October 29, 1985
In this brilliant, beautifully written account – the first full-scale history of cognitive science – the renowned cognitive psychologist and author Howard Gardner chronicles a new and crucial scientific chapter in the perennial quest for mind. An exciting interdisciplinary effort, cognitive science seeks, through the most sophisticated conceptual tools, to solve the classic problems of Western thought: the nature of knowledge and how it is represented in the mind.
Howard Gardner begins his narrative with the revolt against behaviorism, the pioneering work of Lashley, Turing, von Neumann, and Wiener, and the dawn of the computer age. He then cogently traces the relevant history of the constituent cognitive sciences – philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and the order disciplines of anthropology and neuroscience – demonstrating their parallel and converging developments.
Finally, drawing on scores of interviews with leading cognitive scientists, Gardner illustrates the full flowering of the field through major current work on visual processing, mental imagery, classification, and rationality. Appraising cognitive science, he finds much to admire and much to question, including the adequacy of computer models and the ability of the field to forge connections with both culture and brain science.
Breathtaking in scope, this is no less than a comprehensive tour, in lucid and fascinating detail, of much of our intellectual universe by a scholar and writer of matchless breadth and artistry.
Howard Gardner, a MacArthur Prize Fellow, is affiliated with Harvard University, Boston University School of Medicine, and Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center. His most recent book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Basic Books, 1983), won the National Psychology Award for Excellence in the Media.