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Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden…
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Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (original 1979; edition 1999)

by Douglas R. Hofstadter

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,590124400 (4.34)2 / 229
Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of "maps' or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more… (more)
Member:recsys3
Title:Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Authors:Douglas R. Hofstadter
Info:Basic Books (1999), Edition: 20 Anv, Paperback, 824 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. HOFSTADTER (1979)

  1. 111
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (Zaklog)
    Zaklog: Cryptonomicon strikes me as the kind of book that Hofstadter would write if he wrote fiction. Both books are complex, with discursive passages on mathematics and a positively weird sense of humor. If you enjoyed (rather than endured) the explanatory sections on cryptography and the charts of Waterhouse's love life (among other, rarely charted things) you should really like this book.… (more)
  2. 70
    Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis (tomduck, EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: An obvious suggestion (surprised it's not here already). Both are creative and fictional riffing off of formal logic and incompleteness.
  3. 50
    Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern by Douglas R. Hofstadter (JFDR)
  4. 40
    Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel by Rebecca Goldstein (michaeljohn)
  5. 20
    A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos (heidialice)
    heidialice: GEB is a thousand times as intense, but if you enjoyed the parts about self-referentiality it's worth a skim. Conversely, if GEB is just too much, Paulos' concise introduction to the theme is very accessible.
  6. 10
    The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution by Stuart A. Kauffman (Rom_E)
  7. 00
    Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension by Matt Parker (Lorem)
    Lorem: Things in 4D I consider a more accessible version of GEB in its breadth and how it does get to complex topics. If you enjoyed the more complicated parts of 4D, definitely look at GEB and if GEB was a little too much, 4D might remind you why math(s) are never boring… (more)
  8. 00
    The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers (hippietrail)
  9. 01
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: A few similar themes (Bach, human cognition) come up in similar ways.
  10. 34
    A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram (Anonymous user)
  11. 04
    The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (P_S_Patrick)
    P_S_Patrick: Arturo Perez-Reverte has recieved inspiration for his excellent mystery thriller from Hofstadter's Godel Escher Bach, even without some of the chapter introduciton quotes, that much is clear. He uses the bewildering Escherian theme of worlds within a world, Godels incompleteness theorum is alluded to in the monologue of one character, and Bach is discussed in relevance to the mystery too, along with a few miscellaneous paradoxes which are also slipped in, in a similar spirit in which they permeate the more complex non-fictional work. Non-fiction readers who have enjoyed GEB should be amused by the Flanders panel, and I think they should enjoy it even if they do not often dip into fiction. It would be harder to recommend GEB to fans of the Flanders Panel, due to its sheer length, but if you were intrigued by the themes in the story then it should at least be worth finding GEB in a library and dipping into it.… (more)
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» See also 229 mentions

English (116)  Spanish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (121)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
One of the most important books in my life. A book about the nature of sentience, but along the way about mathematics, molecular biology, Baroque music, entropy, computer science, recursive entities, logic, philosophy, art, and [b:Alice in Wonderland|13023|Alice in Wonderland|Lewis Carroll|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1391458382l/13023._SX50_.jpg|2933712]. Dense and sometimes confusing but worth the effort. Stick with this monster and it's seemingly unrelated themes. A background in said themes helps but isn't completely necessary, but don't read it until you are really ready for it.

I just realized that this is the most important nonfiction book I’ve ever read, with the holy bible being the most important fiction book I’ve ever read. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
I've just recently written a math humor bk entitled "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of PNT (Perverse Number Theory)" wch heavily references "Gödel, Escher, Bach". You shd read that for a fairly in-depth review (if & when it's ever published - It's now published & on sale here https://www.amazon.com/Paradigm-Knuckle-Sandwich-Tentatively-Convenience/dp/1944... ). ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
Read as a student, this book was difficult, exhilarating and memorable. ( )
  sfj2 | Mar 14, 2022 |
I finally own bragging rights to having read this 800-page monster-of-a- book !

Interesting five-star concepts and interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary thought showcasing the work of the human brain at its finest ! The amount of puzzles also shows how much thought and time went into writing this book; it seems almost flawless !

However, it's long, repetitive, and borderline boring at times given the dry nature of the subject(s). It could've been easily summarized in 400 pages. And for that it loses a star (edit: this is a one-of-a-kind book and I've decided, five years later, to restore the missing star).

Still exquisite food for thought ! ( )
  nonames | Jan 14, 2022 |
742
  revirier | Dec 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
HOFSTADTER, Douglas R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
尚紀, 柳瀬Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
FEUERSEE, HermannTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
GAROFALO, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
HENRY, JacquelineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
JONKERS, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
JUNG, GünterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
KOBER, HainerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LÓPEZ ROUSSEAU, AlejandroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LIPOVSZKI, Gáborsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LONGO, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PARADA, Andreasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SIMONETTI, Francosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
TERMINI, SettimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
TRAUTTEUR, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
USABIAGA, Mario A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
VEIT, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
WAHLÉN, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
WOLFF-WINDEGG, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolff-Windegg, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
昭弘, 野崎翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Хофштадтер… Дагласsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In its absolute barest form, Gödel's discovery involves the translation of an ancient paradox in philosophy into mathematical terms. That paradox is the so-called Epimenides paradox, or liar paradox. Epimenides was a Cretan who made one immortal statement: “All Cretans are liars.”
Whereas the Epimenides statement creates a paradox since it is neither true nor false, the Gödel sentence G is unprovable (inside P.M.) but true. The grand conclusion? That the system of Principia Mathematica is “incomplete”—there are true statements of number theory which its methods of proof are too weak to demonstrate.
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Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of "maps' or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more

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Il libro che ha svelato a una immensa quantità di lettori, in tutto il mondo, gli incanti e le trappole di un’Eterna Ghirlanda Brillante i cui fili si chiamano intelligenza artificiale, macchina di Turing, teorema di Gödel. Una «fuga metaforica» nel variegato mondo che si dispiega fra la mente, il cervello e i computer.

«Ogni due o tre decenni un autore ignoto produce un libro di tale profondità, chiarezza, vastità, acume, bellezza e originalità che subito esso viene riconosciuto come un avvenimento di prima importanza: Gödel, Escher, Bach è un’opera di tal genere… La struttura di questo libro è satura di complicato contrappunto non meno di una composizione di Bach o dell’Ulisse di Joyce»

MARTIN GARDNER, «Scientific American»
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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