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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 (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,130118380 (4.34)2 / 226
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:LukasDay
Title:Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Authors:Douglas R Hofstadter (Author)
Info:Basic Books (1999), Edition: Anniversary, 824 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

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

Recently added bymhwombat, snason, sharvani, private library, Thorntonian, sandover, ejmw, kira_, ghenrybrown
Legacy LibrariesTerence Kemp McKenna, Iris Murdoch
  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. 60
    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. 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)
  7. 00
    The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers (hippietrail)
  8. 34
    A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram (Anonymous user)
  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. 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 226 mentions

English (113)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (117)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
One could write a full dissertation on this book alone. What a monumental masterpiece! Exactly the book I needed to read at this time in my mental life. Thank you, Mr. Hofstadter. ( )
1 vote chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
Hands down, the best book I have ever read! ( )
  LesKoller | Feb 17, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
It's hard to make some kind of critical review of this given that it's been...a long amount of time since I was last in a computer science/math classroom. I think that Hofstadter does a good job of laying out the groundwork for the connection between G/E/B, but he makes this leap that a lot of people writing books on technical topics for people who are not well-versed in technical topics (read: me) do that I hate, which is "there will be no slowing down, I assume that your mental projections of my fun analogy now map perfectly onto Actual Topic X which I will now discuss in detail using the actual technical terms, and God help you if you get lost". Overall, it was reasonably enjoyable, but became a slog quickly around the halfway-60% point. If I had read this back when I was actually getting a degree and thinking about this stuff every day, I think I'd have enjoyed it more. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
mi ci sono voluti 2 anni (con frequenti pause) per finirlo, probabilmente ne ho capito il 45% (stima ottimistica), ma ne è valsa la pena. Questo infatti non è un libro, è un universo da scoprire soprattutto per chi, come me, non ha una formazione in logica e matematica. Si tratta di un'opera monumentale, che a prima vista sembra trattare vari aspetti di molte discipline scientifiche, senza un filo conduttore preciso, solo proseguendo con la lettura ci si rende conto dell'obbiettivo dell'autore: dimostrare la possibilità che un sistema formale possa prendere coscienza di se nonostante il teorema di Gödel (troppo complicato spiegarlo, andate qui: http://bit.ly/6w6oqn)..la possibilità dell'intelligenza artificiale quindi. Una lunga cavalcata attraverso la matematica, le neuroscienze e la genetica, ricco di simboli, contrappunti letterari e citazioni: probabilmente una lettura molto difficile per i profani al cui fascino, però, nessuno è capace di restare immune) ( )
  JoeProtagoras | Jan 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hofstadter, Douglas R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
尚紀, 柳瀬Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feuersee, HermannTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonkers, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Usabiaga, Mario A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wahlén, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolff-Windegg, PhilipTranslatorsecondary 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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