First Edition of The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics; Inscribed by Roger Penrose
The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics.
Item Number: 87509
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
First edition of this work by Penrose, which won The Science Book Prize. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by Roger Penrose on the title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Foreword by Martin Gardner.
In the Emperor's New Mind Roger Penrose argues that human consciousness is non-algorithmic, and thus is not capable of being modeled by a conventional Turing machine, which includes a digital computer. Penrose hypothesizes that quantum mechanics plays an essential role in the understanding of human consciousness. The collapse of the quantum wavefunction is seen as playing an important role in brain function. The majority of the book is spent reviewing, for the scientifically minded layreader, a plethora of interrelated subjects such as Newtonian physics, special and general relativity, the philosophy and limitations of mathematics, quantum physics, cosmology, and the nature of time. Penrose intermittently describes how each of these bears on his developing theme: that consciousness is not "algorithmic". Only the later portions of the book address the thesis directly.