New books for the bookshelf

Just bought a couple of used books for the bookshelf: Knowing: The Nature of Physical Law, which promises to explain some of the thornier physics ideas without the math, and Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step, which seeks to move cognition beyond the computational analogy so often used (and, I think, now being abandoned) and toward a representational system based in biology.

It was the references to phenomenology of Martin Heidegger that sold me on "Reconstructing." He uttered a quote that I've always liked, "as soon as we come to be, we find that we already are," which speaks to the idea of experience as the basis for understanding. Given recent advances in psychology, which now understands emotion as critical to thought, the idea that we ordinate or compute our way to sentience, to self-reference, is barren. I'm glad to see, rather, the serious exploration of experience and biology as the basis for our cognitive lives.

Have a good weekend, all.