The Construction of Reality

Cambridge University Press, 28 nov. 1986 - 286 pages
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In this book, Michael Arbib, a researcher in artificial intelligence and brain theory, joins forces with Mary Hesse, a philosopher of science, to present an integrated account of how humans "construct" reality through interaction with the social and physical world around them. The book is a major expansion of the Gifford Lectures delivered by the authors at the University of Edinburgh in the autumn of 1983. The authors reconcile a theory of the individual's construction of reality as a network of schemas "in the head" with an account of the social construction of language, science, ideology, and religion to provide an integrated schema-theoretic view of human knowledge. The authors still find scope for lively debate, particularly in their discussion of free will and of the reality of God. The book integrates an accessible exposition of background information with a cumulative marshalling of evidence to address fundamental questions concerning human action in the world and the nature of ultimate reality.

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Table des matières

The intelligence of the artificial
Schema theory
Relating mind and brain
Freud on psychology and religion
from the individual to the social
Language metaphor and a new epistemology
Interpretation and reality
Religions as social schemas
The Great Schema
Secular schemas
Author index
Droits d'auteur

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À propos de l'auteur (1986)

As a philosopher of science, Mary B. Hesse defends scientific methods and objectivity against their recent critics. Her work is particularly informed by the historical and social dimensions of science and by its differences from ideology. Educated in London, Hesse taught mathematics at Leeds University and taught history and philosophy of science in London before receiving a faculty appointment at Cambridge University in 1960. A fellow of the British Academy, she has been president of the Philosophy of Science Association and a Gifford lecturer. Concerned with the differences between science and other forms of thought, Hesse argues that science, at least in its limited and practical contexts, approximates truth. According to this view, the natural sciences produce convergent, if provisional, descriptions of nature. Thus, they stand in contrast to social sciences, which tend to incorporate moral assumptions in their methodology.

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