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Computation and Human Experience


  • 52 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 392 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.723 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 006.3/01
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: Q336 .A37 1997
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Artificial intelligence--Data processing
    • Human behavior

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521384322 | ISBN-10: 052138432X)

This book offers a critical reconstruction of the fundamental ideas and methods of artificial intelligence research. Through close attention to the metaphors of artificial intelligence and their consequences for the field's patterns of success and failure, it argues for a reorientation of the field away from thought in the head and towards activity in the world. By considering computational ideas in a large, philosophical framework, the author eases critical dialogue between technology and the social sciences. AI can benefit from an understanding of the field in relation to human nature, and in return, it offers a powerful mode of investigation into the practicalities of physical realization. This is one of a series of publications associated with the Earth System Governance Project. For more publications, see

• Sophisticated treatment of 'situated' approaches to cognitive science • Close analysis of the metaphors of AI work and the modern history of AI ideas • Clear explanation of fundamental ideas of AI for a nontechnical audience


1. Introduction; 2. Metaphor in practice; 3. Machinery and dynamics; 4. Abstraction and implementation in cognitive science; 5. The digital abstraction; 6. Dependency maintenance; 7. Rule system; 8. Planning and improvisation; 9. Running arguments; 10. Experiments with running arguments; 11. Representation and indexicality; 12. Deictic representation.


'… [an] excellently produced book … extremely informative, easily readable and good value for money.' Palass Newsletter

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