Best Selling Books by Douglas Hofstadter

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Metamagical Themas

release date: Aug 04, 2008
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Metamagical Themas
Hofstadter's collection of quirky essays is unified by its primary concern: to examine the way people perceive and think.

I Am a Strange Loop

release date: Aug 01, 2007
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I Am a Strange Loop
Can thought arise out of matter? Can self, soul, consciousness, “I” arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? I Am a Strange Loop argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the “strange loop”—a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. The most central and complex symbol in your brain is the one called “I.” The “I” is the nexus in our brain, one of many symbols seeming to have free will and to have gained the paradoxical ability to push particles around, rather than the reverse. How can a mysterious abstraction be real—or is our “I” merely a convenient fiction? Does an “I” exert genuine power over the particles in our brain, or is it helplessly pushed around by the laws of physics? These are the mysteries tackled in I Am a Strange Loop, Douglas Hofstadter's first book-length journey into philosophy since Gödel, Escher, Bach. Compulsively readable and endlessly thought-provoking, this is a moving and profound inquiry into the nature of mind.

Godel, Escher, Bach

release date: Feb 05, 1999
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Godel, Escher, Bach
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize A metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of "maps" or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.

Surfaces and Essences

release date: Apr 23, 2013
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Surfaces and Essences
Shows how analogy-making pervades human thought at all levels, influencing the choice of words and phrases in speech, providing guidance in unfamiliar situations, and giving rise to great acts of imagination.

Le Ton Beau de Marot

release date: May 01, 1998
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Le Ton Beau de Marot
Analyzes the various translations of an obscure French poem to show the endless complexity of humans and their languages

That Mad Ache: A Novel/Translator, Trader: An Essay

release date: May 12, 2009
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That Mad Ache: A Novel/Translator, Trader: An Essay
Set in Paris in the mid-1960s, Lucile, a young, rootless woman, finds herself torn between a fifty-year-old businessman and a thirty-year-old hot-blooded, impulsive editor; and, in a companion to the novel, the translator describes the process of rewritin

Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies

release date: Jan 01, 1995
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Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies
Describes research projects in cognitive science over the past twenty years, and discusses arithmetical play, analogy, research evaluation, and creativity

Jason Salavon

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release date: Jan 01, 2004
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Eugene Onegin

release date: Apr 22, 1999
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Eugene Onegin
Sparked by reading Jim Falen's beautiful English version of Eugene Onegin (published in 1992), Douglas Hofstadter presents a more liberal, distinctly American, colloquial version of the Alexander Pushkin classic. Hofstadter's version is entirely in so-called “Onegin stanzas”—a unique sonnet form devised by Pushkin with a very intricate rhythmic and rhyming pattern. There is also a preface in Onegin stanzas, in which Hofstadter talks about Pushkin, his novel in verse, its form and content, the challenges of translating it into English and his deep admiration for Falen's version.This work will correspond with Pushkin's 200th anniversary; thus, it should be a timely and well accepted literary gem.

Mind's I

release date: Nov 26, 1981
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