I Am a Strange Loop

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Basic Books, Aug 20, 2013 - Philosophy - 436 pages
28 Reviews
Douglas Hofstadter’s critically acclaimed return to the themes of Gödel, Escher, Bach—an original and controversial view of the nature of consciousness and identity.
  

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I am a strange loop

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What do we mean when we say "I"? What is it like to be a strange loop? In his new excursion into the nature of consciousness and selfhood, Hofstadter (cognitive & computer science, Indiana Univ ... Read full review

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Having read Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach previously, I had high expectations for this book- especially in its focus on the philosophical question of the self. While I realize that his approach to philosophical observation is less linear and refined than what I'm used to from other writers, I was left a bit disappointed by what seemed like a presumption that the foundation of his ideas was correct. Specifically, much of what Hofstadter has to say in this book relies upon the notion that the soul is not a general property of existence (as in one either has a soul or does not), but is something that grows based upon many factors. I'm not sure how one could really build that argument effectively without defining what the soul is- a subject that Hofstadter does not address. The most interesting part of the book is the section in which he examines the death of his wife- in which he is the most vulnerable about his ideas and feelings than at any other point. 

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Contents

Praise
WORDS OF PREFACE THANKS
CHAPTER 1 OnSouls andTheirSizes
Lights On? Post Scriptum CHAPTER 2ThisTeetering Bulb ofDreadandDream What Is a Brain Structure? A Simple Analogy between Heart andBrain
The Causal Potency of Patterns
Loops Goals and Loopholes
On Video Feedback Two VideoVoyages Three Decades Apart
Of Selves and Symbols
CHAPTER 15Entwinement
Soulmates andMatesouls Children asGluons CHAPTER 16Grapplingwith the DeepestMystery A Random EventChanges Everything
How We Live in Each Other
Universal Beings Being Visited Chemistry andIts Lack
CHAPTER 18The Blurry Glow of Human Identity I Host andAm Hosted by Others
CHAPTER 19Consciousness Thinking So Wheres Consciousness in my Loopy Enter the Skeptics Tale?
CHAPTER 21ABrief Brushwith Cartesian Egos
A Tango with Zombies and Dualism

CHAPTER 7TheEpi Phenomenon
Where theBuck Seems to Stop The Prime Mover Redux Gods Eye versustheCareeniums Eye I Am Not God CHAPTER 8 Embarking on a StrangeLo...
Gödels Quintessential Strange Loop
CHAPTER 11How AnalogyMakesMeaning
CHAPTER 12OnDownward Causality Bertrand RussellsWorst Nightmare A Strange Land where BecauseCoincides withAlthough Incompleteness Der...
Of Hogs Dogs andBogs CHAPTER 13The Elusive Apple of MyI The PatternsthatConstitute Experience
CHAPTER 14 Strangenessin the I of the Beholder
Bleu Blanc Rouge Red White and Blue
On Magnanimity and Friendship
EPILOGUE
NOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Acknowledgements
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Douglas Hofstadter is College of Arts and Sciences Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. His previous books are the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid; Metamagical Themas; The Mind’s I; Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies; and Le Ton beau de Marot. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

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