The Book of Minds: How To Understand Ourselves and Other Beings, from Animals to AI to Aliens

Univ. of Chicago. Jul. 2022. 512p. ISBN 9780226795874. $26. SCI
This is the latest contribution by well-known and prolific science writer Ball (H2O: A Biography of Water; Critical Mass). The author seeks to reveal the mysteries of the mind and answer the question what is a mind?? The book is comprehensive and far-ranging because of its length and subjects. Ball explores the extent of the human mind, as well as the “mindedness” of artificial intelligence and octopuses. Because of the fairly accessible nature of the language and descriptions used to explain scientific and philosophical considerations, most readers with an interest in the subject should be able to navigate its pages without difficulty; however, it will be most easily understood by those with a background in psychology or cognitive science. Ball ultimately makes the argument that the continued exploration of the mind can help people best understand humanity and the world.
VERDICT This extensive tome will be a must-read for those with a keen interest in psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science, and for those who want to embark on a deep dive into the significance of the mind.
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