Welcome to the new catalog for Santa Fe Public Library. We'd love to hear your feedback.

Shadows of the mind: a search for the missing science of consciousness

Book Cover
Average Rating
Oxford University Press,
Pub. Date:
A New York Times bestseller when it appeared in 1989, Roger Penrose's The Emperor's New Mind was universally hailed as a marvelous survey of modern physics as well as a brilliant reflection on the human mind, offering a new perspective on the scientific landscape and a visionary glimpse of the possible future of science. Now, in Shadows of the Mind, Penrose offers another exhilarating look at modern science as he mounts an even more powerful attack on artificial intelligence. But perhaps more important, in this volume he points the way to a new science, one that may eventually explain the physical basis of the human mind. Penrose contends that some aspects of the human mind lie beyond computation. This is not a religious argument (that the mind is something other than physical) nor is it based on the brain's vast complexity (the weather is immensely complex, says Penrose, but it is still a computable thing, at least in theory). Instead, he provides powerful arguments to support his conclusion that there is something in the conscious activity of the brain that transcends computation--and will find no explanation in terms of present-day science. To illuminate what he believes this "something" might be, and to suggest where a new physics must proceed so that we may understand it, Penrose cuts a wide swathe through modern science, providing penetrating looks at everything from Turing computability and Godel's incompleteness, via Schrodinger's Cat and the Elitzur-Vaidman bomb-testing problem, to detailed microbiology. Of particular interest is Penrose's extensive examination of quantum mechanics, which introduces some new ideas that differ markedly from those advanced in The Emperor's New Mind, especially concerning the mysterious interface where classical and quantum physics meet. But perhaps the most interesting wrinkle in Shadows of the Mind is Penrose's excursion into microbiology, where he examines cytoskeletons and microtubules, minute substructures lying deep within the brain's neurons. (He argues that microtubules--not neurons--may indeed be the basic units of the brain, which, if nothing else, would dramatically increase the brain's computational power.) Furthermore, he contends that in consciousness some kind of global quantum state must take place across large areas of the brain, and that it within microtubules that these collective quantum effects are most likely to reside. For physics to accommodate something that is as foreign to our current physical picture as is the phenomenon of consciousness, we must expect a profound change--one that alters the very underpinnings of our philosophical viewpoint as to the nature of reality. Shadows of the Mind provides an illuminating look at where these profound changes may take place and what our future understanding of the world may be.
Also in this Series
More Like This
More Details
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID d0e865d0-186b-5029-f3ab-216e32d50504
Full title shadows of the mind a search for the missing science of consciousness
Author penrose roger
Grouping Category book
Last Update 2018-02-20 04:19:32AM
Last Indexed 2018-05-23 04:21:54AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Penrose, Roger.
author_display Penrose, Roger
available_at_santafe Oliver La Farge Branch
detailed_location_santafe La Farge
format_category_santafe Books
format_santafe Book
id d0e865d0-186b-5029-f3ab-216e32d50504
isbn 9780198539780
item_details ils:.b11192239|.i13874354|La Farge|006.3 Pen|||1|false|false|||||*CHECK SHELF*||lf||
itype_santafe Regular Circ
last_indexed 2018-05-23T10:21:54.789Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_santafe 006.3 Pen
owning_library_santafe Santa Fe Public Library
owning_location_santafe Oliver La Farge Branch
primary_isbn 9780198539780
publishDate 1994
record_details ils:.b11192239|Book|Books||English|Oxford University Press,|1994.|xvi, 457 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_santafe ils:.b11192239|.i13874354|On Shelf|*CHECK SHELF*|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Artificial intelligence, Gödel's theorem, Physics -- Philosophy, Quantum theory, Thought and thinking
title_display Shadows of the mind : a search for the missing science of consciousness
title_full Shadows of the mind : a search for the missing science of consciousness / Roger Penrose
title_short Shadows of the mind :
title_sub a search for the missing science of consciousness
topic_facet Artificial intelligence, Gödel's theorem, Philosophy, Physics, Quantum theory, Thought and thinking