These days I'm really into studying the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) and I have read papers and documents online.

However, I have difficulty capturing the overall (received) theories of CTM at once. Thus, I'd like to ask for some Big-Books on CTM.

One that is limited to classical CTM might also be fine for me.

Thanks for your answer in advance.

  • I made some edits which you may roll back or continue editing. You can see the versions by clicking on the "edited" link above. Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 17:56
  • 1
    Two books that I use for this, but I have not read all of them are collections of papers: Stefano Franchi and Guven Guzeldere, editors, Mechanical Bodies, Computational Minds: Artificial Intelligence from Automata to Cyborgs and John Haugeland, editor, Mind Design. These are collections of articles, but together provide an overview. I would be interested in the answers you get as well. Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 18:00
  • Wikipedia's Computational Theory of Mind has a book list, SEP's has a longer one. You'll have to be more specific as to what you are looking for.
    – Conifold
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 21:03
  • Godel, Escher,Bach: An Eternal Golden Brad by Hofstadter is the best single book on minds as computation.
    – alanf
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 7:23

3 Answers 3


Some suggestions, hope they're useful :

Sebastian A. Wagner, The Extent to which 'Consciousness' poses a problem for the Computational Theory of Mind. ISBN 10: 3640896572 / ISBN 13: 9783640896578 Published by GRIN Verlag, 2016.

Schneider, S., The Language of Thought: A New Philosophical Direction. ISBN 10: 0262527456 / ISBN 13: 9780262527453 Published by MIT Press Ltd, United States, 2015.

Pinker, S., Language, Cognition, and Human Nature. ISBN 10: 0190259280 / ISBN 13: 9780190259280 Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. (Chapter on the computational architecture of the mind.)

Horst, S.W., Symbols, Computation, and Intentionality: A Critique of the Computational Theory of Mind. ISBN 10: 1466348135 / ISBN 13: 9781466348134 Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011.

Jane Duran, Epistemics: Epistemic Justification Theory Naturalized and the Computational Model of Mind. ISBN 10: 0819173282 / ISBN 13: 9780819173287 Published by University Press Of America, 1989.

Pylyshyn, Zenon W., Meaning and Cognitive Structure: Issues in the Computational Theory of Mind.ISBN 10: 0893913723 / ISBN 13: 9780893913724 Published by Ablex Pub Corp,, 1986.


It's bit old (2002) but Robert Harnish, "Minds, Brains, Computers: An Historical Introduction to the Foundations of Cognitive Science" ISBN 0-631-21260-4 and ...-0 is mostly about CTM and its variants, where CTM is taken in a quite wide sense (to include most forms of connectionism for example). The book devotes pages 105 to 392 to the CTM! Copies are probably pretty cheap on abe.com etc.

There's also the excellent collection of classic papers in Cummins and Cummins (2000) "Minds, Brains, and Computers: The Foundations of Cognitive Science, An Anthology". ISBN 1-55786-876-X, and 1-55786-877-8.


How the mind works by Steven Pinker - https://www.amazon.com/Emperors-New-Mind-Concerning-Computers/dp/0192861980
Emperor's new Mind by Rogen Penrose - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042XA2XG

  • I think those are good recommendations. However, I wonder if you could explain why they are good. Why did you find them worth mentioning? This would give the reader motivation to actually look at those references. Welcome to this SE! Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 12:21

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