Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
The Large, the Small and the Human Mind

The Large, the Small and the Human Mind


Part of Canto

Abner Shimony, Nancy Cartwright, Stephen Hawking
View all contributors
  • Date Published: May 2000
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521785723

£ 12.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Roger Penrose's original and provocative ideas about the large-scale physics of the Universe, the small-scale world of quantum physics and the physics of the mind have been the subject of controversy and discussion. These ideas were proposed in his best-selling books The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind. In this book, he summarises and updates his current thinking in these complex areas to present a masterful summary of those areas of physics in which he feels there are major unresolved problems. Through this, he introduces radically new concepts which he believes will be fruitful in understanding the workings of the brain and the nature of the human mind. These ideas are challenged by three distinguished experts from different backgrounds: Abner Shimony and Nancy Cartwright as philosophers of science and Stephen Hawking as a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. Roger Penrose concludes with a response to their thought-provoking criticisms.

    • Includes distinguished contributions by Abner Shimony, Nancy Cartwright and Stephen Hawking
    • Accessible and illuminating introduction to the controversial ideas on modern physics presented in Penrose's long and complex best-sellers, The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind
    • Provocative and personal vision of theoretical physics in the 21st century by one of the most highly regarded mathematicians/physicists of our time
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'To see a scientist of Penrose's ability, stature and achievement toss large parts of modern physics into the air as though juggling balls and try to keep them aloft while marshalling them into a coherent pattern is a thing to behold. It is a wonderful illustration of a first-rate scientist doing what first-rate scientists have always done: make bold conjectures and display them for others to confirm, refute or amend.' Keith Devlin, New Scientist

    'When Oxford physicist and mathematician Penrose … has something to say about general relativity, quantum physics and artificial intelligence, we would do well to listen.' Publishers Weekly

    'The book is an attractive and stimulating introduction to some fascinating issues, on some of which (such as the intelligibility of the universe) theists would certainly be able to offer some alternative insights.' John Polkinghorne, Science and Christian Belief

    '... one could hardly ask for a shrewder or more enthusiastic tour guide to the extremes of physics.' Scientific American

    '… a stimulating and compact review of Penrose's own thinking.' Bernard Dixon, The Independent

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521785723
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 217 x 136 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.28kg
    • contains: 72 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Malcolm Longair
    1. Space-time and cosmology Roger Penrose
    2. The mysteries of quantum physics Roger Penrose
    3. Physics and the mind Roger Penrose
    4. On mentality, quantum mechanics and the actualization of potentialities Abner Shimony
    5. Why physics? Nancy Cartwright
    6. The objections of an unashamed reductionist Stephen Hawking
    7. Response Roger Penrose
    Appendix I: Goodstein's theorm and mathematical thinking
    Appendix II: Experiments to test gravitationally induced state reduction.

  • Author

    Roger Penrose, University of Oxford


    Malcolm Longair, Boston University


    Abner Shimony, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Nancy Cartwright

    Stephen Hawking


    Abner Shimony, Nancy Cartwright, Stephen Hawking

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.