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Biographie de l'auteur

Douglas Hofstadter is professor of computer science and cognitive science at Indiana University. GODEL, ESCHER, BACH won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 824 pages
  • Editeur : Basic Books; Édition : 20th Aniversary Edition (15 janvier 1999)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0465026567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465026562
  • Dimensions du produit: 3,2 x 14,6 x 23,5 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 2.849 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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FREDERICK THE GREAT, King of Prussia, came to power in 1740. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Fan d'ESCHER et ses boucles impossibles bienvenus!
Intéressés par le théorème de gödel, vous avez votre livre!
Plaisant et instructif.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 363 commentaires
397 internautes sur 424 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Way out of my comfort zone, but still great. 2 juin 2000
Par frumiousb - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I'm here to witness that even people as seriously math-challenged as I am can participate in this wonderful book. It took me a *long* time to read-- I flipped back and forth, beat the pages up, asked my more math-oriented friends for help. I spent forever trying to solve the MU exercise. It was worth it. I still feel like I understood parts of it only in intuitive flashes, but those flashes showed me a room more interesting than most of the well-lit chambers ordinary books provide.
Reading Godel, Escher, Bach is like joining a club. People who see you reading it will open spontaneous conversations and often gift you with unexpected insights. (I had a fascinating conversation with a total stranger about Godel's theorem.)
Wish I could give more than five stars.
197 internautes sur 209 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Profound Meditation On Human Creativity 2 octobre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid debates, beautifully, the question of consciousness and the possibility of artificial intelligence. It is a book that attempts to discover the true meaning of "self."
As the book introduces the reader to cognitive science, the author draws heavily from the world of art to illustrate the finer points of mathematics. The works of M.C. Escher and J.S. Bach are discussed as well as other works in the world of art and music. Topics presented range from mathematics and meta-mathematics to programming, recursion, formal systems, multilevel systems, self-reference, self-representation and others.
Lest you think Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, to be a dry and boring book on a dry and boring topic, think again. Before each of the book's twenty chapters, Hofstadter has included a witty dialogue, in which Achilles, the Tortoise, and friends discuss various aspects that will later be examined by Hofstadter in the chapter to follow.
In writing these wonderful dialogues, Hofstadter created and entirely new form of art in which concepts are presented on two different levels simultaneously: form and content. The more obvious level of content presents each idea directly through the views of Achilles, Tortoise and company. Their views are sometimes right, often wrong, but always hilariously funny. The true beauty of this book, however, lies in the way Hofstadter interweaves these very ideas into the physical form of the dialogue. The form deals with the same mathematical concepts discussed by the characters, and is more than vaguely reminiscent of the musical pieces of Bach and printed works of Escher that the characters mention directly in their always-witty and sometimes hilarious, discussions.
One example is the "Crab Canon," that precedes Chapter Eight. This is a short but highly amusing piece that can be read, like the musical notes in Bach's Crab Canon, in either direction--from start to finish or from finish to start, resulting in the very same text. Although fiendishly difficult to write, the artistic beauty of that dialogue equals Bach's music or Escher's drawing of the same name.
As good as all this is (and it really is wonderful), it is only the beginning. Other topics include self-reference and self-representation (really quite different). The examples given can, and often do, lead to hilarious and paradoxical results.
In playfully presenting these concepts in a highly amusing manner, Hofstadter slowly and gently introduces the reader to more advanced mathematical ideas, like formal systems, the Church-Turing Thesis, Turing's Halting Problem and Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, does discuss some very serious topics and it can, at times, be a daunting book to handle and absorb. But it is always immensely enjoyable to read. The sheer joy of discovering the puns and playful gems hidden in the text are a part of what makes this book so very special. Anecdotes, word plays and Zen koans are additional aspects that help make this book an experience that many readers will come to feel to be a turning point in their lives.
Like every other book written by Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, has an index and a bibliography that must be noted as exceptionally well done.
Although filled with English wordplay, this book is in no way tied to the American origin of its author. For years, it was thought that Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, would be impossible to translate, but so far, it has successfully been translated into French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Swedish, Dutch and Russian.
A profound and beautiful meditation on human thought and creativity, this book is indescribably gorgeous and definitely one of a kind.
237 internautes sur 267 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Escape from predestination 14 décembre 1999
Par Curtis L. Wilbur - Publié sur
Format: Broché
It seems highly appropriate that Douglas Hofstatder should re-release his epic work now. His central theme plays so eloquently in this place and time: Every system folds in on itself, be it physics, mathematics, or any form of language. All these systems are inherently self-referential, and as such, take on a life of their own. A life their creators could never imagine. Many reviewers have focused on the explicit messages of the book, their likes or dislikes, but the great beauty of this work lies within the realm of what it does not say. It is, no doubt, the most difficult book I have ever read, and I have to admit it took me several false starts to finally get through the thing. It is so incredibly deep - one cannot simply wade through it like a sci-fi novel. But if you take your time, spend, say about a year on it - work through the TNT exercises, discover the hidden messages the author has left, read the bibliography - and at some point it will strike you; the incredible richness of the message. The book, you, the world, all of it IS open. The pages of this universe are blank, unwritten. Dr. Hofstadter has woven a message of eternal optimism, one that transcends even the infinite depth to the tapestry of topics spread before us: The great freedom that we, nature's most remarkable matrix, are part of a future without destiny. Even if we were created, any purpose impressed upon us is lost in a cacophany of unexpected relationships. Deterministic, yet infinitely complex and unpredictable. We can never understand anything completely, and thus every life can experience the magic of observing that which cannot be explained. This is a book of wonders, and you will never regret the time you spent on it.
71 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
hasn't aged well... 7 octobre 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
When this book first came out, I, along with probably most mathematically and scientifically minded people of my generation, would certainly have considered it one of the best books ever written. Hofstadter has refined the task of writing a book into almost an art form. Drawing on the central theme of "strange loops" (ideas that loop back on themselves in a paradoxical manner, as might be seen in the art of M.C. Escher), Hofstadter successfully draws together ideas from a large variety of different human pursuits. An important idea--shown to be connected to other ideas in artificial intelligence, music, and art--is Godel's incompleteness theorem, which shows that there are limits on our ability to prove concepts that may, nevertheless, be true. This, too, is based on a "strange loop"--these loops seem to crop up everywhere and Hofstadter spends a lot of the book showing how they are pretty much fundamental to human knowledge.
However, after reading the new preface in this 20th anniversary edition, I'm left with the sense that this once great book is now merely good. For one thing, Hofstadter seems to have evolved from a brilliant young man with a lot of great ideas into a somewhat cantakerous middle-aged man. He seems angry at the New York Times, and his readers, for not fully understanding the central message of the book. Yet he also excuses himself from making any attempt to update the book or bring the ideas in line with many of the enormous changes that have happened over the last 20+ years. It seems surprising to me that Hofstadter would constrain his own book to having only one central message--surely he should understand that a book of this complexity will mean many things to many different people, and that indeed is the reason for its popularity.
So, I still highly recommend this book, but I'm left just a little disappointed that Hofstadter seems somewhat at war with his readers and as a result, won't attempt to update the book or try to help us reconcile the many events of the last 20 years with the themes of his book.
30 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Remember: We're in Planesville 23 janvier 2004
Par Jerome K. Bradenbaugh - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I give this book high marks. The read is difficult, I concede. However, remember that in order to make progress, oftentimes we must take a leap of faith. The book even argues that proving something to be true requires you to "just believe" because logic eventually runs out upon deconstruction. See chapter VII.
I have had similar trouble that others report. I have had to re-read parts to make sure I get his points, whether I agree or not. And yes, he conveys his ideas in what some may consider an offhand way. There is much value in the saying, "To be great is to be misunderstood."
You dont have to like this book. Just make sure you're certain why you do or don't like it. Is it because the Hof doesn't know what he is talking about, or because he "wastes" your time with his lingo and fictional prancing about? Or is it because there's a chance that you don't understand? I am not condescending readers who don't like GEB, but we too often rate someone's ideas based on our inability to understand and yes, sometimes be entertained immediately. Don't expect him to do all the work. What are you bringin' to the party?
This book is challenging. Once you have spent enough time with it, you might see that it requires you to challenge your understanding of things, take that leap of faith (it's not all about logic), suspend judgment, then see what you think when you get to the other side. Consider the section devoted to the topic of Euclidean vs. non-Euclidean geometry:
Euclid of Alexandria perfected the art of rigor in his Elements, becoming arguably the most influential mathematician in times of antiquity. He made a most convincing case for the accuracy and truthfulness of much of the fundamental geometry we know today. He did so by using five principals upon which to base the remainder of his volumes of assertion. Four of the five principles were based on truths quite simple and so understandable, for the most part we hold them to be self-evident. One of those (the first) was the notion of a straight line, as simple and direct as connecting point A to point B.
His work seemed universal, truthful, and beyond reproach, especially considering the painstaking efforts he went to prove the seemingly most basic of concepts. This all seemed well and good, until others, implicitly or otherwise, began to question the notion or suggest what a different version of what a straight line is. In other words: What if there was more than one type of straight line? How could this be?
To make a long story only slightly longer, we find that there in fact IS more than one type of straight line (what's the difference between a straight line drawn on a piece of paper and a straight line drawn on a basketball? hmmmm....), which spawned elliptical and spherical geometries. Turns out that Euclidean geometry is actually a subset of geometry, not the entire geometry. All these years we thought that a piece of the pie was the whole pie.
The point here is that you must endeavor to see outside what you know to be true. It's not always comfortable or seemingly conceivable, but we must accept a degree of uncertainty before we can realize a new level of certainty.
Give the book a shot. Maybe two. Suspend your judgment and take the hit. You'll see. Regards.
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