The Society of Mind

A photo of the Minsky Arm, a robotic arm, taken at the MIT Museum.

The Minsky Arm, developed by Marvin Minsky in the late 1960s through the early 1970s, uses a camera and computer to build with blocks. Working on the arm served as inspiration for his later work on the human mind. (Photo courtesy of gastev on Flickr. CC-BY.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2011



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Course Features

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the theory that tries to explain how minds are made from collections of simpler processes. It treats such aspects of thinking as vision, language, learning, reasoning, memory, consciousness, ideals, emotions, and personality. It incorporates ideas from psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science to resolve theoretical issues such as wholes vs. parts, structural vs. functional descriptions, declarative vs. procedural representations, symbolic vs. connectionist models, and logical vs. common-sense theories of learning.

Other OCW Versions

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Marvin Minsky. 6.868J The Society of Mind, Fall 2011. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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