Indiana University Bloomington

CRCC/FARG Publications

Douglas Hoftstadter has written a number of books. Those most closely related to cognitive science are listed below along with links which lead to further information about each. Of particular note, however, is the third book on the list, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies, an anthology documenting the work carried out at our research center. In addition, a number of other books written by members of FARG during their time at CRCC are listed thereafter.

Also, older theses and other publications are available from our public FTP server.

Lastly, we have a number of technical reports and other sundry papers at the center, some of which are available in hardcopy upon request and others of which are available online; all of them are listed here.

Books by Hofstadter

Hofstadter, D.R. (1979) Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid NY: Basic Books. “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.” —
Hofstadter, D.R. (1985) Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern NY: Basic Books. “Metamagical Themas is an eclectic collection of articles written for Scientific American during the early 1980s by Douglas Hofstadter, and published together as a book in 1985. . . . The subject matter of the articles is loosely woven about themes in philosophy, creativity, artificial intelligence, typography and fonts, and important social issues.” —Wikipedia
Hofstadter, D.R. and the Fluid Analogies Research Group (1995) Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought NY: Basic Books. “Driven to discover whether computers can be made to "think" like humans, Hofstadter and his colleagues created a variety of computer programs that extrapolate sequences, apply pattern-matching strategies, make analogies, and even act “creative.” As always, Hofstadter's work requires devotion on the part of the reader, but rewards him with fascinating insights into the nature of both human and machine intelligence.” —Amazon Reviews
Hofstadter, D.R. (1997) Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language NY: Basic Books. “In the fall of 1537, a child was confined to bed for some time. The French poet Clément Marot wrote her a get-well poem, 28 lines long, each line a scant three syllables. In the mid-1980s, Douglas Hofstadter . . . first attempted to translate this ‘sweet, old, small elegant French poem into English’. He was later to challenge friends, relations, and colleagues to do the same. The results were exceptional, and are now contained in Le Ton Beau De Marot, a sunny exploration of scholarly and linguistic play and love's infinity.” —Amazon Reviews
Hofstadter, D.R. (2007) I am a Strange Loop NY: Basic Books. “Pulitzer-Prize winner Douglas Hofstadter takes on some weighty and wonderful questions in I Am a Strange Loop--among them, the "size" of a soul and the vagaries of thought--and proposes persuasive answers that surprised me both with their simplicity and their sense of optimism: a rare combination to be found in a book that tackles the mysteries of the brain. This long-awaited book is a must-have for avid science readers and navel-gazers.” —Anne Bartholomew
Hofstadter, D.R. and Sander, E. (Forthcoming) Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking NY: Basic Books. “In Surfaces and Essences, Hofstadter and Sander show how analogy-making pervades our thought at all levels—indeed, that we make analogies not once a day or once an hour, but many times per second. Thus, analogy is the mechanism that, silently and hidden, chooses our words and phrases for us when we speak, frames how we understand the most banal everyday situation, guides us in unfamiliar situations, and gives rise to great acts of imagination.” —

Books by past and present PhD students

Mitchell, M. (1992) Analogy Making as Perception: A Computer Model Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Analogy-Making as Perception is based on the premise that analogy-making is fundamentally a high-level perceptual process in which the interaction of perception and concepts gives rise to "conceptual slippages" which allow analogies to be made. It describes Copycat - a computer model of analogymaking, developed by the author with Douglas Hofstadter, that models the complex, subconscious interaction between perception and concepts that underlies the creation of analogies.
French, R.M. (1995) The Subtlety of Sameness: A Theory and Computer Model of Analogy-Making Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Robert French has created a model of human analogy-making that attempts to bridge the gap between classical top-down AI and more recent bottom-up approaches.The research described in this book is based on the premise that human analogy-making is an extension of our constant background process of perceiving -- in other words, that analogy-making and the perception of sameness are two sides of the same coin.
Chalmers, D.J. (1996) The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. What is consciousness? How do physical processes in the brain give rise to the self-aware mind and to feelings as profoundly varied as love or hate, aesthetic pleasure or spiritual yearning? . . . In The Conscious Mind, philosopher David J. Chalmers offers a cogent analysis of this heated debate as he unveils a major new theory of consciousness, one that rejects the prevailing reductionist trend of science, while offering provocative insights into the relationship between mind and brain.
Wang, P. (2006) Rigid Flexibility: The Logic of Intelligence Dordrecht: Springer. While most of the current works in Artificial Intelligence (AI) focus on individual aspects of intelligence and cognition, the project described in this book, Non-Axiomatic Reasoning System (NARS), is designed and developed to attack the AI problem as a whole. This project is based on the belief that what we call "intelligence" can be understood and reproduced as "the capability of a system to adapt to its environment while working with insufficient knowledge and resources". According to this idea, a novel reasoning system is designed, which challenges all the dominating theories in how such a system should be built.
Ekbia, H.R. (2008) Artificial Dreams: The Quest for Non-Biological Intelligence Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. This book is a critique of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from the perspective of cognitive science - it seeks to examine what we have learned about human cognition from AI successes and failures. The book's goal is to separate those "AI dreams" that either have been or could be realized from those that are constructed through discourse and are unrealizable.
Hurley, M.M., Dennett, D.C., and Adams, R.B., Jr. (2011) Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse Engineer the Mind Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Hurley, Dennett, and Adams describe the evolutionary reasons for humor and for laughter. They examine why humor is pleasurable and desirable, often sharable, surprising, playful, nonsensical, and insightful. They give an "inside," mechanistic account of the cognitive and emotional apparatus that provides the humor experience, and they use it to explain the wide variety of things that are found to be humorous.