Extending Mechanics to Minds: The Mechanical Foundations of Psychology and Economics

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Overview

This book deploys the mathematical axioms of modern rational mechanics to understand minds as mechanical systems that exhibit actual, not metaphorical, forces, inertia, and motion. Using precise mental models developed in artificial intelligence the author analyzes motivation, attention, reasoning, learning, and communication in mechanical terms. These analyses provide psychology and economics with new characterizations of bounded rationality; provide mechanics with new types of materials exhibiting the constitutive kinematic and dynamic properties characteristic of different kinds of minds; and provide philosophy with a rigorous theory of hybrid systems combining discrete and continuous mechanical quantities. The resulting mechanical reintegration of the physical sciences that characterize human bodies and the mental sciences that characterize human minds opens traditional philosophical and modern computational questions to new paths of technical analysis.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is an extraordinary treatise providing insight into a broad range of interrelated topics that have puzzled philosophers for millennia and occupied researchers in artificial intelligence, economics, cognitive science and psychology for as long as these disciplines have existed. Doyle has himself been studying these topics for over two decades and has probably done more than any other scholar to bring to bear the perspectives and insights offered by these disciplines and then to craft a new theory that borrows from the past but considerably expands the explanatory power of previous theories.”
Thomas Dean, Brown University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521861977
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Pages: 476
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Doyle is SAS Institute Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. He received a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from MIT and has held research positions at Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, and MIT. He is the author or coauthor of over 140 publications. His main research interests center on the foundations and practice of artificial intelligence, computation, decision theory, and logic. Prof Doyle is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He has served as a member of the AAAI Executive Council, as chairman of ACM SIGART, as a director, president, and conference chair for Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Inc., and as a member of several editorial boards.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Reconciling Natural and Mental Philosophy: Part II. Reconstructing Rational Mechanics: Part III. Mechanical Minds: Part IV. The Metaphysics of Mechanics: Part V. Conclusion of the Matter.

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