematical intuition but such a machine can exist and can be discovered by humans. If such a machine exists, humans cannot understand its functioning. Such a machine cannot be built by humans, but could be built by darwinian evolutionary steps starting from a man-made machine. If a machine can be built that exhibits a behavior completely similar to that of humans, then a machine can be built that is as conscious as humans. What Godel's theorem asserts is that "the human mind is not capable of formulating all of its mathematical intuitions" (quoting Godel himself).