I was wondering if von Neuman has any philosophical writings beside his writings on the relation of computers to the human mind and vice versa.


1 Answer 1


Is this the same von Neumann who said he could only envisage two or three computers required in the world - one of which would be used for weather forecasting? There is volume 5 of his collected works on the design of computers and theory of automata. There might be something in there ...

... It doesn't appear to contain his lectures, left incomplete shortly before his death, to be given at Yale, on consciousness and the computer and which was published as The Brain & the Computer. There's a question as to just how seriously von Neumann took them, since anecdotally, when von Neumann was faced with his own death, a friend of his reported to that he had never seen him so scared. After all, if the mind is a computer, to switch it off and then back on again - as we see everyday - is of no consequence.

  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't answer the question, it just suggests a place to go to look for an answer. This would have been better as a comment. $\endgroup$
    – user466
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Ben Crowell: For sometime now I haven't been able to put in comments, hence this is why it was entered as an answer. As you can see I can now reply to comments. More importantly, I left a '...' to show that I would be coming back to it once I had a bit more information to complete the 'answer'. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ @user466: A suggestion as to where to look is as helpful as providing an answer. You have a too narrow notion as to what constitutes an answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 4:30

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