- Darwin's Black Box
- Free Press
- Abstract: This dissertation is concerned with that notion of meaning which is most commonly understood to apply to linguistic expressions. "Snow is white", it can be said, is a linguistic expression which means among English speakers that snow is white. But for an expression to mean something among a group of people, certain facts about the psychological states of the people in the group must hold. Meaning, it is maintained, is primarily to be understood in terms of some regularity of communicative practices among the members of a group, and these communicative practices, in turn, are to be understood in terms of certain psychological states of the members of the group. When the notion of meaning is conceived of in this way, the task of providing a theory of meaning will be understood as he two-fold task of stating which communicative practices are relevant to meaning and then saying what sort of regularity of these practices will constitute meaning.
- Computer: A History of the Information Machine
- with William Aspray
- "From the World Brain to The World Wide Web"
- Convergence to the Information Highway
- email@example.com 16-Jul-96
- The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
- a book expanding on a 1993 essay "The Clash of Civilizations?" Foreign Affairs, vol. 72, no. 3 (Summer 1993) pp. 22-49
- The expression "clash of civilizations" was previously used by Bernard Lewis in "The Roots of Muslim Rage," The Atlantic Monthly (Sept. 1990) Policy, vol. 17, no. 4, p. 24
- Cf. Francis Fukuyama (1992) The End of History and the Last Man (based on a 1989 essay "The End of History?" The National Interest)
- Samuel P. Huntington#The National Academy of Sciences controversy
Based on a symposium honoring the extensive work of Allen Newell -- one of the founders of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-computer interaction, and the systematic study of computational architectures -- this volume demonstrates how unifying themes may be found in the diversity that characterizes current research on computers and cognition. The subject matter includes:
- an overview of cognitive and computer science by leading researchers in the field;
- a comprehensive description of Allen Newell's "Soar" -- a computational architecture he developed as a unified theory of cognition;
- commentary on how the Soar theory of cognition relates to important issues in cognitive and computer science;
- rigorous treatments of controversial issues in cognition -- methodology of cognitive science, hybrid approaches to machine learning, word-sense disambiguation in understanding material language, and the role of capability processing constraints in architectural theory;
- comprehensive and systematic methods for studying architectural evolution in both hardware and software;
- a thorough discussion of the use of analytic models in human computer interaction;
- extensive reviews of important experiments in the study of scientific discovery and deduction; and
- an updated analysis of the role of symbols in information processing by Herbert Simon.
Incorporating the research of top scientists inspired by Newell's work, this volume will be of strong interest to a large variety of scientific communities including psychologists, computational linguists, computer scientists and engineers, and interface designers. It will also be valuable to those who study the scientific process itself, as it chronicles the impact of Newell's approach to research, simultaneously delving into each scientific discipline and producing results that transcend the boundaries of those disciplines.
- Based on Mind Matters Symposium (1992)
- Unified Theories of Cognition (1990)
- Herbert A. Simon
- Mental Models in Cognitive Science: Essays in Honour of Phil Johnson-Laird
- Psychology Press. Jane Oakhill and Alan Garnham, eds.
- Philip Johnson-Laird
- "Foreword" by Peter Cathcart Wason ExcerptPhil's research on mental models in reasoning has itself become a model for researchers in cognitive science -- that relatively new discipline which depends, in principle, on collaboration with other specialists, e.g. anthropologists, linguists, the artificial intelligentsia, in pursuit of common aims. I only hope it will work out well. There is a danger in inter-disciplinary research that each tends to think their own a little bit superior, sometimes disguised as an insistence on rigour ("the feel-good factor"?), with a consequent lack of progress. Here is scope for the social psychologist with an interest in group processes. I hope that cognitive science will not be dominated by a few elitist scientists who talk only to each other without feeding ther results back into the mainstream of psychology. How, for instance, can their projects aid those of clinical psychology, arguably the most important sub-discipline in psychology? Schizophrenia, depression, alienation, etc. have aspects that ultimately fall under the rubric of cognitive science, and they might profitably be attacked by the tools of cogntive science.
- "Contextuality" by George A. Miller
Some very insightful work has been done on word acquisition. One of those insights that I find most interesting is that very young children apparently begin with an assumption that objects have names and that each name denotes a different object. That is to say, they begin by ignoring the possibility of synonymy (Markman, 1989). They believe in one word-one meaning. As their knowledge of language grows, of course, lexical facts must eventually modify this simple learning strategy, but I am unable to say how that modification occurs.
My own interest is how children learn that the same word form can be used to express alternative meanings. It is my impression that alternative meanings of simple words occur in such different contexts that the fact that the same word form -- the same phonological string -- is involved in both cases is not even noticed. The formal coincidence is a later discovery, one that can carry with it a feeling of surprise. For example, many English-speaking adults have not noticed that the word "door" can be used either to refer to an aperture (as in "He stuck his head in the door") or to the solid object that closes the aperture (as in "He painted the door red"). The idea that these two meanings might be expressed by different words in another language is hard to grasp. But once the distinction is noticed, it is possible to be amused by the ambiguity of "The terminator walked throught the door".
If this impression is correct, then it must be the case that, as each possible meaning of a word is learned, some representation of the specific contexts in which that meaning is appropriate is also acquired. For example, to learn in one context that "foot" can refer to a body part must initially have little to do with learning in another context that "foot" can refer to a distance. As long as the context of use is clear, the fact that "foot" can be used to express two different meanings need not even be noticed. So, learning the referential value of a word is only part of learning the word. It is also necessary to acquire a contextual representation for each meaning. A contextual representation is the cognitive content -- the knowledge -- that enables you to recognise a particular context as belonging to the set of contexts in which the word can be used to express a specific meaning. (pp. 9-10)
- 'World Brain' as a Metaphor for Holistic Higher Education
- New Renaissance, 6(3), 19-22. (with Jennifer Gidley) HTML
- Paul Wildman, Jennifer Gidley & C. Kerr (1996). "Humanising Hypertext? Can the indigenous and non-English speaker be accommodated within the noetic paradigm of the World Wide Web?" On the Horizon: Integrating Information Technology Tools in Instruction [on-line sociology of learning journal]  (Go into the 'college teaching' hotlink then scroll to 'teaching' then scroll down about 3/4 way into 'chapters').
- Paul Wildman & Sohail Inayatullah (1996). "Ways of Knowing and the Pedagogies of the Future." Futures, 28(8), 723-740.
- Paul Wildman (1997). "Futures Studies on the World Wide Web: Pedagogical Refelctions on Piloting Futures Studies as an Innovative Web Based Interactive Multimedia Network Learning Process." In D. Hicks & R. Slaughter (Eds.), World Yearbook of Education (forthcoming). Bath UK: Kogan Page.
- See also: Comment on future universities  and profile on the Millennium Project