I AM A STRANGE LOOPEditorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe
I think, therefore I am. But what is think, and what is I? Returning to themes first visited in Gödel, Escher, Bach (not reviewed), Hofstadter ponders most idiosyncratically.Humans think because we can and must, for reasons of mental architecture and accidents of evolution; we do so, Hofstadter suggests, by recalling things we have already thought about and employing metaphors, analogies and ... Read full review
User Review - Flag as inappropriate
I highly recommend this book to anyone that has pondered this strange thing called "I". It is a beautiful work and I will treasure it as much as I did his previous "GEB". Since he works at my wife's alma mater, I still hold out slim hope that I will meet him at some point in my life.
I was surprised that in all the citations Hofstadter has in his book, there is little mention of Eastern philosophy and no mention of Alan Watts at all. I think the ideas in this work and Watts' philosophy expressed in such lectures as "Not What Should Be But What Is" have such strong resonance that it seems unlikely that "I Am a Strange Loop" was created with no knowledge of this work.
I'll indulge one quote that I find particularly comforting related to our own mortality:
"Though the primary brain [of the deceased] has been eclipsed, there is, in those that remain and who are gathered to remember and reactive the spirit of the departed, a collective corona that still glows. This is what human love means. The word "love" cannot, thus, be separated from the word "I"; the more deeply rooted the symbol for someone inside you, the greater the love, the brighter the light that remains behind".