Pulitzer Prize Awardees for General Nonfiction

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Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (1979)

Written by Douglas Hofstadter

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 and Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more. (Copyright © Basic Books/Perseus. All rights reserved.)

Source:  The Perseus Books Group.

Douglas Richard Hofstadter is an American professor of cognitive science whose research focuses on the sense of "I", consciousness, analogy-making, artistic creation, literary translation, and discovery in mathematics and physics.

He is best known for his book Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, first published in 1979. It won both the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and a National Book Award for Science. His 2007 book, I Am a Strange Loop won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology.

His other books include Metamagical Themas, The Mind's I (with Daniel Dennett), Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies, Le Ton Beau de Marot, and a verse translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. In addition to his research and writings in cognitive science and philosophy of mind, Hofstadter has contributed to physics and mathematics (in particular the fractal structure generally known as “Hofstadter's butterfly”), has composed music and visual art, and has done poetry translation. He has authored over 50 papers, including Analogy as the Core of Cognition.

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