"Godel, Escher, Bach" is a Pulitzer Prizewinning treatise exploring patterns and symbols in the thinking of mathematician Kurt Godel, artist M. C. Escher and composer Johann Sebastian Bach. A groundbreaking book that has set the standard for interdisciplinary writing. A book every thinking reader must have. Besides being a profound and entertaining meditation on human thought and creativity, this book looks at the surprising points of contact between the music of Bach, the artwork of Escher, and the mathematics of Gödel. It also looks at the prospects for computers and artificial intelligence (AI) for mimicking human thought. For the general reader and the computer techie alike, this book still sets a standard for thinking about the future of computers and their relation to the way we think.
Hofstadter's great achievement in Gödel, Escher, Bach was making abstruse mathematical topics (like undecidability, recursion, and 'strange loops') accessible and remarkably entertaining. Borrowing a page from Lewis Carroll (who might well have been a fan of this book), each chapter presents dialogue between the Tortoise and Achilles, as well as other characters who dramatize concepts discussed later in more detail. Allusions to Bach's music (centering on his Musical Offering) and Escher's continually paradoxical artwork are plentiful here. This more approachable material lets the author delve into serious number theory (concentrating on the ramifications of Gödel's Theorem of Incompleteness) while stopping along the way to ponder the work of a host of other mathematicians, artists, and thinkers.
Author: Douglas Hofstadter
Paperback: 824 pages
Publisher: Basic Books; 20 Anv edition (February 5, 1999)
Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches