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Godel Escher Bach

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I read it as a sophomore in high school, thought the discussions of the music(Bach) were interesting, the paintings (Escher) disturbing {if you understand Rand's theory of esthetics you'll see why} and Gödel confusing, of course this was coming of a precalculus background. It get's quite technical in the mathmatics of it.

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I found it enjoyable and relaxing to read. However, I already had a very strong mathematics background at the time and already been through the proofs of Goedel's theorems in a logic course, so the ideas weren't entirely new to me.

Edited by punk
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  • 1 month later...
Has anyone read this book? One of my professors recommended it to me, and it sounded pretty interesting. Would you recommend it, and why or why not?

Yeah, it is crap. Godel has non of the implications most people assign to him. Read Boolos' proof (which can be found in a book of mixed quality called "Philosophy of Mathematics: An Introduction to a World of Proofs and Pictures" by Brown---its Platonic bent is a little annoying at times esp. since it gives far to little say to naturalists and logicists) of Incompleteness and then read Hintikka's response to it. Hintikka achieves the benefits of constructivism without the unnecessary and unwarranted destruction of the mathematical edifice intuitionists would cause.

The guy who wrote Godel, Escher, Bach is one of those humanist bastards who read far too much into Godel.

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  • 4 months later...
Has anyone read this book? One of my professors recommended it to me, and it sounded pretty interesting. Would you recommend it, and why or why not?

I think it is interesting, explorational, and draws analogies between the works of Bach, Godel, and Escher. Since I've played some Bach before, and have liked Escher's stuff, I can see where Hostadter is coming from. I know nothing about Godel himself, but later on I'll look into him. I'd highly recommend GEB for itself, personally. I see the book as an exploration into self-referencing, and this topic interests me because of my field. However one must come to one's own conclusion by at least trying the book with as few preconceptions as possible. Usually if I hate a book for my own reasons, I'll just stop reading it, and move on.

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