Some books

In a world where an expanding sea of knowledge is navigable at the click of a mouse, the focus of learning ought to shift from knowing as much as you can to making the best use of what you know. For me, that means looking for books that stimulate curiosity and provide fuel for thought.


Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and nature: A necessary unity. Bantam.

Bennett, C., Chaitin, G., Davies, D., Loewenstein, W., et al. (2003). From complexity to life: On the emergence of life and meaning (In N. H. Gregersen, Ed.). Oxford University Press.

Beyer, H. G. (2001). Theory of evolution strategies. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

Bohm, D., & Peat, F. D. (2000). Science, order, and creativity (2nd Ed.). London: Routledge.

Brooks, D. R., & Wiley, E. O. (1988). Evolution as entropy: Toward a unified theory of biology (2nd Ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Campbell, J. (1982). Grammatical Man: Information, entropy, language, and life. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Chalmers, D. J. (1996). The conscious mind: In search of a fundamental theory. Oxford University Press.

Cleary, T. E. (Trans. & Ed.). (1995). Zen essence: The science of freedom. Boston: Shambhala.

Cramer, F. (1988). Chaos und Ordnung: Die komplexe Struktur des Lebendigen. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt.

Cummins, R. (1989). Meaning and mental representation. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. Harper.

Damasio, A. R. (2000). The feeling of what happens: Body and emotion in the making of consciousness. New York: Harvest Books.

Dawkins, R. (1997). Climbing Mount Improbable. New York/London: W. W. Norton.

Dawkins, R. (1990). The selfish gene. Oxford University Press.

Donald, M. (2001). A mind so rare: The evolution of human consciousness. New York/London: W. W. Norton.

Dreyfus, H. L. (1993). What computers still can't do: A critique of artificial reason (rev. ed.). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Edelman, G. M., & Tononi, G. (2001). The universe of consciousness: How matter becomes imagination. New York: Basic Books.

Epstein, M. (2004). Thoughts without a thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist perspective. New York: Basic Books.

Epstein, M. (2005). Open to desire: The truth about what the Buddha taught. New York: Gotham Books.

Feynman, R. P. (1996). Feynman lectures on computation (T. Hey & R. W. Allen, Eds.). Cambridge: Perseus Press.

Gies, J., & Gies, F. (1969). Life in a medieval city. New York: Harper.

Gilbert, D. (2005). Stumbling on happiness. New York: Vintage Books.

Goleman, D. (2006). Social intelligence: The new science of human relationships. New York: Random House.

Gunaratana, B. H. (2002). Mindfulness in plain English (rev. ed.). Boston: Wisdom Publications.

Hartranft, C. (Trans.). (2003). The Yoga-Sutra of Patañjali: A new translation with commentary. Boston: Shambhala.

Hawkins, J., & Blakeslee, S. (2004). On intelligence: How a new understanding of the brain will lead to the creation of truly intelligent machines. New York: Henry Holt.

Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2007). Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die. New York: Random House.

Hilborn, R. C. (2000). Chaos and nonlinear dynamics: An introduction for scientists and engineers. (2nd Ed.). Oxford University Press.

Johnson, S. (2005). Mind wide open: Your brain and the neuroscience of everyday life. New York: Scribner.

Kauffman, S. A. (1993). The origins of order: Self-organization and selection in evolution. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.

Kauffman, S. A. (2000). Investigations. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books.

Langacker, R. W. (1990). Concept, image, and symbol: The cognitive basis of grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Langdon, W. B., & Poli, R. (2001). Foundations of genetic programming. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic self: How our brains become who we are. Penguin Books.

Leff, H. S., & Rex, A. F. (1990). Maxwell's demon: Entropy, information, computing. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Liu, I. (2006). Awakening to the Tao (T. E. Cleary, Trans.). Boston: Shambhala.

Loewenstein, W. R. (1999). The Touchstone of Life: Molecular information, cell communication, and the foundations of life. New York: Oxford University Press.

McWhorter, J. (2001). The power of Babel: A natural history of language. New York: Harper/Collins.

Nielsen, M. A., & Chuang, I. L. (2000). Quantum computation and quantum information. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pagels, H. R. (1982). Cosmic code: Quantum physics as the language of nature. New York: Bantam.

Pagels, H. R. (1988). Dreams of Reason: The computer and the rise of the sciences of complexity. Simon & Schuster.

Peat, F. D. (1987). Synchronicity: The bridge between mind and matter. Bantam.

Port, R. F., & Van Gelder, T. (1995). Mind as motion: Explorations in the dynamics of cognition. Cambridge: MIT Press. Bradford.

Poundstone, W. (1984). The recursive universe: Cosmic complexity and the limits of scientific knowledge. New York: William Morrow.

Prigogine, I. (1997). The end of certainty: Time, chaos, and the new laws of nature. New York: Free Press.

Rucker, R. (1982). Infinity and the mind: The science and philosophy of the infinite. New York: Bantam.

Schwartz, J. M., & Begley, S. (2002). The mind and the brain: Neuroplasticity and the power of mental force. HarperCollins.

Stewart, I. (1998). Life's other secret: The new mathematics of the living world. New York: Wiley.

Schmidt, E. H. & Schmidt, M. B. (2006). Quintessential Dzogchen. Hong Hong: Rangjung Yeshe Publications.

Varela, F. J., Thompson, E., & Rosch, E. (1991). The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Varela, F. J. (1992). Ethical know-how: Action, wisdom, and cognition. Stanford University Press.

Wegner, D. (2002). The illusion of conscious will. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Winograd, T., & Flores, F. (1986). Understanding computers and cognition. Addison-Wesley.


Michael Webb

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