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The Hidden Pattern: A Patternist Philosophy of Mind Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Brown Walker Press (June 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581129890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581129892
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Hidden Pattern author Ben Goertzel is nothing if not ambitious. In this book, he is proposing a unified philosophy of the mind and intelligence. He's been thinking about this problem since he was sixteen, more than twenty years. It's all about pattern. Everything is pattern. Of course, it's a lot more complicated than that. I think. To be honest, I'm in over my head with this book. But if Goertzel has the chutzpah to take on all of human intelligence (and beyond), then I guess I can review a book that I don't really understand.

Inspired partly by Douglas Hofstadter's Goedel, Escher, Bach; Goertzel as a teenager came up with a theory of patterns, much as Hofstadter came up with an idea of interconnected braids when he was thirteen. When Hofstadter, in his 20th anniversary edition preface, complains that the reviewers didn't accurately describe what his book was about, he finds that it takes him quite a few pages (the whole book, in fact) to describe what the book is actually about. So when I say Goertzel's book is about how everything is pattern (as he puts it), that doesn't do it justice. However, the only way even he can explain his theory is to write an entire book. The blurb on the back, the preface, the conclusion, none of the usual places for a quick summing up, give us any help. We just have to dive in and read the book.

The Hidden Pattern takes us all over the place, with forays into logic, mathematics, science fiction, physics, linguistics, metaphysics, and more. Those darned patterns are everywhere. Goertzel spends a fair amount of the book talking about his pet project, the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) that is truly human-like, or better. He wants to create an intelligence that can think original thoughts and create new ideas.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Avellar on January 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this may be one the greatest books ever written, at least that I have read. Though, it is a philosophy book, I think it is highly speculative. The writer gives wonderful insights into reality (not so much the physical level of the world). This is the first book for me that lays down the frame work that up roots the objectivist ideal of the primary of the physical world. It may have just moved the primary to existence( higher/quantum=pattern space]) alone, in as much that observing/subjective reality plays a more important role in the make-up of the world. But this is not to say that consciousness as an entity is real or primary. As I understand Patternism, the subjective AND the objective together make patterns. And it is patterns that are primary, in the sense of pre-quantum world becoming real not in the minds of conscious beings, but in the dynamics of its own surroundings, thereby loosing its de-coherence in the measurements thereof. If the event can be measured from it's effects then it looses it pre-quantum state (wave state), thereby becoming real. It is the measurements of things that are the important aspect of entities. Once an object has properties/qualities it can no longer go back into the non-measured world/pre-quantum world. Qualities and measurements makes things real, not the stuff that it is made of. The qualities and measurements are the real parts. The parts that cannot be touched is what makes things stand out in our world. i.e. time, straightness, colors, etc. These things are the real things, not the things that are measured. (WONDERFUL!).... The measurement of things is what is real. Not the things that we normally think is real.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Meredith on December 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My formal educational and intellectual level is that of an orthopedic surgeon, a fairly low level of narrow, technical, applied science compared to the author's stratospheric achievement. As a pre-school child I rejected religion and put my faith in science as the ultimate explanation for reality. Beyond basic biology I have expanded my scientific reading into physics, evolution, emergent properties of complex systems, and neuroscience's pursuit of consciousness and behavior. I have enjoyed the history and theories of language and its poetic expression. Having rejected orthodox Western religion, I still could not escape a strong attraction to the numinous, and this led me into the psychology of religion and especially C.G. Jung, as well as the Eastern traditions for a "theology" without a Man in the Sky. Buddhism confirmed my childhood doubts as to the absolute reality of my conscious Self. Yet here it was, my mind and its conscious interface between it and the mysteries of external reality, along with those of my fellow humans; the only window of experience and agent of behavior. I have longed for an understanding of consciousness, thought and behavior, science-spiritual synthesis, and any possible Theory of All Things.

In a much updated, expansive book in the tradition of Edward O. Wilson's Consilience, adding recent advances in technology and AI, the author presents an intriguing theory of mind. Out of this "humble" and "narrow" effort comes something close to a Theory of All Things for me. He draws together so many of my areas of interest mentioned above. I am nearly through my first reading, an exercise in overview and highlighting key points and concepts and skipping or filtering out those deeply technical things beyond my desire or ability to consume.
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