THE UNIVERSE WITHIN: A New Science Explores the Human Mind by Morton Hunt

THE UNIVERSE WITHIN: A New Science Explores the Human Mind

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hunt lets the layperson in on the new ""cognitive science."" He has interviewed the principals at Carnegie-Mellon, MIT, or Stanford and traced the necessary history to present neat summaries of new work on memory, logic, reasoning, psycholinguistics, and other topics grouped together as human information-processing--a coinage that resonates with the sophisticated work of computer scientists and artificial-intelligence modelers. Hunt has also dotted the chapters with do-it-yourself examples of just how illogical most human thinking is (from the hoary missionaries-and-cannibals teaser to would-be syllogisms). What's refreshing about all this is that cognitive psychologists are getting a better handle on the really interesting questions: What goes on in problem-solving? What kind of selectivity operates in remembering and forgetting? Some surprises turn up. Cognitive scientists treat the unconscious with great respect--not as the home of the Id, but perhaps as the site of parallel processing that in time engenders conscious ideas. During the course of the text, Hunt has a good time refuting behaviorism and also places Piaget in perspective. Hunt's own opinions emerge in his respect for human mentality (as against both Artificial Intelligence and chimps, dolphins, etc.). Thanks to Hunt's personal information-processing abilities, a fine job indeed.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1982
Publisher: Simon & Schuster