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Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid explores how thought processes are initiated by presenting evidence from the works of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, logician Kurt Godel, and artist Escher.
Summary Of The book
The book addresses three different theories of perception. Hofstadter takes Godel’s string of symbols, Escher’s drawings that connect verbal and mathematical paradoxes, and Bach’s canons and fugues.
In addition, there are different themes that are dealt with in an interwoven manner in Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. The main chapters are carried as a dialogue between two imaginary characters, a tortoise and Achilles. More characters such as a crab are introduced as the book progresses.
There are a number of interesting wordplays and puns that the author uses in the book. The word ‘magnificrab’ is connected with Bach’s ‘Magnificat’. The Typographical Number Theory is likened to TNT as it explodes upon self-revelation. There is also a dialogue that tells us the story of a genie and various tonics, and is suitably titled as ‘Djinn and tonic’. A dialogue in the book resembles a crab canon.
There are also many instances of self-reference which Hofstadter terms as strange loop. Using Zen Koans, Hofstadter also teaches people to understand reality outside their personal experiences. Call Stacks is another aspect discussed in the book. He explains this by making Achilles and the tortoise enter and leave many layers of reality. Other chapters deal with self-referring statements, logic, systems and programming. There are also many puzzles in the book.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the non-fiction category. The National Book Award for Science was also bagged by the book. In 2007, Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed their online course for high schools based on the book.
About Douglas R. Hofstadter
Douglas R. Hofstadter is an American research professor.
Eugene Onegin: A Novel Versification, I Am a Strange Loop, The Discovery of Dawn, and That Mad Ache are some of the other books written by Hofstadter.
His father, Robert Hofstadter, was a Nobel prize winning physicist. He was brought up on the premises of Stanford University and later studied there and got his Ph.D in Physics. Hofstadter married Carol Ann Brush in 1985 and lived with her till her death in 1993. The couple have two children. He got married to Baofen Lin in 2012.
3 May, 2012
A Recursively Harmonious Journey
3 Jul, 2013
30 Jul, 2012
One word: Profound
23 Nov, 2013
Great Work by the Hofstadter
21 May, 2013
7 Oct, 2015
Quirky but lengthy!
22 Sep, 2015
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
4 Nov, 2014
4 Nov, 2014
A noteworthy mixture of logic, mathematics, psychology and philosophy
3 Nov, 2014