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Hofstadterismus

Andrew Hodges

17 April 1986
Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern 
by Douglas Hofstadter.
Viking, 852 pp., £18.95, September 1985, 0 670 80687 0
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Ada: A Life and a Legacy 
by Dorothy Stein.
MIT, 321 pp., £17.50, January 1986, 9780262192422
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... writers to combine a logical discourse with a social critique. Dorothy Stein brings psychological and historical understanding to an important topic in the modern development of logical ideas, while DouglasHofstadter tries to bring logic and mathematics to bear upon the human condition. Both writers also share a panoramic, polymathic, total vision of their tasks. The second is the more familiar to us ...
17 December 1981
The Mind’s I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul 
edited by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett.
Harvester, 448 pp., £9.95, November 1981, 0 7108 0352 4
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... Both this and the following statement are false. DouglasHofstadter and Daniel Dennett’s book is well worth £9.95. One does not have to be a philosopher to realise that I have already gone further than a humble book-reviewer should. The value of the book under ...

Strange Loops

James Lighthill

24 January 1980
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid 
by Douglas Hofstadter.
Harvester, 777 pp., £10.50, August 1980, 0 85527 757 2
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... new kind through an imaginative activity closely akin to that of the great artist. The primary purpose of Gödel, Escher, Bach is to explore such kinships of the imagination, while also exploiting DouglasHofstadter’s own artistic imagination to the maximum possible extent, so as to make all the essential ideas underlying Gödel’s achievement accessible to readers without specialised mathematical ...
18 February 1988
Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to the Colonies, 1718-1775 
by Roger Ekirch.
Oxford, 277 pp., £25, November 1987, 0 19 820092 7
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... Rather, the problem for historians has always been to separate the winners from the losers. How many people in fact found Britain’s mainland colonies a land of opportunity? The late Richard Hofstadter suggested that the answer would almost certainly not sustain the success myth. In America at 1750: A Social Portrait, a wonderfully sensitive piece of writing, he observed that the servants as well ...

From Soixante-Huit to Soixante-Neuf

Glen Newey: Slack-Sphinctered Pachyderm

29 April 1999
Collected Papers: Technology, War and Fascism 
by Herbert Marcuse, edited by Douglas​ Kellner.
Routledge, 278 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 415 13780 2
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The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy after the Holocaust 
by Norman Geras.
Verso, 181 pp., £15, June 1998, 1 85984 868 0
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... witnessed act of defecation by the hippopotamus, is an incoherent stream of outpouring of utterly irrational rage. I shall not repeat here the uncouth popular idiom which says as much ... [Richard] Hofstadter himself acquired the dogma from such ‘Frankfurt School’ followers of avowed arch-conspirator Georg Lukacs and the sometime OSS and CIA agent, sometime Communist, and active conspirator Herbert ...

The Paranoid Elite

Michael Wood: DeLillo

22 April 2010
Point Omega 
by Don DeLillo.
Picador, 117 pp., £14.99, March 2010, 978 0 330 51238 1
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... Don DeLillo’s Underworld (1997) was in many ways a farewell to paranoia. Not the paranoid style in American politics, to quote the title of a famous essay by Richard Hofstadter (how could anyone say farewell to a mode so lavishly on the rise?), but to the paranoid fictions that animated DeLillo’s own novels The Names (1982) and Libra (1988), and went all the way back to ...

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