Gödel, Escher, Bach

An Eternal Golden Braid

Author: Douglas R. Hofstadter

Publisher: Penguin Group(CA)

ISBN: 9780140289206

Category: Art and music

Page: 832

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'What is a self and how can a self come out of inanimate matter?' This is the riddle that drove Douglas Hofstadter to write this extraordinary book. In order to impart his original and personal view on the core mystery of human existence - our intangible sensation of 'I'-ness - Hofstadter defines the playful yet seemingly paradoxical notion of 'strange loop', and explicates this idea using analogies from many disciplines.
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Music in the Words: Musical Form and Counterpoint in the Twentieth-Century Novel

Author: Alan Shockley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351557297

Category: Music

Page: 206

View: 6507

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There is a strong tradition of literary analyses of the musical artwork. Simply put, all musicology - any writing about music - is an attempt at making analogies between what happens within the world of sound and language itself. This study considers this analogy from the opposite perspective: authors attempting to structure words using musical forms and techniques. It's a viewpoint much more rarely explored, and none of the extant studies of novelists' musical techniques have been done by musicians. Can a novel follow the form of a symphony and still succeed as a novel? Can musical counterpoint be mimicked by words on a page? Alan Shockley begins looking for answers by examining music's appeal for novelists, and then explores two brief works, a prose fugue by Douglas Hofstadter, and a short story by Anthony Burgess modeled after a Mozart symphony. Analyses of three large, emblematic attempts at musical writing follow. The much debated 'Sirens' episode of James Joyce's Ulysses, which the author famously likened to a fugue, Burgess' largely ignored Napoleon Symphony: A Novel in Four Movements, patterned on Beethoven's Eroica, and Joyce's Finnegans Wake, which Shockley examines as an attempt at composing a fully musicalized language. After these three larger analyses, Shockley discusses two quite recent brief novels, William Gaddis' novella Agapgape and David Markson's This is not a novel, proposing that each of these confounding texts coheres elegantly when viewed as a musically-structured work. From the perspective of a composer, Shockley offers the reader fresh tools for approaching these dense and often daunting texts.
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I Am a Strange Loop

Author: Douglas R. Hofstadter

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465008372

Category: Philosophy

Page: 436

View: 7842

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One of our greatest philosophers and scientists of the mind asks, where does the self come from--and how our selves can exist in the minds of others. Can thought arise out of matter? Can self, soul, consciousness, "I" arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? I Am a Strange Loop argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the "strange loop"-a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. The most central and complex symbol in your brain is the one called "I." The "I" is the nexus in our brain, one of many symbols seeming to have free will and to have gained the paradoxical ability to push particles around, rather than the reverse. How can a mysterious abstraction be real-or is our "I" merely a convenient fiction? Does an "I" exert genuine power over the particles in our brain, or is it helplessly pushed around by the laws of physics? These are the mysteries tackled in I Am a Strange Loop, Douglas Hofstadter's first book-length journey into philosophy since Gödel, Escher, Bach. Compulsively readable and endlessly thought-provoking, this is a moving and profound inquiry into the nature of mind.
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Godel's Proof

Author: Ernest Nagel,James R. Newman

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814758010

Category: Mathematics

Page: 160

View: 7915

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In 1931 Kurt Gödel published his fundamental paper, "On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems." This revolutionary paper challenged certain basic assumptions underlying much research in mathematics and logic. Gödel received public recognition of his work in 1951 when he was awarded the first Albert Einstein Award for achievement in the natural sciences—perhaps the highest award of its kind in the United States. The award committee described his work in mathematical logic as "one of the greatest contributions to the sciences in recent times." However, few mathematicians of the time were equipped to understand the young scholar's complex proof. Ernest Nagel and James Newman provide a readable and accessible explanation to both scholars and non-specialists of the main ideas and broad implications of Gödel's discovery. It offers every educated person with a taste for logic and philosophy the chance to understand a previously difficult and inaccessible subject. Marking the 50th anniversary of the original publication of Gödel's Proof, New York University Press is proud to publish this special anniversary edition of one of its bestselling and most frequently translated books. With a new introduction by Douglas R. Hofstadter, this book will appeal students, scholars, and professionals in the fields of mathematics, computer science, logic and philosophy, and science.
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Postmodernist Fiction

Author: Brian McHale

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134949170

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 288

View: 6296

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Like it or not, the term `postmodernism' seems to have lodged itself in our critical and theoretical discourses. We have a postmodern architecture, a postmodern dance, perhaps even a postmodern philosophy and a postmodern condition. But do we have a postmodernist fiction? In this trenchant and lively study Brian McHale undertakes to construct a version of postmodernist fiction which encompasses forms as wide-ranging as North American metafiction, Latin American magic realism, the French New New Novel, concrete prose and science fiction. Considering a variety of theoretical approaches including those of Ingarden, Eco, Dolezel, Pavel, and Hrushovski, McHale shows that the common denominator is postmodernist fiction's ability to thrust its own ontological status into the foreground and to raise questions about the world (or worlds) in which we live. Far from being, as unsympathetic critics have sometimes complained, about nothing but itself -- or even about nothing at all -- postmodernist fiction in McHale's construction of it proves to be about (among other things) those hardy literary perennials, Love and Death. itself in our critical and theoretical discourses. We have a,--- postmodern architecture, a postmodern dance, perhaps even a postmodern philosophy and a postmodern condition. But do we have a postmodernist fiction? Brian McHale undertakes to construct a version capacious enough to include North American metafiction, Latin American magic realism, the French New New Novel, concrete prose and science fiction, to name but a few of its forms. The common denominator is postmodernist fiction's ability to thrust its own ontological status into the foreground and to raise questions about the world (or worlds) in which we live. Exploiting various theoretical approaches to literary ontology - those of Ingarden, Eco, Dolezel, Pavel, Hrushovski and others - and ranging widely over contemporary world literature, McHale assembles a comprehensive repertoire of postmodernist fiction's strategies of world-making and -unmaking. Far from being, as unsympathetic critics have sometimes complained, about nothing but itself or even about nothing at all, postmodernist fiction in McHale's construction of it proves to be about (among other things) those hardy literary perennials, Love and Death. "This is one of the most lively and lucid studies of contemporary fiction around. Whether or not you agree with his provocative definition of the postmodern, McHale's argument is always engaging, bold, and forceful." _ Linda Hutcheon
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Playful Intelligence

Digitizing Tradition

Author: Henry Sussman

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472568834

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 432

View: 6338

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This is a guide, in theory and in practice, to how current technological changes have impacted our interaction with texts and with each other. Henry Sussman rereads pivotal moments in literary, philosophical and cultural modernity as anticipating the cybernetic discourse that has increasingly defined theory since the computer revolution. Cognitive science, psychoanalysis and systems theory are paralleled to current trends in literary and philosophical theory. Chapters alternate between theory and readings of literary texts, resulting in a broad but rigorously grounded framework for the relation between literature and computer science. This book is a refreshing perspective on the analog-orientated tradition of theory in the humanities – and offers the first literary-textual genealogy of the digital.
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Advances in Artificial Life

6th European Conference, ECAL 2001, Prague, Czech Republic, September 10-14, 2001. Proceedings

Author: European Conference on Artificial Life 2,Jozef Kelemen,Petr Sosík

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3540425675

Category: Computers

Page: 724

View: 1774

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This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Artificial Life, ECAL 2001, held in Prague, Czech Republic, in September 2001. The 54 revised papers and 25 posters presented together with five invited papers were carefully reviewed and selected from numerous submissions. The book reflects the state of the art in ALife. It is divided into topical sections on agents in environments; artificial chemistry; cellular and neural systems; collaborative systems; evolution; robotics; vision, visualization, language, and communication; and miscellaneous.
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