The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics

Overview

In The Emporer's New Mind, eminent physicist Roger Penrose argues that there are facets of human thinking, of human imagination, that can never be emulated by a machine. Exploring a dazzling array of topics--complex numbers, black holes, entropy, quasicrystals, the structure of the brain, and the physical processes of consciousness--Penrose demonstrates that laws even more wondrously complex than those of quantum mechanics are essential for the operation of a mind.

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The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics

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Overview

In The Emporer's New Mind, eminent physicist Roger Penrose argues that there are facets of human thinking, of human imagination, that can never be emulated by a machine. Exploring a dazzling array of topics--complex numbers, black holes, entropy, quasicrystals, the structure of the brain, and the physical processes of consciousness--Penrose demonstrates that laws even more wondrously complex than those of quantum mechanics are essential for the operation of a mind.

In the readition of the bestselling Chaos and A Brief History of Time, here is a science book with mainstream appeal. Proponents of artificial intelligence maintain that eventually a computer will be able to do everything a human mind can do, but Oxford University Professor of Mathematics Roger Penrose explains his view that there are facets of human thinking that can never be emulated by a machine. Drawings throughout.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The testament of a brilliant man wrestling desperately--and unashamedly--with the deepest problems of metaphysics --Nature

"Penrose embarks on a sweeping survey of black holes, cosmology and thermodynamics in search of further support. The reader is treated to a tour of much of modern physics before being brought back to the central thesis: that minds must be taken seriously." --Observer

"A pedagogical tour de force, with some dazzling new ways of illuminating the central themes of science." --Times Literary Supplement

"Penrose takes us on perhaps the most engaging and creative tour of modern physics that has ever been written....the reader might feel privileged indeed to accompany Penrose on his magical mystery tour." --Sunday Times

"Will be universally cited by strong AI opponents as the definitive refutation of strong AI....An excellent introduction to the ideas which are involved in the strong AI hypothesis." --Physics World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192861986
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Series: Popular Science Series
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 330,545
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author
Roger Penrose is the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize which he shared with with Stephen Hawking for their joint contribution to our understanding of the universe.

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Table of Contents

Prologue; 1. Can a computer have a mind?; 2. Algorithms and Turing Machines; 3. Mathematics and Reality; 4. Truth, Proof, and Insight; 5. The Classical World; 6. Quantum Magic and Quantum Mystery; 7. Cosmology and the Arrow of Time; 8. In Search of Quantum Gravity; 9. Real brains and Model Brains; 10. Where Lies the Physics of the Mind?; Epilogue; References; Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2003

    Super-Awesome

    A panoramic view of the works of one of the finest minds in the business. A book spanning a lifetime's worth of work, still in the works. Few would disagree if I say that Roger Penrose is one of the greatest mathematicians/physicists of our times. In this book, Penrose explores a paradoxical, incomplete, non-halting, finite-indefinite, non-periodic, entropic, incomprehensible, recursive, non-unified, indeterministic, self-refential Universe. You get my point, don't you? Penrose, stating the very basic facts, explains how the students of the Strong-AI school of thought don't have much hope. This book, a layman's version of his life-long research reflects the work of genius making a statement that one cannot write a computer program that can do the job of a mathematician (without sounding like someone whose job is threatened by a computer). Conciousness, intelligence and writing poetry are beyond the realm of a computer. Not a casual reading book at all, but a must read. If you think Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time' was awesome, this book is super-awesome!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Amazingly interesting

    A mixture of science, philosophy, thought provoking theses, all exposed logically and in a compelling progression. Even if you disagree, you will learn a bunch.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2003

    Do corners form a room?

    The book is well deserving of a five star rating simply because of the author's ability to convey a vast number of complex concepts in a clear and enthusiastic manner. The problem is that these concepts are, at times, weakly or tangentially tied to his central thesis, i.e., the Emperor's New Mind is more than a high powered abacus.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2000

    An Amazing Book

    This book is simply amazing. I picked it up from my school library when looking for some quality reading, and I was enthralled by Penrose's simple to understand, yet extremely in depth analysis of Consciousness, Computers, Quantum Theory and many other subjects. A definite read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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