Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science invites readers to join in up-to-the-minute conceptual discussions of the fundamental issues, problems, and opportunities in cognitive science. Written by one of the most renowned scholars in the field, this vivid and engaging introductory text relates the story of the search for a cognitive scientific understanding of mind. This search is presented as a no-holds-barred journey from early work in artificial intelligence, through connectionist (artificial neural network) counter-visions, and on to neuroscience, artificial life, dynamics, and robotics. The journey ends with some wide-ranging and provocative speculation about the complex coadaptive dance between mind, culture, and technology.
Each chapter opens with a brief sketch of a major research tradition or perspective, followed by short yet substantial critical discussions dealing with key topics and problems. Ranging across both standard philosophical territory and the landscape of cutting-edge cognitive science, Clark highlights challenging issues in an effort to engage readers in active debate. Topics covered include mental causation; machine intelligence; the nature and status of folk psychology; the hardware/software distinction; emergence; relations between life and mind; the nature of perception, cognition, and action; and the continuity (or otherwise) of high-level human intelligence with other forms of adaptive response. Numerous illustrations, text boxes, and extensive suggestions for further reading enhance the text's utility. Helpful appendices provide background information on dualism, behaviorism, identity theory, consciousness, and more. An exceptional text for introductory and more advanced courses in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind, Mindware is also essential reading for anyone interested in these fascinating and ever-changing fields.