Kenneth Silber reviews two books on the most amazing mechanism in nature, the human mind: Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins, and Mind: An Introduction by John Searle. Silber worries about neurobiology somehow proving we are all robots, and is cheered by what Hawkins and Searle have to say on the subject.
I don’t know Hawkins, who apparently invented the Palm Pilot and is now free to pursue his hobbies. Searle I know well: in my opinion, the greatest living philosopher, one of the few worthy of the title. In his many books he has applied a fantastically analytical mind to problems that connect with real life. Searle is a materialist who believes the stuff brain generates the phenomena mind, but that the latter can’t ever be reduced to the former. I’m going on Amazon tonight to order this book. Anyone interested in the interplay of mind and reality should do the same.
The question of human roboticism, on the other hand, isn’t really answered very convincingly in Silber’s review. Food for future thought.