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One of our greatest philosophers and scientists of the mind asks, where does the self come from--and how our selves can exist in the minds of others. Can thought arise out of matter? Can self, soul, consciousness, "I" arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? I Am a Strange Loop argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the "strange loop"-a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. The most central and complex symbol in your brain is the one called "I." The "I" is the nexus in our brain, one of many symbols seeming to have free will and to have gained the paradoxical ability to push particles around, rather than the reverse. How can a mysterious abstraction be real-or is our "I" merely a convenient fiction? Does an "I" exert genuine power over the particles in our brain, or is it helplessly pushed around by the laws of physics? These are the mysteries tackled in I Am a Strange Loop, Douglas Hofstadter's first book-length journey into philosophy since Gödel, Escher, Bach. Compulsively readable and endlessly thought-provoking, this is a moving and profound inquiry into the nature of mind.
This is a guide, in theory and in practice, to how current technological changes have impacted our interaction with texts and with each other. Henry Sussman rereads pivotal moments in literary, philosophical and cultural modernity as anticipating the cybernetic discourse that has increasingly defined theory since the computer revolution. Cognitive science, psychoanalysis and systems theory are paralleled to current trends in literary and philosophical theory. Chapters alternate between theory and readings of literary texts, resulting in a broad but rigorously grounded framework for the relation between literature and computer science. This book is a refreshing perspective on the analog-orientated tradition of theory in the humanities – and offers the first literary-textual genealogy of the digital.
A witty and addictively readable day-by-day literary companion. At once a love letter to literature and a charming guide to the books most worth reading, A Reader's Book of Days features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Here is Marcel Proust starting In Search of Lost Time and Virginia Woolf scribbling in the margin of her own writing, "Is it nonsense, or is it brilliance?" Fictional events that take place within beloved books are also included: the birth of Harry Potter’s enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King’s Carrie. A Reader's Book of Days is filled with memorable and surprising tales from the lives and works of Martin Amis, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Roberto Bolano, the Brontë sisters, Junot Díaz, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Keats, Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O’Connor, Orhan Pamuk, George Plimpton, Marilynne Robinson, W. G. Sebald, Dr. Seuss, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Leo Tolstoy, David Foster Wallace, and many more. The book also notes the days on which famous authors were born and died; it includes lists of recommended reading for every month of the year as well as snippets from book reviews as they appeared across literary history; and throughout there are wry illustrations by acclaimed artist Joanna Neborsky. Brimming with nearly 2,000 stories, A Reader's Book of Days will have readers of every stripe reaching for their favorite books and discovering new ones.
This book introduces lexomics, the use of computer-aided statistical analysis of vocabulary, to measure influence and integrate research from cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology with traditional, philological approaches to literature. Connecting the theory of tradition with the phenomenon of influence, Drout moves beyond current theories.
Throughout its long history, and not just as the key aesthetic category for the Romantic Movement, the sublime has created the necessary link between aesthetic and moral judgment, offering the prospect of transcending the limits of measurement, even imagination. The best of science makes genuine claims to the sublime. For in science, as in art, every day brings the entirely new, the extreme, and the unrepresentable. How does one depict negative mass, for example, or the folding of a protein that is contagious? Can one capture emergent phenomena as they emerge? Science is continually faced with describing that which is beyond. This book, through contributions from nine prominent scholars, tackles that challenge. The explorations within Beyond the Finite range from the images taken by the Hubble Telescope to David Bohm's quantum romanticism, from Kant and Burke to a "downward spiraling infinity" of the 21st century sublime, all lucid yet transcendent. Squarely positioned at the interface between science and art, this volume's chapters capture a remarkable variety of perspectives, with neuroscience, chemistry, astronomy, physics, film, painting and music discussed in relation to the sublime experience, topics surely to peak the interest of academics and students studying the sublime in various disciplines.
Scholars and policymakers alike agree that innovation in the biosciences is key to future growth. The field continues to shift and expand, and it is certainly changing the way people live their lives in a variety of ways. With a large share of federal research dollars devoted to the biosciences, the field is just beginning to live up to its billing as a source of innovation, economic productivity and growth. Vast untapped potential to imagine and innovate exists in the biosciences given new tools now widely available. In The Biologist's Imagination, William Hoffman and Leo Furcht examine the history of innovation in the biosciences, tracing technological innovation from the late eighteenth century to the present and placing special emphasis on how and where technology evolves. Place is often key to innovation, from the early industrial age to the rise of the biotechnology industry in the second half of the twentieth century. The book uses the distinct history of bioinnovation to discuss current trends as they relate to medicine, agriculture, energy, industry, ecosystems, and climate. Fast-moving research fields like genomics, synthetic biology, stem cell research, neuroscience, bioautomation and bioprinting are accelerating these trends. Hoffman and Furcht argue that our system of bioscience innovation is itself in need of innovation. It needs to adapt to the massive changes brought about by converging technologies and the globalization of higher education, workforce skills, and entrepreneurship. The Biologist's Imagination is both a review of past models for bioscience innovation and a forward-looking, original argument for what future models should take into account.

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