Review of Hofstadter et al., Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies [Book Review]

In 1979, Douglas Hofstadter published Gödel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid , a brilliant exploration of some of the most difficult and fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: recursion, computation, reduction, holism, meaning, "jootsing" (jumping out of the system), "strange loops", and much, much more. What made the book's expositions so effective were a family of elaborate (and lovingly elaborated) analogies: the mind is like an anthill, a formal system is like a game, theorem and nontheorem are like figure and ground, Bach's Inventions are like dialogues, and much, much more. The whole analogy-package was wrapped in layers of self-conscious reflection. "Anything you can do I can do meta-" was one of Doug's mottos, and of course he applied it, recursively, to everything he did
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