This is one of the most important books I ever read in my life (actually, that goes for all books of these two guys). It starts along the lines of “One apple and one apple is two apples”, but don’t let that fool you. You will see later on why they take that kind of long run-up. The more precise science writing gets, the more it sounds like Buddhism. The quote below could be from a commentary on the “Carts Koan”.

THE COLLAPSE OF CHAOS (Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen)

You can dissect individual neurons out of a brain, but you can’t dissect tiny bits of mind. But then, you can dissect axles and gears out of a car but you will never dissect out a tiny piece of motion. The ability of a car to move is an emergent property—a process that it can carry out by virtue of its overall organization. Mind seems to be an emergent property of brains, more mysterious than the motion of a car because we can’t (yet?) watch the mental wheels going round, but no more mystical. It is emergent monism, not Cartesian dualism, that must hold the key to the understanding of consciousness. That is, mind is a process, not a thing, and it emerges from the collective interactions of appropriately organized bits of ordinary matter.


About Armin

Hermit, free-lance monk, laughing pessimist, hopeless optimist, standing upright after being bowled over too often, crawling when he should fly and flying without a pilot's licence. Clinging to bushes and grasses in his free time.
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