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Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

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Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Cover

ISBN13: 9780465026562
ISBN10: 0465026567
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

First published in 1979, this is a genuine interdisciplinary work of nonfiction, with dozens of historical references and subtexts. Critics and reviewers have summed up its meaning in varying ways, yet consistently with praise. A mixture of art, philosophy, music, math, technology, and cognitive science, the book's title only reflects one aspect of its subject matter; namely, the connection between the work of mathematician Kurt Gödel, the artist M. C. Escher, and the composer J. S. Bach. In the preface to the 20th-anniversary edition, the author calls his book "a very personal attempt to say how it is that animate beings can come out of inanimate matter." A 1980 Pulitzer Prize winner.

Review:

"[A] major literary event." Scientific American

Synopsis:

Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of “maps” or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel Escher and Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.

Synopsis:

This groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize-winning book sets the standard for interdisciplinary writing, exploring the patterns and symbols in the thinking of mathematician Kurt Godel, artist M.C. Escher, and composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

About the Author

Douglas Hofstadter is College of Arts and Sciences Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. His previous books are the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid; Metamagical Themas; The Mind's I; Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies; and Le Ton beau de Marot. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Clint Golub, September 9, 2014 (view all comments by Clint Golub)
There's no one way to describe Gödel, Escher, Bach as it covers such a kaleidoscopic array of thought provoking topics which interweave into a beautiful narrative, that I'm still trying to figure out what it actually means. The book can really be such a subjective experience, and despite it's age more contemporary than ever in many areas. Where this massive tome truly shines however is in the many themes that will lead you onto long rabbit trails that will literally tie you up for hours trying to shed more light on a related topic through Wikipedia articles and Youtube videos. These odysseys become powerful experiences that make the journey a very personal one, one that travels with you long after you've finished a chapter. To anyone even remotely curious about whether this book is worth a read, I would probably say it's one of the best books you could purchase if you invest the time and effort to search up not just the many concepts, but also specific terms and vocabulary needed to accompany a full understanding of what Douglas seems to be getting at. Regardless if what you get out of this masterpiece is accurate or not to what Hofstadter intended I don't believe matters in the grand scheme of things if you come away feeling you've expanded the way you think about life, nature, the universe, art, music, consciousness, what it means to think, to be alive, ontological debates, ...everything. Because in the end, a great book is only so great as it can benefit a reader, to say it's incredible for any other reason is pretentious. As LeVar Burton used to say "you don't have to take my word for it", open this book on your own and decide if it really is as good you may have heard it is.
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Roger Sarao, September 24, 2006 (view all comments by Roger Sarao)
A profound achievement in literature. There is no concise way to summarize the content of this interdisciplinary work by (then) first-time author Douglas Hofstadter. Curious reader who may feel intimidated by the complexity of this Pulitzer Prize-winning (non-fiction, 1980) book should put aside such thoughts and jump headfirst into Chapter 1. One immediately begins to see a dizzying -- yet easy to follow -- "interconnectedness" of disparate disciplines such as mathematics, music and linguistics. Thought-provoking and deeply satisfying, "Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" is destined to remain a classic work on man's pursuit and understanding of knowledge.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780465026562
Subtitle:
An Eternal Golden Braid
Author:
Hofstadter, Douglas R.
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Bach, johann sebastian, 1685-1750
Subject:
Artificial Intelligence
Subject:
Symmetry
Subject:
Metamathematics
Subject:
Escher, m. c. (maurits cornelis), 1898-1970
Subject:
General Philosophy
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
20
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
al-juz® 9
Publication Date:
19990231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
832
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.5 in 36.5 oz

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Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Used Trade Paper
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Product details 832 pages Basic Books (AZ) - English 9780465026562 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] major literary event."
"Synopsis" by , Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of “maps” or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel Escher and Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.
"Synopsis" by , This groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize-winning book sets the standard for interdisciplinary writing, exploring the patterns and symbols in the thinking of mathematician Kurt Godel, artist M.C. Escher, and composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
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