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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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Dangling shit in front of the camera to see what would happen.

I Am a Strange Loop

I can see it, and believe it. The epilogue seems to be about the same as the first few chapters. I also had some issues with how this in Doug’s view played out in the aesthetic realm.

Even the title reflects this. Nov 17, Annie rated it it was amazing Shelves: He’s muddying the issue by on the one hand making an equivalence between a “soul” and “interiority,” which is the self-concept, the strange loop, and on the other hand invoking “soul” as the vital essence of an individual, indefinable but definitely present, what gives a being worth, in Hofstadter’s eyes.

Not easy stuff, he makes learning one model of it possible. Retrieved from ” https: By continuing to browse the site with cookies enabled in your browser, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy. But I wonder if Hofstadter, enthusiastic as he is over the idea of self-referencing systems, isn’t overstating his point. View all 5 comments. I’m writing this review as I go along because the book is long.

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

According to Doug, hofetadter would BOTH be the same person, at least at that moment before the two of them start having divergent experiences. But I actually don’t agree with the position which I think is setting up the rest of this book, though I’m sure there will be more details coming. Strangely Wrong I must suggest something blasphemously arrogant: But Hofstadter presents a pretty convincing argument for his theories on why I think Xm am I.

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Also Hofstadter HATES mosquitos because they bite him and I think that he subconsciously believes they have hofstadfer minds simply because of this! The human body, being the only unit associated to each self-aware person, is clearly capable of conceiving of itself, because we all conceive of ourselves.

Ignore how long it took me to read the book. And should I get hit by a bus today, with these words I am with you now. Feb 14, Zach rated it it was ok. It may well be that growth in the self-symbol correlates to increased consciousness this seems a very plausible and highly useful result of this bookbut I also buy Chalmers’s charge that unless you’ve explained consciousness in the first place, then pointing to self-consciousness is not going to solve the problem.

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

But for me, it is just a page to get through before we jofstadter back to the fun philosophy. Your comments on Hofstadter and Bach vs. I can also give him credit for having made a case that is certainly unpopular outside of academic circles in these days of established religion and political evangelicalism, and having made it in a way that rises above ad hominem criticism.

How can we always wake up as the same person? The problem is that if consciousness and brain function if that is really the essence of humanity were truly understood, scientists should be able to program it into a computer. Hofstadter argues that the psychological self arises out of a similar kind of paradox.

Is it true that beings that don’t reflect on themselves are somehow less important than ones that do?

Instead, there are just a bunch of competing desires that he says, using one of his many analogies, compete in the brain for votes, and the one with the most votes gets to see that desire translated into action. This book is the painful rantings of a man suffering a great loss.

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For instance, we experience an object — we see a flower, for example — which causes a pattern of neuronal firings that symbolize or represent the external object.

Hostetter counters such an objection by bringing up Cartesian dualism, that thinking that we are minds locked inside of bodies conjures up that, to use Zizek’s words, spectre that haunts western metaphysics.

The development of his theme is slow, so I read the epilogue to find out hofstdter he was coming to anything other than where he seemed to be going. And on the plus side, at least Hofstadter’s discussion of Godel was refreshingly correct technically — it helps having had some formal mathematical training. This is merely a re-hash of Hofstadter’s justly famous Godel, Escher, Bach: Our concepts are built up this way: 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.

Ooophe 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 Study of Human Understanding. Hofstader wrote this book under the long shadow of the death tsrange his wife from a brain tumor at age In my view as a mathematician, the goal of a mathematical author is the pare down all the fluff surrounding a mathematical result to its bare essential — a simple, compelling and concise demonstration is much more likely to convince.