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Linking together the music of Bach, the graphic art of Escher and the mathematical theorems of Gödel, as well as ideas drawn from logic, biology, psychology, physics and linguistics, Hofstadter illumnintaes one of the greatest mysteries of modern science: the nature of the human thought process.
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, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.
"I have never seen anything quite like this book. It has a youthful vitality and a wonderful brilliance, and I think that it may become something of a classic."
– Martin Gardner, Scientific American
"In Some Ways, Gödel, Escher, Bach is an entire humanistic education between the covers of a single book. So, for my next visit to a desert island, give me sun, Sand, water and GEB, and I'll live happily ever after."
– John L. Casti, Nature
"Every few decades an unknown author brings out a book of such depth, clarity, range, wit, beauty and originality that it is recognized at once as a major literary event. This is such a work."
– Jeremy Bernstein