This book starts from the premise that things are rarely black and white; often they are shades of grey. Fifty? Therefore the logic that we use should reflect this. We have a logic based on bi-valence: true or false, yes or no, one or zero. Instead, Kosko proposes a multivalent logic in which truth could hold any value between zero and one. He insists that this is not a probabilistic view: he points out that a car parked 70% in one space and 30% in another does not have a 70% chance of being all in one space.
These are important ideas and this is an important book. What lets it down somewhat is the anger that Kosko feels for mathematicians and scientists and indeed anyone who disagrees with him and the insults he hurls at them. He treats maths and science as if they are not only wrong but, worse, run by incompetent charlatans who are well aware of the frauds they are perpetrating on the public. He is also rather too full of himself; he is an immodest messiah. He proposes a number of applications of fuzzy logic that he himself has developed; since this is an introduction to the subject they are not detailed and I would have appreciated a little more explanation here but then I am not a general reader (indeed, I was considering these issues in 1986 when working at Brunel University in Artificial Intelligence but at that time I did not know enough to be able to move forward past the problems). Unfortunately, many of his applications seem to involve digital computers which seem to give the last laugh to the world of bi-valence.
Despite these weaknesses, this book has many really critical ideas which I cannot do justice to in a review meant for a general reader. I shall be studying Fuzzy Thinking more carefully in a second reading. It was certainly an entertaining read and very well written and I am looking forward to understanding more of this field.
March 2015; 285 pages
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57