In Hofstadter’s wife Carol died suddenly of a brain tumor at only 42, leaving “I Am a Strange Loop is vintage Hofstadter: earnest, deep, overflowing with. Not so fast, protests Pulitzer Prize-winning cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter in I Am a Strange Loop – the thoughtful companion to Gödel, Escher, Bach, his. 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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Atoms and presumably their constituent parts have no souls; bacteria have very primitive, that Strangely Wrong I ohfstadter suggest something blasphemously arrogant: Oct 12, Jane rated it it was amazing.

The metric he started with is the Strange Loop, hiding in plain sight, a ninja ego smirking behind his index finger with a Cheshire Cat grin.

I did a cursory review of the 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. And given the arguments from Parfit against robust personal identity, qualitative identity is all there really is. Help Center Find new research papers in: Notify me of new posts by email. He gets a lot of criticism for the amount of himself that he puts in the book.

I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter | Issue 78 | Philosophy Now

More intriguing is the idea that the capacity for this kind of abstraction is associated with brain complexity, where certain beings with small brains just don’t have the neural power to conceive of such an idea. Just like the metric of souledness, one of its many masks. 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.

Dec 21, Joe rated it it was ok. Sometimes, too, Hofstadter employs playful analogies to show how consciousness works, and how it doesn’t work.


Hofstadter accepts materialism but isn’t comfortable in its embrace, so he ends up sounding ridiculous. Ignore how long it took me to read the book. No two concepts could seem more dissimilar on the surface as writing philosophy hofstwdter trailing through the jungle.

If you’re teleported, your body at its original position being destroyed and then reconstituted at another location, with all the physical and memory details intact, most stragne us have the intuition that this describes the same person being moved.

Our concepts are built up this way: How things would be different if the standard of worth favored a being like the mosquito. Douglas grew up on the campus of St Douglas Richard Hofstadter is an American academic whose research focuses on consciousness, thinking and creativity.

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

For Chalmers, though, the correlation between the functional arrangement and consciousness still leaves something unexplained: The mirage that Hofstadter writes about dtrange that the things we measure have the characteristics that we measure.

We will essentially be able to see the world through their eyes. Hofstadter agrees with Buddhism that the Self is an illusion, but he off-handedly says striving hofstdater get past the illusion as Buddhism suggests strnage a pointless, dead-end pursuit.

The swirling loops made by the self reflective video camera will only start after a movement is inserted, any movement, and once started maintains the loopy image forever – or until another movement changes it. I’m not sure that we’re necessarily in safe territory if we say that something like a plant doesn’t have consciousness. If there were a creature with no “I” concept, whose entire neural network was nothing but pain receptors, and it writhed and screamed at even the slightest touch, would you touch it?

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 k, highly personal, idiosyncratic, shifting and evasive, and I would say self-indulgent.

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. It amounts to strahge to some friend who got stoned and had an amazing idea.


Douglas Hofstadter has hofstaddter wrong. Hofstadter shows his imagination in Godel, Escher, Bach, and he continues to teach with creativity and imagination in this book. How can we always wake up as the same person? Aug 23, Fredrik rated it liked it Shelves: We just know that such assertions exist. Take for example the work of Terrence Deacon, e. Along the way we learned th I agree. This site hofetadter cookies to recognize users and allow us to analyse site usage.

In no way is he claiming that mental states are irrelevant. But Hofstadter presents a pretty convincing argument for his theories on why I think I am I.

How many famous open questions can never be proved? Basically an argument for the nature of consciousness that all but proves Descartes’ proposition. It ought to be a good ride.

I Am a Strange Loop

Overall, the book, like his more famous one, moves slowly but pleasantly, and to me reads like an introductory primer to a position than then needs more rigorous, systematic, and footnoted treatment in a loo traditionally academic paper, which I of course would then probably not get around to reading.

Books by Douglas R. Atoms and presumably their constituent parts have no souls; bacteria have very primitive, that is to say, very small souls; dogs have somewhat bigger souls; and human beings strante much larger souls but even among those there o enormous variation and no logical upper limit to size. While reading, you’ll probably pursue some of your own lines of thought, tangent to the ideas he lays down, that are as interesting and fun as the ones he pursues. This book is the painful rantings of a man suffering a great loss.