Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

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9780394745022: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

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.

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Review:

Everything is a symbol, and symbols can combine to form patterns. Patterns are beautiful and revelatory of larger truths. These are the central ideas in the thinking of Kurt Gödel, M.C. Escher, and Johann Sebastian Bach, perhaps the three greatest minds of the past quarter-millennium. In a stunning work of humanism, Hofstadter ties together the work of mathematician Gödel, graphic artist Escher, and composer Bach.

Gödel, Escher, Bach, a Pulitzer prize-winning treatise on genius, explores the workings of brilliant people's brains with the help of historical examples and brainteaser puzzles. Not for the dim or the lazy, this book shows you, more clearly than most any other, what it means to see symbols and patterns where others see only the universe. Touching on math, computers, literature, music, and artificial intelligence, Gödel, Escher, Bach is a challenging and potentially life-changing piece of writing.

From the Inside Flap:

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this book applies Godel's seminal contribution to modern mathematics to the study of the human mind and the development of artificial intelligence.

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