Review of The Mind’s I by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett (1981) (review revised 2019

In Talking Monkeys -- Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 Michael Starks 3rd Edition. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 223-229 (2019)
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A mixed bag dominated by H & D's reductionist nonsense. This is a follow-up to Hofstadter´s famous (or infamous as I would now say, considering its unrelenting nonsense) Godel, Escher, Bach (1980). Like its predecessor, it is concerned largely with the foundations of artificial intelligence, but it is composed mostly of stories, essays and extracts from a wide range of people, with a few essays by DH and DD and comments to all of the contributions by one or the other of them. For my views on the attempts of D and H to understand behavior see my review of Hofstadter's ‘I am a Strange Loop’ and other writings. Much of it is very reductionistic in tone (i.e., " explains " everything in terms of physics/math and denies " reality " of psychology) but as Hofstadter notes, the quantum field equations of a water molecule are too complex to solve (and so is a vacuum)and nobody has a clue about how to explain the way properties emerge (e.g., water properties from H2 and 02) as you go up the scale from the vacuum to the brain, so reductionism, like holism, requires a great deal of faith and in fact is incoherent as one cannot even frame it's arguments without presupposing the coherence of higher order thought. Additional problems for reductionism are the uncertainty principle, chaos (e.g., no way to predict how a pile of sand will fall), the logically necessary incompleteness of math (and all thought) and the impossibility of matching higher order behaviors (e.g., language) with lower order phenomena (e.g., biochemistry), i.e., the combinatorial explosion or underdetermination. In sum, though there are many interesting comments, like nearly all writing on behavior, this work lacks any coherent account of the logical structure of rationality, which I try to give in my writings. Those wishing a comprehensive up to date framework for human behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my book ‘The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle’ 2nd ed (2019). Those interested in more of my writings may see ‘Talking Monkeys--Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet--Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 3rd ed (2019) and Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century 4th ed (2019)

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