“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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Notify me of new posts by email. I read GEB in college and liked it, though I suspected that syrange idea that consciousness is a kind of self-referential loop might not bear close scrutiny. Goedel, DH’s guiding muse, is rightly lionized in this doublas 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.

But I love their soulless little hearts anyway. On the face of it, this is an interesting book.

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

Finally, in his conclusion, Hofstadter tries to bucket all people into two categories an annoying habit he has: How does a hypothetical construct exercise causal powers?

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. That’s why I picked up this book when I saw it. The claim that it represents the model for the self is nothing but a claim unbacked by scientific loo.

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. Sometimes, too, Hofstadter employs playful analogies to show how consciousness works, and how it doesn’t work. As well as his w philosophy of how love of Bach makes you a bigger soul. It was either too indirect, too intricately argued, or too Germanic for me to follow, and after months of off and on attempts I finally put it aside.


Douglas Hofstadter has it wrong. If the self is a narrative fiction, then how does it pull the levers which initiate free action?

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. As we learn about his life, his teenage fascination with self reflective images and the meaning of life, his family, his friends, we get a more complete picture of this wonderful teacher.

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

I’m writing this review as I go along because the book is long. The “I” concept is just something that seems to be uniquely developed in “higher” animals, so it’s a convenient standard to take up as a measure of worth, because we as humans are sure to come out on top.

He is also correct in expanding the frontiers of the soul, I believe — in illustrating how the phenomenon of subjectivity is much more open-ended, permeable and relational than we imagined. For instance, even if I gain such a self-symbol and thus sympathy for many individuals, we’d have to say how and if this would play out into a sympathy with humanity as a whole. Hofstadteer must recognize and come to accept one’s responsibility in killing to see life correctly.

Which is more real? If you can prove it, then it’s false. In no way is he claiming that mental states are irrelevant. To other people, these two men will appear in every way the same.

Though the line is kind of arbitrary, it must exist for each person. Since his background was philosophy, he’s been trained, I think, to argue for a particular side of a debate even although there isn’t enough evidence available in the universe to ever prove it one way or another. Along the way we learned th I agree. Thomas Aquinas among others. And what about the ambiguity and indeterminacy of quantum action itself? And while perhaps some will find the long and length discursions into Hofstadter’s personal life such as the early death of his wife due to cancer to be enlightening, I don’t see that they really add anything to the objective of the book.


This is an oversimplification. Thus the patterns that represent my love for 19th century novels can easily to replicated in another’s brain–my wife’s for instance–which results in a part of identity having a kind of weak, second order existence in my wife’s brain. He loves to play with words and he loves corny puns. How Mind Emerges from Matter. So consciousness will be a matter of degree: 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.

So what’s the significance? Most likely they will not. Hofstadter has an interesting description and point of view about this area. You know what they like, how they judge things, how they react, and the more you’re around them, the more you “absorb” them, the more you yourself not only might come to be like them altering your own self-structurebut moreover and even in the absence of your actually changing your self-structureyou find yourself able to shift gears and in a sense be that person, albeit the low-res version.

And given the arguments from Parfit against robust personal identity, qualitative identity is all there really is. So overall, I didn’t particularly enjoy this one.

Oct 12, Jane rated it it was amazing.