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Mathematical principles of mental philosophy

[Longhorn Review] Mathematical principles of mental philosophy

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: Mathematics, Nonesuch, Philosophy, Psychology — Posted on December 6, 2011, 4:25 pm

By: Sadao Shibahara.

An attempt to use topology and other mathematical tools, to model human thought.

The prose is dry, presumptious, and overwritten, in the turgid para-academic style favored by pseudointellectuals seemingly the world over. But the book is one of those “almost made it” works that simply must be produced every so often.

It could be studied by a psychologist, statistician, philosopher, mathematician, or even a mystic, and provide numerous tangential ideas or “rabbits” to chase down strange holes of thought.

The author has a few interesting ideas, and a great many uninteresting ones gussied up in this pseudo-academic prose. The author shows _great_ endurance elaborating both kinds of them in occasionally agonizing detail. His approach is organized and methodical overall, even though the prose is far worse than Spencer-Brown’s Laws of Form, most of R. Buckminster Fuller’s work, or anything by Marshall McLuhan, for instance. Like the preceding three authors, if anyone extracts a useful set of concepts or practices from this book, it isn’t the author’s fault….

Shibahara promised a completed work in three volumes. This volume 1 was printed in a run of 500 copies, and one of them somehow finding its way to Texas. This weird book has found a home in Austin.

I am going to skim this strange volume deeply, and I hope he publishes the whole thing some day. Good Luck to him, he’s 87 at this writing.


Reviewer: Steve Devine

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