Cover of: I Am a Strange Loop | Douglas R. Hofstadter

About the Book

Hofstadter's long-awaited return to the themes of Gödel, Escher, Bach--an original and controversial view of the nature of consciousness and identity. What do we mean when we say "I"? Can a self, a soul, a consciousness, an "I" arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? This book argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. Deep down, a human brain is a chaotic soup of particles, on a higher level it is a jungle of neurons, and on a yet higher level it is a network of abstractions that we call "symbols." The most central and complex symbol in your brain or mine is the one we both call "I." But how can such a mysterious abstraction be real--or is our "I" merely a convenient fiction?--From publisher description.

About the Edition

Hofstadter's long-awaited return to the themes of Gödel, Escher, Bach--an original and controversial view of the nature of consciousness and identity. What do we mean when we say "I"? Can a self, a soul, a consciousness, an "I" arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? This book argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. Deep down, a human brain is a chaotic soup of particles, on a higher level it is a jungle of neurons, and on a yet higher level it is a network of abstractions that we call "symbols." The most central and complex symbol in your brain or mine is the one we both call "I." But how can such a mysterious abstraction be real--or is our "I" merely a convenient fiction?--From publisher description.

Table of Contents

Preface: an author and his book
An affable locking of horns
On souls and their sizes
This teetering bulb of dread and dream
The causal potency of patterns
Loops, goals, and loopholes
On video feedback
Of selves and symbols
The epi phenomenon
Embarking on a strange-loop safari
Pattern and provability
Gödel's quintessential strange loop
How analogy makes meaning
On downward causality
The elusive apple of my "I"
Strangeness in the "I" of the beholder
Entwinement
Grappling with the deepest mystery
How we live in each other
The blurry glow of human identity
Consciousness = thinking
A courteous crossing of words
A brief brush with Cartesian egos
A tango with zombies and dualism
Killing a couple of sacred cows
On magnanimity and friendship
Epilogue: the quandary.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. [377]-382) and index.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
153
Library of Congress
BD438.5 .H64 2007, B29 .H578 2007

The Physical Object

Pagination
xix, 412 p., [4] p. of plates :
Number of pages
412

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL24948194M
Internet Archive
iamstrangeloop00hofs
ISBN 10
0465030785
ISBN 13
9780465030781
LC Control Number
2007310563
OCLC/WorldCat
64554976

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