Strange Loop

September 26-28 2018


Stifel Theatre


St. Louis, MO

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What is a strange loop and what is it like to be one?

Many years ago, reading about Gödel's incompleteness theorem gave me an image of the nature of a human self or "I". I tried to spell this vision out in my 1979 book "Gödel, Escher, Bach", with mixed success. The book itself did very well, but the ideas that drove it were not so well understood. Nearly three decades later, in my 2007 book "I Am a Strange Loop", I tried to express these same ideas more simply and more directly, and I hope I did a bit better the second time around. In this talk I'll try to get across the crux of these intuitions about the mysterious concept of "I".

Douglas Hofstadter

Indiana University

Professor Hofstadter received his B.S. in mathematics from Stanford University (1965), and his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oregon (1972, 1975). His Pulitzer-prize-winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (1979) has had considerable impact on people in many disciplines, ranging from philosophy to mathematics to artificial intelligence, to music, and beyond. He has written four other books, numerous articles, and, for a number of years, wrote a column for Scientific American.