Surfaces and Essences

  • von Douglas Hofstadter, Emmanuel Sander
  • Sprecher: Sean Pratt
  • 33 Std. 52 Min.
  • ungekürztes Hörbuch


Analogy is the core of all thinking.
This is the simple but unorthodox premise that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Douglas Hofstadter and French psychologist Emmanuel Sander defend in their new work.
Hofstadter has been grappling with the mysteries of human thought for over 30 years. Now, with his trademark wit and special talent for making complex ideas vivid, he has partnered with Sander to put forth a highly novel perspective on cognition.
We are constantly faced with a swirling and intermingling multitude of ill-defined situations. Our brain's job is to try to make sense of this unpredictable, swarming chaos of stimuli. How does it do so? The ceaseless hail of input triggers analogies galore, helping us to pinpoint the essence of what is going on. Often this means the spontaneous evocation of words, sometimes idioms, sometimes the triggering of nameless, long-buried memories.
Why did two-year-old Camille proudly exclaim, "I undressed the banana!"? Why do people who hear a story often blurt out, "Exactly the same thing happened to me!" when it was a completely different event? What did Albert Einstein see that made him suspect that light consists of particles when a century of research had driven the final nail in the coffin of that long-dead idea?
The answer to all these questions, of course, is analogy - making - the meat and potatoes, the heart and soul, the fuel and fire, the gist and the crux, the lifeblood and the wellsprings of thought.
Analogy-making, far from happening at rare intervals, occurs at all moments, defining thinking from top to toe, from the tiniest and most fleeting thoughts to the most creative scientific insights. Like Gödel, Escher, Bach before it, Surfaces and Essences will profoundly enrich our understanding of our own minds.



"I am one of those cognitive scientists who believe that analogy is a key to explaining human intelligence. This magnum opus by Douglas Hofstadter, who has reflected on the nature of analogy for decades, and Emmanuel Sander, is a milestone in our understanding of human thought, filled with insights and new ideas." Steven Pinker (Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Stuff of Thought)


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A lighthouse to guide a generation

After "Bach, Escher, Gödel", Douglas Hofstadter delivers another lighthouse for a generation. A generation of humans that will probably be confronted with other thinking entities and that will not be able to forgo the question 'why we are thinking the way we are thinking'. The biggest quality of this book is to make out of the simplest question a challenging problem, as indeed what we perceive to understand on the surface is not what we understand in the labyrinth of our mind. For readers who want to grasp that the meaning of each word is more of a cloud and have the energy to turn every word many times around to view its different angles, this will be a book to enjoy. It will take you on a journey on long winding roads, with heights and lows and it will be tiresome but this is probably the only way to envisage the complete scenery and be satisfied of your accomplishment at the end of the story.
Lesen Sie weiter...

- Marc Dierckx

Weitere Infos zum Titel

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 25.04.2013
  • Verlag: Gildan Media, LLC