Margaret A. Boden, Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, 2 vols
Mind as Machine is Margaret Boden’s magnum opus. For one thing, it comes in two massive volumes of nearly 1700 pages, in large format and densely printed—the whole must be around one million words. The bibliography alone, modestly entitled “References”, is 130 pages long with over 4000 entries. (One hopes it will be made available online; perhaps together with Chrisley (2000).) But it is not just the magnum opus in simple terms of size, but truly a crowning achievement of half a century’s career in cognitive science. We must be grateful that someone of Boden’s standing actually got down to write up systematically at least a little part of what she has learned, to pass it on to us. And we must be grateful that she has so much to say. Anyone will profit from the clarity in context that Boden provides. Her impressive learning is evident at every turn, everything is deeply understood and thought about, and almost everything important seems to have been read and incorporated, down to...
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