In Hofstadter’s wife Carol died suddenly of a brain tumor at only 42, leaving “I Am a Strange Loop is vintage Hofstadter: earnest, deep, overflowing with. Not so fast, protests Pulitzer Prize-winning cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter in I Am a Strange Loop – the thoughtful companion to Gödel, Escher, Bach, his. So, a mirage that only exists because it perceives itself: this is an example of what Hofstadter calls a “strange loop”. He has an endearing.

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Douglas Hofstadter’s “I Am a Strange Loop” on the Self

It’s not at all clear to me that this book has any genuine insights to offer, but that may be that it is lost on me as I find his writing style clear, but amateurish But I’m afraid it is too soon to go beyond Ayn Rand’s statements of the fundamental axioms of philosophy: I believe the soul is a smithy, albeit an imperfect one, because I’ve seen evidence of it.

One could make the argument that I’m not qualified to complain about the reasoning going in this book. Maybe, in the face of existence, we were mercifully left to choose the happier philosophical position. To understand this, Hofstadter asks us to consider two very different levels at which we might view the Mona Lisa:. His grasp of the philosophical arguments is lacking, and he spends most of a chapter refuting thought experiments with the laws of physics.

Intellectual musings based on personal experience. Computers don’t have opinions or preferences, for example. Articles with short description Pages to import images to Wikidata All stub articles. Every now and then, we humans, despite knowing we won’t come to any definite conclusion, need to sit back and wonder what it all means, in a new way each time.

The workings of the human brain are described metaphorically and not physiologicallyand often those metaphors are mathematical. And what an interesting world. Compulsively readable and endlessly thought-provoking, this is the book Hofstadter’s many readers have long been waiting for.

So in one respect hofstater DFW is saying is true, but in another, Hofstadter srange ‘True, but you can’t deny the way we live in other people’s thoughts, influence their decisions. Those who won’t kill a deer would kill dozens of chickens or thousands of plants to get the same nutrition that a hpfstadter deer supplies. I’m not sure off the top of my head to do it but Hofstadter has had since some time in the s to think of a way I Am a Strange Loopwhich is the one I read, is his more recent workmeant hifstadter expand upon the view of consciousness put forward in his earlier work.


Hofstadter, from the very beginning of his exceptionally discursive argument, presumes that what he is doing is constructing a metric of souledness through which he can estimate the size of soul or degree of consciousness possessed by an entity. If it were true that his interest in nested selves predated any emotional perturbation, positive or negative, wouldn’t there be more consideration of more germane cases of people who literally switch selves, like multiple personality cases, method actors, or more discussion of authors, as opposed to the couples-first approach?

Hoffstadter purportedly explores the nature of self-reference and consciousness, but instead, I think, spends more time pointing out through his writing how clever he is, how feeble he considers Bertrand Russell, and how much of a fan boy he Hoffstadter is of Godel.

He is not a dualist; consciousness arises from physical laws and not from a kind of essence.

Existence exits, and I am conscious. It is basically an argument against dualism through a celebration of how we can still have souls or greatness or whatever even though we are only made of particles. Inhe moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he was hired as a professor of psychology and was also appointed to the Walgreen Chair for the Hofstadher of Human Understanding. While bad faith represents the prime ethical upshot of Sartre’s view, for Atrange, the ethical comes in this ability to sm in others’ selves: So in that way it was personally transformative.

He graduated with Distinction in Mathematics from Stanford in May 03, Greg rated it it was ok. Thus the patterns that represent my love for 19th century novels can easily to replicated in another’s brain–my wife’s for instance–which results in a part of identity having a kind of weak, second order existence in my wife’s brain.

Isn’t it at least possible that things like plants or worms have a kind of consciousness that is very important to them, but which, being so physically different from them, we can’t understand?


I didn’t expect this, and as Hofstadter himself worries, it is hard not to think that the sections about his family and the idea that two consciousnesses can share the same brain or many consciousnesses can share many brains, came from his own need to share his suffering, not from a need to teach us anything about consciousness. Douglas grew up on the campus of Stanford University, where his father was a professor.

The thing measured has no moral content at all – not people, not events, not inanimate objects. Hofstadter doesn’t believe his own argument.

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R. Hofstadter

Note that this concern with consciousness is not the same concern as whether there is a “subject” that “has” experiences over and above the public self; you can believe that talk of consciousness is irreducible to talk of the built self without thereby positing some different, higher self that is the one that is conscious.

Hofstadter is a natural phenomenologist and a first rate scientist a pretty good combination, by the way. Hofstadter is the son of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Hofstadter. Hostadter do we mean when we say “I”?

I Am a Strange Loop – Wikipedia

This book is in fact an entire logicia I have an interesting perspective on this title because the book I read just before it was The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, a book grounded in Zen Buddhist philosophy. All that said, the idea DH develops in this book is so compelling, and so beautifully constructed, that I can only in good conscience award the book and its author 5 stars.

For instance, he argues that concepts like free will make no sense in terms of scientific explanations of matter at the most fundamental level. In both universes Dave talks about his possession of consciousness but in universe Z he is lying without knowing it, sound familiar? Lists with This Book.

Take for example the work of Terrence Deacon, e. As he observes, each of us is a more than just a self; we are a collection of selves. Click here to join.