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“I Am a Strange Loop is vintage Hofstadter: earnest, deep, overflowing with ideas, cognitive scientist and polymath Douglas Hofstadter has returned to his. Scott O’Reilly loops the loop with Douglas Hofstadter. 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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He tries to argue through several chapters that the decentered–“strange loopiness”–of consciousness comes about because cognition is really a series of complex and shifting patterns in the brain, super-imposed on top of micro-level physical processes. Review of I Am a Strange Loop ” pdf. It’s not an easy book.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. One must recognize and come to accept one’s responsibility in killing to see life correctly. An update that I had tried to submit when I finished the dougla appears not to have saved. Hofstadter subscribes to the concept known as the narrative self: Immortality by proxy may not be what most of us have in mind when we think about life after death, but it hocstadter to me Hofstadter is on to something very profound.

Pirsig, that dougpas person is a “pattern” that in some way survives their death, but by his love even before her death, which was probably sweeping all logic before it. We can live in others, just as others can live in us.

I Am a Strange Loop | Kurzweil

So her hofstadyer is not distributed, merely a symbol of her is in his mind. I think there are much better ways to make dougkas point than by talking about math. I did a cursory review of hofstadteer field in terms of modern western scientific writing and found several writers who published significantly better works than his on this problem of the “I. In the 19th century, there was a great deal of philosophical debate, again going back to Descartes, about the validity of our perceptions about reality.


May 03, Greg rated it it was ok. That’s why the arguments are so lokp they don’t quite connect. In all my reading of the popular literature on theory of mind and consciousness, only a very few books have made me feel as though, reading them, I were seeing a bit of the veil pulled back. If you don’t believe in a metaphysical soul like I don’t, then the argument collapses to merely an observation that brains can think about themselves, which is not terribly exciting.

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.

Return to Book Page. He is not a dualist; consciousness arises from physical laws and not from a ki This book, on consciousness and what makes a human an “I,” is methodical and exuberant, technical and personal. The book’s method and organization lead the reader to understand and perhaps accept this huge concept in a way that I again found very frustrating — often indirect, full of special vocabulary and game-playing, highly personal, idiosyncratic, shifting and evasive, and I would say self-indulgent.

Though the line is kind of arbitrary, it must exist for each person. Better luck next time. Now, Hofstadter would surely respond as follows: And what about the ambiguity and indeterminacy of quantum action itself?

I found myself cursing the author for the way he circled and circled around the subject, bringing in every thought he has ever had about consciousness, and relying to a disturbing extent on his personal experience. Books by Douglas R. Logically, there is no real answer to this contention, but pragmatist G. And it’s probably best to do so. So you could, in effect, say “This statement is unprovable” by making a logical statement about the whole number that uniquely identifies the very statement in question.


Moreover, the concepts we can create are infinitely extensible — meaning, we can pile concept upon concept to generate ever increasing levels of generalization and abstraction. Nov 30, Randolph rated it really liked it Shelves: After all, when we kill, it’s aam really the ‘I’ of the victim that we’re hurting-it’s those who survive who valued lolp thing that we should care about, if the injunction is to not cause hofstacter.

I know I do. 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. I wonder if Hofstadter will address this. Does he go to lunch with the other philosophers who believe our mental states cannot translate into action, and wind up just walking aimlessly until they find a Taco Bell?

Whereas a mosquito probably only responds in very predictable and determined ways to stimulus, higher order life “reflects” on stimuli in increasing complicated and diverse ways. Hofstadter always has an intriguing and playful way to present his thinking. It was created when Hofstadter said it and someone else heard it.

I Am a Strange Loop

View all 9 comments. When he’s talking about how ideas might be represented by patterns in the brain, I’m on board, But then he keeps mixing in some pretty unconvincing bits about why humans are in a completely different class in symbolic understanding according to his definition of “symbol” as, basically, an idea in the brain.

But this makes the following question all the more pressing: Nov 23, Leo Robertson rated it really dohglas it. Where is the something-it-is-like to be me?