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The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on…

The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul (1981)

by Douglas R. Hofstadter (Editor), Daniel C. Dennett (Editor), Harold J. Morowitz (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,372183,975 (3.99)17
  1. 00
    Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett (WiJiWiJi)
  2. 00
    Consciousness by J. Allan Hobson (WiJiWiJi)
  3. 01
    The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics by Roger Penrose (P_S_Patrick)
    P_S_Patrick: Both books deal with consciousness. Where the Mind's I is provocative and intentionally interesting, it lacks the objective truths that The Emperor's New Mind ascertains about consciousness. These books will not necessarily appeal to the same readers, as ENM is heavily technical, while TMI takes a more playful and questioning stance. But if you have a serious interest in consciousness, and a good level of mathematical and physical understanding, and enjoyed The Mind's Eye, then you should find Emperors New Mind a satisfying read too.… (more)

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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
An excellent collection of writings of all sorts, with brief but insightful comments from Hofstadter and Dennett. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
, thesis research source
  gesophrosunt | Jul 23, 2016 |
Since I don't hold to the author's views about consciousness -- or the possibility of algorithmic self-awareness -- this book's ideas are not compelling. Instead, I recommend that after reading Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher and Bach one read Roger Penrose's The Emperor's New Mind and also his Shadows of the Mind. I'm biased. I admit it. One of the curses of self-awareness. ;-) ( )
  KirkLowery | Apr 20, 2016 |
  stanjanmoore | Mar 31, 2016 |
Neither Douglas Hofstadter nor Daniel Dennett are easy writers to read quickly. Dennett’s Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and Hofstadter’s Surfaces and Essences are two of the most demanding books I’ve picked up in the recent past. Luckily, in The Mind’s I, an effort that combines both their talents, they find a way to better let their readers in. This book looks at the philosophical concept of the self—how a mind views itself—through the writings of other people. Hofstadter and Dennett use historic and imaginative accounts written by Jorge Luis Borges, Alan Turing, Richard Dawkins, and many others as points of reflection from which they can get into their intended philosophical discussions. This helps accomplish two very interesting goals: pointing the reader towards other authors they might not have known before and helping the reader through some of the more complex thought experiments surrounding the concept of the self. All throughout the book there are smatterings of philosophy, fiction, physics, and even free will. They manage to steer clear of the more tautological loops that philosophy sometimes falls in to, and in the end, arrange a very good book that makes the reader think deeply without straining themselves. An intense but intriguing read. ( )
1 vote NielsenGW | Dec 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hofstadter, Douglas R.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dennett, Daniel C.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Morowitz, Harold J.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dabekaussen, EugèneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enderwitz, UlrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lange, Barbara deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maters,TillyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Book description
«Che cos’è la mente? Chi sono io? Può la mera materia pensare o sentire? Dov’è l’anima? Chiunque si trovi ad affrontare queste domande precipita in un mare di perplessità. Questo libro vuole essere un tentativo di rivelare queste perplessità e portarle in piena luce... vuole dunque provocare, infastidire e confondere i lettori, vuole rendere strano ciò che è ovvio e, magari, rendere ovvio ciò che è strano» 
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553345842, Paperback)

Ever wondered who you are? Who you really are? This collection of writings and reflections by some of today's most notable thinkers is designed to enliven this most central, and most baffling, question in the philosophy of mind. In some ways, the questions posed and bantered about in this book are at the heart of all philosophical reasoning. They are the ultimate questions about the self. The Mind's I contains an astonishing variety of approaches to answering the question, "Who am I?" Between the covers of this book one encounters the literary erudition of Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges alongside the analytic rigor of John Searle. There are sophisticated metaphorical pieces (such as "The Princess Ineffabelle" by Polish philosopher and writer Stanislaw Lem), intriguing dialogues (like Raymond Smullyan's "Is God a Taoist?"), and serious but engaging philosophical essays from a host of thinkers (see Thomas Nagel's "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?").

Editors Hofstadter and Dennett--leading lights in the study of cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and the philosophy of mind--follow each selection with a short reflection designed to elaborate on their main themes. The Mind's I admirably broadens their fields to a more general audience. The book's essays are grouped into six categories, each successively raising the philosophical stakes by introducing new levels of complexity. Ultimately, one confronts some of the thorniest questions in modern philosophy here, such as the nature of free will, our place in the metaphysical world, and the possibility of genuine artificial intelligence. The book closes with a playful and perplexing piece by Robert Nozick, an adequate summation to The Mind's I. He writes, "Perhaps God has not decided yet whether he has created, in this world, a fictional world or a real one.... Which decision do you hope for?" --Eric de Place

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:18 -0400)

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