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Explaining the Computational Mind (MIT Press) Hardcover – March 29, 2013
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In this book, Marcin Milkowski presents some bold claims as well as interesting analysis of computational approaches for understanding the mind. The book may engender meaningful debates that will eventually put computational approaches on more solid footing for future intellectual endeavors of exploring the mind.(Ron Sun, Cognitive Sciences Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
This is not just another book on computationalism. Instead, Milkowski has deftly constructed a new, well-informed, scientifically driven account of information processing. Insightful discussions of explanation, causation, mechanism, and representation allow Milkowski to deliver what he promises -- an account of computation, be it digital or analog, cognitive or neural, that can be shared by all comers.(Chris Eliasmith, University of Waterloo, Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Neuroscience, Professor of Philosophy and of Systems Design Engineering)
A thought-provoking look at the various conceptualizations of computationalism used in cognitive science and what we've gotten right and wrong along the way. Marcin Milkowski suggests that it is a bit too soon to relegate computational frameworks to the graveyard, and proposes a pure information processing approach intended to withstand the skeptical objections aimed at current theories. Regardless of one's theoretical position, this book provides ample arguments to inspire a healthy reexamination of the current state of computationalism.(Flip Phillips, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Skidmore College)
Explaining the Computational Mind is a substantial and excellent contribution to the growing literature on the foundations of computational cognitive neuroscience....The book is a must-read piece that will have to be dealt with by anyone writing on computation in cognitive science.(Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)
Milkowski's inclusive notion of computation provides a very useful framework for considering a wide range of computational approaches....The book is clearly written and engaging throughout; it is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in scientific explanation of the mind.(Review of Metaphysics)
In Explaining the Computational Mind, Marcin Milkowski is driven by a similar desire to offer a non-semantic, mechanistic account of computation that accommodates scientific practice...This leads Milkowski to develop a 'transparent' account of computation...That such a unitary account of computation can be given is, according to Milkowski, warranted by the presumed fact that it is a natural kind.(Mind)
Milkowski addresses the notion of a computational mind in a concise and yet remarkably comprehensive manner... We appreciate the pluralistic flavor of this work... Milkowski gives a compelling and scientifically solid argument for the idea that computation can be described in various ways... An interesting contribution. The accurate and comprehensive presentation of both scientific and philosophical insights makes it a recommendation for anyone interested in computation and/or in cognitive science.(Constructivist Foundations)
About the Author
Marcin Milkowski is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
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That said, it's very concise and well written. Some of my peers in a reading group, actively practicing in areas of cognitive neuroscience, thought the book was perfect. I depended more on their explanations than on the book.