Minds and nonlinear dynamics and attractors: some references

From: Ben Goertzel (ben@goertzel.org)
Date: Sat May 04 2002 - 09:58:33 MDT

A good, completely nontechnical book discussing mind in terms of attractors
& nonlinear dynamics & self-evolving networks is "Networks of Meaning" by
Christine Hardy. I don't agree with everything she says there, but by and
large she paints a compelling picture, in a very easy to understand way.

A deeper, wilder, more chaotic and occasionally slightly technical book on
nonlinear dynamics in the brain-mind is Fred Abraham's "Yellow Book",
briefly described at


A little outdated, but full of the author's unique joyful and creative

Pointers to a great deal of research on related topics are found at the site
of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology


All this research certainly shows that "mind as a nonlinear dynamical
system" is not a metaphor or a collection of metaphors; it is a serious
scientific research program. Of course it might be misguided, there is
nothing certain in science; but there is a lot of depth here. My own
thinking was strongly influenced by years of interaction with the "chaos
theory in psychology folks" [and yes, they know that "chaos theory" is just
a pop-sci term for "nonlinear dynamical systems theory", and that many
subtle and interesting dynamical phenomena don't involve technical chaos;
but they've chosen to keep the name anyway; just as we keep using the word
"Singularity" even though what's gonna happen may not mathematically fit the
definition of a singularity...]

-- Ben G

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