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 realor 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.
About Douglas R. HofstadterSee more books from this Author
Hofstadter, one of whose specialties is the study of feedback loops in complex systems, coins sometimes unfortunate terms for our own loopy ways of thinking, among them “thinkodynamics” and “statistical mentalics,” but the governing idea is a fruitful one: There are large-scale and small-scale th...Dec 15 2006 | Read Full Review of I Am a Strange Loop
Hofstadter uses this very powerful explanation to illustrate an enormous range of human experience, including our interaction with other people, how we construct our symbols for others, and how our sense of identity changes, but he also takes on some of the arguments in the philosophy of mind.Nov 05 2009 | Read Full Review of I Am a Strange Loop
Hofstadter says that dogs, for instance, have “far smaller souls” than humans (he’s free with the use of the term “soul,” even going so far as to write “if you don’t like the word ‘soul’ then feel free to substitute ‘I’, ‘person’, ‘self’, or ‘locus of consciousness’” … for all the world as though...| Read Full Review of I Am a Strange Loop
… I Am a Strange Loop is vintage Hofstadter: earnest, deep, overflowing with ideas, building its argument into the experience of reading it—for if our souls can incorporate those of others, then I Am a Strange Loop can transmit Hofstadter’s into ours."Aug 03 2007 | Read Full Review of I Am a Strange Loop
A writer, novelist, and reviewer who loves words in al forms, Adair Jones regularly contributes to a variety of publications on literary subjects.Mar 17 2009 | Read Full Review of I Am a Strange Loop
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