I Am a Strange Loop

ISBN-10: 0465030793

ISBN-13: 9780465030798

Edition: 2008

Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter

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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 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 Godel, Escher, Bach. Compulsively readable and endlessly thought-provoking, this is a moving and profound inquiry into the nature of mind.
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Book details

List price: $19.99
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 7/8/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 436
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.188

Words of Thanks
Preface: An Author and His Book
Prologue: An Affable Locking of Horns
On Souls and Their Sizes
This Teetering Bulb of Dread and Dream
The Causal Potency of Patterns
Loops, Goals, and Loopholes
On Video Feedback
Of Selves and Symbols
The Epi Phenomenon
Embarking on a Strange-Loop Safari
Pattern and Provability
Godel's Quintessential Strange Loop
How Analogy Makes Meaning
On Downward Causality
The Elusive Apple of My "I"
Strangeness in the "I" of the Beholder
Grappling with the Deepest Mystery
How We Live in Each Other
The Blurry Glow of Human Identity
Consciousness = Thinking
A Courteous Crossing of Words
A Brief Brush with Cartesian Egos
A Tango with Zombies and Dualism
Killing a Couple of Sacred Cows
On Magnanimity and Friendship
Epilogue: The Quandary
Permissions and Acknowledgments
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