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25+ Works 23,956 Members 240 Reviews 106 Favorited

About the Author

Douglas Hofstadter is College of Arts and Sciences Professor of Cognitive Science at Indiana University
Image credit: Photo credit: Maurizio Codogno, Bologna, Italy, March 6, 2002

Works by Douglas Hofstadter

I Am a Strange Loop (2007) 2,553 copies
That Mad Ache: A Novel (1843) — Author — 44 copies

Associated Works

Eugene Onegin (1964) — Translator, some editions — 4,517 copies
Gödel’s Proof (2001) — Foreword, some editions — 1,428 copies
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) — Contributor — 804 copies
The Best American Science Writing 2000 (2000) — Contributor — 166 copies
Mathenauts: Tales of Mathematical Wonder (1987) — Contributor — 126 copies
The Analogical Mind: Perspectives from Cognitive Science (2001) — Contributor — 50 copies
Alan Turing: His Work and Impact (2013) — Contributor — 36 copies
Analogy-Making as Perception: A Computer Model (1993) — Afterword — 27 copies
Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions (2009) — Contributor — 11 copies

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Common Knowledge

Members

Discussions

Godel, Escher, Bach in Book talk (August 2009)
Group Read of Godel, Escher, Bach? in Philosophy and Theory (July 2009)

Reviews

A supreme joy. I can dip into this book anytime, and gain something from what I read (even if I can't entirely grasp it).
"The Tale of Happiton" is one of the best pieces regarding nuclear disarmament I have read.
 
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Amateria66 | 16 other reviews | May 24, 2024 |
I have been reading this book, a bite at a time, for more than four years. I'm quite nearly through it now, and I think I may mourn when I read the last pages.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this if you are a fan of Dan Dennett's work, of Zen koans, or of other writing which addresses questions wrongly asked. GEB masterfully breaks down common (or at least, my) preconceptions about abstraction and consciousness.
 
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H.R.Wilson | 127 other reviews | Jan 2, 2024 |
A very dense book that still manages to have a sense of whimsy and humor. Best absorbed in chunks and then read again at a later date. And then yet again. You will certainly have your share of "homework" to do to get the most out of GEB.

At the risk of sounding snobbish, I have to wonder how accessible GEB is to those, even readers of other books on philosophy, who do not have at least some grounding in the diverse subject matter. While Hofstadter's enthusiasm for the material is infectious, the math alone in this book can be an exercise in frustration.

Still, the intersection of complex math, music, and art is hardly unheard of. GEB is less a book that you stumble upon, and more one that is passed down to you by a mentor or friend. An heirloom, in many ways.

Full of lively discussions about patterns, language, loops, paradoxes, systems, AI, the nature of consciousness... primarily using examples of mathematician Godel, artist M.C. Escher, and composer J.S.Bach, but also dipping into greek philosophy, Zen Buddhism, computer programming, and more.

Ultimately, recommended if you enjoy just... thinking about thinking.
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TheKroog | 127 other reviews | Oct 18, 2023 |
I started reading this book almost simultaneously with my application for an Artificial Intelligence master at my University. Honestly, I got a little frustrated with the one-sided approach to AI that I read about, the premise always seems to be 'artificial intelligence'=='machine learning'. So I was entirely happy during my read of this book. It gave me a playful introduction and a new look into first-order logic, a subject in which I was already pretty invested, as well as an endless supply of inspiration on which to draw in my further AI adventures. I loved this book for it and I cannot believe that no-one in my first few explorations with AI told me to stop what I was doing and read this tome first.

I did have some issues with the book. While I loved the first few dialoges and I was thoroughly impressed with the underlying themes of the dialogs, they did become somewhat stale and forced after a few of them. Also, the constant meta-ness that Hofstadter supplies is very interesting and part of what makes the book great, but at some times this also seemed a little forced and it undermined the credability of the story just a little.

Even so, writing (and reading for that matter) this book has been an amazing feat and I cannot imagine that I will not read it again some time and take even more insight away from it. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone doing something or another in the field of AI, or conciousness or anything related.
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1 vote
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bramboomen | 127 other reviews | Oct 18, 2023 |

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Statistics

Works
25
Also by
13
Members
23,956
Popularity
#875
Rating
4.1
Reviews
240
ISBNs
140
Languages
17
Favorited
106

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