1979 GodelEscherBach

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Subject Headings: Kurt Gödel, M. C. Escher, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ant Colony, Consciousness.

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Cited By

2016

  • (Wikipedia, 2016) ⇒ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gödel,_Escher,_Bach Retrieved:2016-7-25.
    • Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, also known as GEB, is a 1979 book by Douglas Hofstadter. The tagline "a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll” was used by the publisher to describe the book. [1] By exploring common themes in the lives and works of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Escher and composer Johann Sebastian Bach, the book expounds concepts fundamental to mathematics, symmetry, and intelligence. Through illustration and analysis, the book discusses how self-reference and formal rules allow systems to acquire meaning despite being made of "meaningless" elements. It also discusses what it means to communicate, how knowledge can be represented and stored, the methods and limitations of symbolic representation, and even the fundamental notion of "meaning" itself. In response to confusion over the book's theme, Hofstadter has emphasized that Gödel, Escher, Bach is not about the relationships of mathematics, art, and music, but rather about how cognition emerges from hidden neurological mechanisms. In the book, he presents an analogy about how the individual neurons of the brain coordinate to create a unified sense of a coherent mind by comparing it to the social organization displayed in a colony of ants. [2]
  • (Wikipedia, 2016) ⇒ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gödel,_Escher,_Bach Retrieved:2016-7-25.
    • The book contains many instances of recursion and self-reference, where objects and ideas speak about or refer back to themselves. One is Quining, a term invented by Hofstadter in homage to Willard Van Orman Quine, referring to programs that only produce their own source code. Another is the presence of a fictional author in the index, Egbert B. Gebstadter, a man with initials E, G, and B and a surname that partially matches Hofstadter. There is a phonograph, dubbed "Record Player X", that destroys itself by playing a record titled "I Cannot Be Played on Record Player X" (an analogy to Gödel's incompleteness theorems), an examination of canon form in music, and a discussion of Escher's lithograph of two hands drawing each other. To describe such self-referencing objects, Hofstadter coins the term “strange loop", a concept he examines in more depth in his follow-up book I Am a Strange Loop. To escape many of the logical contradictions brought about by these self-referencing objects, Hofstadter discusses Zen koans. He attempts to show readers how to perceive reality outside their own experience and embrace such paradoxical questions by rejecting the premise — a strategy also called "unasking".

      Elements of computer science such as Call stacks are also discussed in Gödel, Escher, Bach, as one dialogue describes the adventures of Achilles and the Tortoise as they make use of "pushing potion" and "popping tonic" involving entering and leaving different layers of reality. Subsequent sections discuss the basic tenets of logic, self-referring statements, ("typeless") systems, and even programming. Hofstadter further creates BlooP and FlooP, two simple programming languages, to illustrate his point.


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 AuthorvolumeDate ValuetitletypejournaltitleUrldoinoteyear
1979 GodelEscherBachDouglas R. HofstadterGodel, Escher, Bach1979