Introduction to the works of Peter Naur

Peter Naur, born 1928, Danish scientist, mag. scient. in astronomy 1949, dr. phil. 1957. 1953-59 at Københavns Universitets Astronomiske Observatorium. 1959-69 at Regnecentralen and lecturer at Danmarks Tekniske Højskole and Niels Bohr Institute. 1969-98 professor of Datalogi at Københavns Universitet. Awarded the IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Medal in 1986. Recipient of the ACM A. M. Turing Award 2005



Portrait of Peter Naur painted by Duo Duo Zhuang, 1995, Oil on canvas 65x45 cm


ACM has named Peter Naur winner of the 2005 Turing-award, also known as the "Nobel-prize of computing science." The prize will be presented to Peter Naur at a banquet in San Francisco on May 20, 2006.

More about the prize (ACM homepage with press release)

The brief citation for the prize is as follows:

"For fundamental contributions to programming language design and the definition of Algol 60, to compiler design, and to the art and practice of computer programming."

Full citation for the prize


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How our mental life happens in our nervous systems

Freely available: Three books and an article

by Peter Naur, winner of the ACM A. M. Turing Award 2005

Psychology – Neurology – without Cognitivism

 

The neural embodiment of mental life by the synapse-state theory

Mental life as described in William James’s The Principles of Psychology is shown to arise from the excitation activity in a network consisting of nodes, neurons, and synapses. Habits are embodied in the plastic conductivity states of the synapses. The excitation activity is shown to account for all aspects of mental life:

•      the stream of thought, including its change from one moment to the next as influenced by feelings;

•      things thought of, with their associations, fringes, and the feelings aroused by them;

•      attention: the brief accentuation of certain parts of the stream of thought;

•      the specious present: retention in the stream of thought, of parts attended to recently, providing the original experience of pastness;

•      recall of things thought of previously;

•      imagination: recall of sensations of things thought of previously;

•      sensations and perceptions of influences on the sense organs, including perceptions of speech sounds and script;

•      the muscular activity of speech sound utterances;

•      response habits, manifesting themselves in situation-dependent responses, including expressions of personality characteristics such as sexual orientation;

•      education of the nervous system from instincts, by imitation;

•      personality changes, spontaneous and as induced by hypnosis.

Downloading of the 189 pages of the book: click HERE (1000 kilobytes)

 

Neural impairments in a case of Alzheimer’s disease

According to the synapse-state theory, the activity of the neural system takes place in a network composed of neurons, nodes, and synapses, of altogether 9 different kinds, distributed into 5 layers: sense layer, motor layer, item layer, attention layer, and specious present layer. It is shown how all the symptoms, introspective as well as behavioral, observed over a period of 4 years in a particular case of Alzheimer’s disease, the case of Iris Murdoch, can be understood to have arisen from the decay, one after the other, of the nodes of the item layer.

Downloading of the 29 pages of the article: click HERE (480 kilobytes)

 

An anatomy of human mental life

Psychology in unideological reconstruction, incorporating the synapse-state theory of mental life.

Includes detailed criticism of behaviorism and cognitivism.

Downloading of the book: click HERE

 

Antiphilosophical Dictionary

Thinking - Speech - Science/Scholarship.

Reveals the philosophical misapprehensions about mental life.

Downloading of the book: click HERE (824 kilobytes)

 

Hard copies of the books may be obtained via Ingrid@polyteknisk.dk. Free copies for review may be obtained by application by post mail to the author Peter Naur, Begoniavej 20, DK 2820 Gentofte, Denmark.


Presentation of Works


Contribution to “Heidelberg Laureates Forum - Abel-, Fields- and Turing Laureates Meet the Next Generation”, 2013 September 22-27: The scientific literature activity: Acumen and misapprehension in psychology 1890 - 2008

Invited lecture at the conference "Click-on-knowledge 2011: Web-based knowledge and contemporary scholarship", May 11th - 13th 2011, Copenhagen: Misapprehensions around knowledge

The aberration of light: chronic scientific confusion, 2008

The neural embodiment of mental life by the synapse-state theory, 2008 (download 1 MB)

An Anatomy of human mental life, February 2005

Psykologi i videnskabelig rekonstruktion, 2002

Antiphilosophical Dictionary, 2001

Datalogisk Kollokvium, Roskilde Universitetscenter 2000 nov. 23; and keynote at NordiCHI2000, Stockholm 2000 Oct. 23-25 (www.stimdi.se.): Human-Computer Interaction and Human Thinking

Contribution of 2000 Nov. 4: Philosophical Locutions in Scientific and Scholarly Activity

Universitetsavisen, nr. 8, 2000 maj 4: Fri os fra filosofi

Antifilosofisk Leksikon, 1999

Main work of 1992-94: Knowing and the Mystique of Logic and Rules

Principal contributions in computing until 1990: Computing: A Human Activity

Concise Survey of Computer Methods, 1974



Bibliography of Peter Naur



Paper by Peter Naur February 2004:

A Synapse-State Theory of Mental Life



As an alternative to HebbMs theory, mental life is described in terms of SherringtonMs synapses, habits, and William JamesMs notion of the stream of thought.
The theory accounts for the major organic states, such as waking, sleep, and hypnotic trance; for states of general sensitivity; and for the following aspects of the stream of thought: thought objects with their fringes; acquainting (conception); knowing about; substantive and transitive parts; attention; association; the specious present; remembered recall (memory); sensation; and perception.

The full text is available here.


Ny bog af Peter Naur på dansk marts 2002:

Psykologi i videnskabelig rekonstruktion



Bogen fremlægger en videnskabelig rekonstruktion af psykologi, forstået som læren om menneskers tankeliv. Rekonstruktionens begrundelse er at det akademiske fag psykologi i det tyvende århundrede har været i forfald, i den forstand at videnskabelig indsigt i menneskers tankeliv er blevet glemt og erstattet af uholdbare ideologiske opfattelser, hovedsagelig behaviorisme, kognitivisme, saussurisme, og chomskyisme. Disse opfattelser fører til defekte forståelser af menneskers tankeliv og sproglighed. I bogen dokumenteres dette forfald ud fra udtalelser i, hovedsagelig, Den Store Danske Encyclopædi.

I bogen vises det hvordan tankelivets forskellige aspekter kan beskrives sammenhængende og i overensstemmelse med hvad vi hver især véd om tankelivet fra vores egen erfaring, således som psykologien blev fremstillet i William JamesM klassiske Principles of Psychology. Hertil gøres der udførligt rede for defekterne i de nutidige dominerende opfattelser, som disse fremlægges i mere end 50 af Den Store Danske Encyclopædis artikler, skrevet af ca. 30 forskellige forfattere.

Bogen forhandles via Naturfagsbogladen, Universitetsparken 13, 2100 København Ø, email: naturfag@unibog.dk, og via alle danske boghandlere.

Peter Naur: Psykologi i videnskabelig rekonstruktion, 113 sider, ISBN 87-987221-2-3, pris 150 kr incl. moms.


New book by Peter Naur May 2001:

Antiphilosophical Dictionary:
Thinking - Speech - Science/Scholarship

Psychology purged of philosophical misconceptions and language fallacies | Thinking described in terms of 38 locutions building upon William JamesMs stream of thought | Speech discussed in terms of 6 language fallacies | Coherent description as the core of the scientific/scholarly activity | Analyses of passages from René Descartes, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilbert Ryle, and others.

102 pages, naur|com publishing, list price US $18.

How to Order

Order by email, telephone or fax at "Universitetsbogladen", the university bookstore of Copenhagen University for natural sciences and computing. Include the following information: Name, address, telephone number, number of books, and if convenient credit card data - needed when delivery is outside Scandinavia. The bookstore will reply with an acceptance of your order and inform you of the price including mailing costs.

Universitetsbogladen, Universitetsparken 13, DK-2100 København Ø, Denmark
tlf. (+45) 3537 1133 / (+45) 3532 0035,
e-mail: naturfag@unibog.dk,
Hjemmeside: http://www.unibog.dk/


Bog af Peter Naur på dansk:

Antifilosofisk Leksikon:
Tænkning - Sproglighed - Videnskabelighed

Bogen forhandles via Naturfagsbogladen, Universitetsparken 13, 2100 København Ø, email: naturfag@unibog.dk, og via alle danske boghandlere.

Peter Naur: Antifilosofisk Leksikon, 110 sider, ISBN 87-987221-0-7, pris 140 kr incl. moms.


HVIS DU INTERESSERER DIG FOR EMNERNE PSYKOLOGI, LINGVISTIK, VIDENSKABSTEORI - OG DATALOGI ...

Mange vil finde Peter Naurs nye hovedværk "Antifilosofisk Leksikon: Tænkning * sproglighed * Videnskabelighed" særdeles interessant læsning.

Gennem originale og skarpt afslørende analyser af koryfæer indenfor filosofien som Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Ryle, Russell, Descartes og Aristoteles tegner Naur et billede af, hvordan filosofferne "har plaget os med bedrevidende snak om sandhed, logik, virkelighed, essens, og væren. Dermed har de forkvaklet forståelsen af menneskers tænkning og sproglighed. De har påduttet os en gold, logikbunden opfattelse af videnskabelighed." (Citat fra bogens bagsidetekst.)

I sin særlige koncise stil giver Naur samtidig sit bud på en sammenhængende opfattelse af tænkning, sproglighed og videnskabelighed. Naur bygger heri på empirisk orienterede videnskabmænd som William James, Otto Jespersen og James D. Watson.

Et studie af bogen vil bidrage med nyttig indsigt i, hvordan du kan arbejde videnskabeligt på hvilket som helst område, også inden for datalogien.


WWW realisation: Bo Holst-Christensen and Erik Frøkjær