I Am a Strange Loop has ratings and reviews. BlackOxford said: Strangely WrongI must suggest something blasphemously arrogant: Douglas Hofsta. “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.

Author: Shaktile Tosar
Country: Monaco
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Automotive
Published (Last): 13 October 2012
Pages: 101
PDF File Size: 11.70 Mb
ePub File Size: 13.61 Mb
ISBN: 813-4-42866-788-6
Downloads: 72534
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Mushicage

In the index to his book the word ‘meditation’ is not listed, neither is ‘yoga.

I Am a Strange Loop

Reading it was douglaz long, thoughtful journey. As reading experiences go, I’d rate this a 4-star book. And on the plus side, at least Hofstadter’s discussion of Godel was refreshingly correct technically — it helps having had some formal mathematical training.

Since he doesn’t believe in a persistent “soul” he yearns for some sort of lifelike afterimage of the departed. Chalmers argues that hofstadterr that the laws of nature are how they are, two identical physical systems will have the same consciousness or lack thereof. The mathematical phenomenon of polysemy has been observed to be a strange loop.

Douglas Hofstadter’s “I Am a Strange Loop” on the Self

I would have been surprised to find Gurdjieff listed in his index. Finally, I find his point “consciousness is a hallucination hallucinated by a hallucination” useless and downright wrong.

And he doesn’t duglas get to the point until about 50 pages before the end. Ah, loops and paradoxes. Either we believe that our consciousness is something other than an outcome of physical law, or we believe it is an outcome of physical law–but making either choice leads us to disturbing, perhaps even unacceptable, consequences” And if you do believe in a metaphysical soul, you’re being asked to tie it directly to how much a being thinks about itself.

Hostetter counters such an objection by bringing up Hofsttadter dualism, that thinking that we are minds locked inside of bodies conjures up that, to use Zizek’s words, spectre that haunts western metaphysics.

This leads him to some very fruitful ways of looking at consciousness. While Tolle occasionally does fall into new-age batshit, overall his analysis was fairly compelling to me. My final conclusion is that his book is more autobiographical than a scholarly or scientific work. I am able to grant him that the overgrown ganglion which is the brain can, at a dojglas point, conceive of an idea or a “symbol” of itself, but since I incorporeal souls don’t exist, this is a trivial proposition.

And I truly mean that as a compliment. The choice of which metric to employ determines not how much of something is contained in an object but where that object sits in relation to other objects on the metric.

  ACI 551.2R 10 PDF

Then, like the self reflective numbers and riddles that Hofsatder likes to observe and understand, he tells us about his own life, his wife and family, and the loop widens. I Am a Strange Loop is a book by Douglas Hofstadterexamining in depth the concept of a strange loop to explain the sense of “I”. He makes some bold claims about the nature of consciousness, but he doesn’t use his terms and concepts rigorously enough to keep his arguments straight, and he doesn’t do much work to back them up anyway.

Hofstasdter has not done the experiment, followed the procedures, practiced the practices, that allows one to approach an awareness of the Self.

This Strange Loop is literally a moral construction, a consequence of dougkas very metric of souledness that Hofstader chooses. These patterns of symbolic activity have a certain degree of autonomy in so far fouglas they really do simulate the perspective of our significant others. The first half of this book goes into some depth concerning Bertrand Russell’s and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematicaand then the work of Kurt Godel.

The problem is that if consciousness and brain function if that is really the essence of humanity were truly understood, scientists should be able to program it into a computer. I vividly remember how, as a teen-ager reading about brains, I was forced for the first time in my life to face up to the doouglas that a human brain, especially my own, must be a physical structure obeying physical law I may not understand myself, and for all of these thinkers stfange as an observer may understand me better than I do myself, but such self-deception doesn’t seem entailed by the self-symbol idea itself.

Might we not lead ourselves into error by assuming that human consciousness is the highest attainment yet along a one-dimensional scale running from ‘no soul’ to ‘maximum soul? Goedel, DH’s guiding muse, is rightly lionized in this and other DH books; Russell — standing in for Whitehead as well — is all but judged a moron for failing to have seen, in the logical edifice he built, what Goedel later saw.

He admits off the top that the concept of the mind and conscious thought is quite difficult to nail down, and probably impossible to draw a distinct line upon. I have occasional moments of consciousness that make me aware of the long intervals of unconsciousness that I suffer. When you get down to it, as far as Hofstadter is concerned, the self is the Ultimate Illusion — or even a hallucination, as he puts it.

And I’m bringing all that frustration to this book, because if I made half. Dec 20, Robert rated it liked it Shelves: But I’m afraid it is too soon to go beyond Ayn Rand’s statements of the fundamental axioms of philosophy: Dec 21, Joe rated it it was ok. It doesn’t seem to be necessary for his argument, which I think is going to be that the idea of rich “interiority” is essentially a matter of being able to build ideas out of ideas in a self-referential fashion.


What a personality is is a set of habits: But he really wishes they did, not only because they’re his ideas. It was created when Hofstadter said it and someone else heard it.

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R. Hofstadter

And for people who haven’t read the book, ‘soul’ doesn’t mean the Christian or religious soul, only a kind of cognition and introspection that seems to be uniquely developed in humans so if you think of humans as having the biggest souls, and define a soul as that human quality of thinking and introspection, then you really are talking about a self-referential loop! Hofstadter is a respected academic, and I’m a dingus with a Goodreads account. Hofstadter’s intellectual touchstones lie in mathematics, and particularly number theory; mine are in language, grammar, linguistics.

If you know someone really well, have a really developed sense of them, then you can, in effect, shift your perceptions so you’re thinking about the contents of your experience as you think they would. I think hofstadyer is true. Problems playing this file? Nov 30, Randolph rated it really liked it Shelves: Likewise, if I listen to enough of a podcast, I sgrange myself being able to think like the people on the podcast.

We invent this Self-symbol in our minds over our lifetime as it constantly accretes bits of other symbols to it—it provides feedback on itself constantly. May 30, David rated it really liked it Shelves: Articles needing additional references from December All articles needing additional references Articles with hAudio microformats Articles with excessive see also sections from May Hofstadter thinks our minds appear to us to determine the world by way of “downward causality “, which refers to a situation where a cause-and-effect relationship in a system gets flipped upside-down.

A critic could of course say that Hofstadter is mistaken in his conclusions, but there can be no doubt about the authenticity and good will of the effort he has made and the undeniability of the “factual” evidence he marshalls to support his claims.

What this story lacks is an understanding of how a unique point-of-view makes the self what it is.