“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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This book is the painful rantings of a man suffering a great loss. I wouldn’t touch it, whether it thinks about itself or not. He’s thought about this for a long, long time and has come up with some rather surprising opinions on the matter. I have an interesting perspective on this title because the book I read just before it was The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, a book grounded in Zen Buddhist philosophy. Jun 05, BlackOxford rated it liked it Shelves: In the preface to its 20th-anniversary edition, Hofstadter laments that the book was perceived as a hodgepodge of neat things with no central theme.

After all, when we kill, it’s not really the ‘I’ of the victim that we’re hurting-it’s those who survive who valued that thing that we should care about, if the injunction is to not cause pain. Douglas, you are a freak. I think there are much better ways to make this point than by talking about math.

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R. Hofstadter

But he really wishes they did, not only because they’re hofdtadter ideas. I’m writing this review as I go along because the book is long.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. And for this reason, it strikes me as less significant that a brain can think of itself, because brains clearly have flexibilities that formal systems don’t have.

In what way does it imply a being’s worth or dispensability? Nov 23, Leo Robertson rated it really liked it. Yet Hofstadter readily acknowledges that when we shift our attention to the macroscopic everyday world, invoking free will or the intention of an agent is frequently the most expeditious and justified way of arriving at an explanation of the behavior in question.

This book is in fact an entire logicia I have an interesting perspective on this title because the book I read just before it was The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, a book grounded in Zen Buddhist philosophy. Remember me on this computer. I would suggest that with careful work, he could learn to observe both universes in his own life and experience. 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.


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?

His conclusions are irrelevant because they operate within a field of study separate from the one in question. So in that way it was personally transformative. The fact that he spent nearly page trying to develop this metaphor, and providing multiple anecdotes illustrating the concept of the infinite and circular suggests to me that he really has no idea what consciousness is. Hofstadter acknowledges that the simulated subjectivity of another in us will not be as robust as the subjectivity that arises in the cranium of its owner.

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? Why do we need to sleep?

But for me, it is just a page to get through before we go back to the fun philosophy. Douglas Richard Hofstadter is an American academic whose research focuses on consciousness, thinking and creativity. Not only is this a potentially flawed way of thinking, as I said above, it’s also an abdication of responsibility for killing.

My beef with Hofstadter is that his research does not seem focused on testing what seems to be the crux axiom of his theory. Today, more than two thousand years after Heraclitus wrote those words, science has shrunk the boundaries of the soul considerably.

I Am a Strange Loop

My sorry little review gives no idea of the depth or richness of this book. And my complaint specifically is why we’re being asked to concede the point. Hoftadter a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

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.

But whether he believes this or not, it’s problematic for me, because conflating “interiority” with “soul-size” is basically begging the question of what things have big souls by defining “souls” as essentially the thing that we think humans have the most of, and if he’s not making that point, then why all of the animal comparisons and asking the readers to admit that animals don’t have souls as big as those of humans? I Am a Strange Loop is overly-wordy and jammed with a few too many analogies and painful puns, but I enjoyed the intellectual challenge.


Strajge gotta read it. Na niskom nivou nismo svesni ideja i simbola, na visokom nivou nismo svesni biologije. Concepts are also extensible in that we can map analogies between seemingly loopp concepts. But Hofstadter presents a pretty convincing argument for his theories on why I think I am I. Mar 05, David rated it did not like it.

Pirsig, that a person is a “pattern” that in some strahge survives their death, but by his love even before her death, which was probably sweeping all logic before it. Specifically, one could object that the ways in which the self-referential patterns emerge in the two cases do not seem to be analogous at all. And somewhat like Gilbert Ryle and the other black-box philosophers who believe that mental states are unimportant phenomena, and all that matters is physical behavior, Hofstadter concludes that there is no I there at all.

And it’s probably best to do so. 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 srange brain. Because consciousness forms the substance of identity and consciousness is basically a process of accumulating and recalling patterns, these patterns have no essential connection to the “wet-ware” of the brain.

But how can such a mysterious abstraction be real–or is our “I” merely a convenient fiction? Jul 10, Brady Gunnink rated it it was amazing. So that means that he and I agree on the basics after all, but it makes much of what went before in the book all the more confusing.