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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I did find, however, his account of how identity is dispersed and externalized the be somewhat unconvincing, thought not because I disagree with the concept but with his interpretation of the concept. Is a mosquito conscious? He doesn’t seem to buy what I hofstdter to be Chalmers’s claim that the non-scrutability of the mental from the physical is different than making a metaphysical claim about the difference between mind and body.

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

It’s highly repetitive and speculative; its strangf can annoy; it’s cutesy typical DH in a way that can grate after a while; and it takes repeated pot shots at a towering intellect — Bertrand Russell — on whose shoulders the author un sufficiently self-acknowledgedly stands.

Logically, there is no real sgrange to this contention, but pragmatist G. Obviously Hofstadter is a logically-inclined man of good standing May 25, shawn rated it did not like it Recommends it for: And on the plus side, at least Hofstadter’s discussion of Godel was refreshingly correct technically — it helps having had some formal mathematical training.

I Am a Strange Loop

Or do they act as if they could decide that the local taqueria is a better choice? Incidentally he is also developing a theory of consciousness, which is a correlate of soul.


You can read four articles free per month. Help Center Find new research papers in: I’m not sure that we’re necessarily in safe territory if we say that something like a plant doesn’t have consciousness.

I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter | Issue 78 | Philosophy Now

Anyway, I am a self-referent loop that talks about itself. But for an hour. 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.

And then, when perception twists back and focuses on itself, as it inevitably will, you get rich, magical-seeming consequences.

Sep 22, David Katzman rated it liked it. The meat of this book, which uses an analogy with Godel’s critique of the Principia Mathematica to explain how the concept of an “I” might be an emergent phenomenon of self referential loops in the brain, is interesting.

He died and was replaced by a doppelganger that liop convinced it was him in every way. On the face of it, this is an interesting book.

Take for example the work of Terrence Deacon, e. Does an “I” exert genuine power over the particles in our brain, or is it helplessly pushed around by the all-powerful laws of physics? His anecdotal asides alone are enough to trigger the gag reflex.

A Critical Review of Douglas Hofstadter’s I Am a Strange Loop | Adam Westra –

Lists with This Book. It’s just that the “myself” symbol has a lot more data feeding into it, all the time though of course much of this wtrange redundant in terms of real informational contentso that anyone else’s symbol for you will necessarily be “low-fidelity” compared to your own.


He is a strange loop. The purpose of this book is to explain the mystery of consciousness. Hoftsadter individual leopard belongs to the genus felinepart of the category mammalwhich falls under the heading life-formwhich is itself subsumed in the more encompassing class of being. Mar 13, Fred rated it it was ok.

Our concepts are built up this way: Click here to join. Hofstadter collects and studies cognitive errors largely, but not solely, speech errors”bon mots” spontaneous humorous quipsand analogies of all sorts, and his long-time observation of these diverse products of cognition, and his theories about the mechanisms that underlie them, have exerted a powerful influence on the architectures of the computational models developed by himself and Stranve members.

This book, on consciousness and what makes a human an “I,” is methodical and exuberant, technical and personal. Finally, in his conclusion, Hofstadter tries to bucket strahge people into two categories an annoying habit he has: It was shared by Ancient Greek philosophers, pre-industrial tribal groups, perhaps some Shinto sects, and St.

Second, when push comes to shove, Hofstadter, dyed in the wool scientist that he is, opts for the lawful, deterministic, and in principle entirely predictable universe of matter and physical forces as the most appropriate candidate for Ultimate Reality.