The Mind’s I


The Mind’s I
Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul

Composed and arranged by Douglas R. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett (1981)

In this collection of essays, both fiction and nonfiction, Hofstadter and Dennett explore the writings of others whose work somehow dovetails with Hofstadter’s own thesis, first stated in Godel, Escher, Bach (1979). Some of the pieces support Hofstadter’s findings, some refute them, yet each will expand your mind in directions previously unknown. Several of the essays are by Hofstadter and Dennett, themselves, and every essay is followed with “Reflections” by the editors. 501 pages.

Parts of the book:



I. A Sense of Self

    1. “Borges and I” by Jorge Luis Borges
    2. “On Having No Head” by D.E. Harding
    3. “Rediscovering the Mind” by Harold J. Morowitz

II. Soul Searching

    1. “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” by A.M. Turing
    2. “The Turing Test: A Coffeehouse Conversation” by Douglas R. Hofstadter
    3. “The Princess Ineffabelle” by Stanislaw Lem
    4. “The Soul of Martha, a Beast” by Terrel Miedaner
    5. “The Soul of the Mark III Beast” by Terrel Miedaner

III. From Hardware to Software

    1. “Spirit” by Allen Wheelis
    2. “Selfish Genes and Selfish Memes” by Richard Dawkins
    3. “Prelude . . . Ant Fugue” by Douglas R. Hofstadter
    4. “The Story of a Brain” by Arnold Zuboff

IV. Mind as Program

    1. “Where Am I” by Daniel C. Dennett
    2. “Where Was I” by David Hawley Sanford
    3. “Beyond Rejection” by Justin Lieber
    4. “Software” by Rudy Rucker
    5. “The Riddle of the Universe and Its Solution” by Christopher Cherniak

V. Created Selves and Free Will

    1. “The Seventh Sally or How Trurl’s Own Perfection Led to No Good” by Stanislaw Lem
    2. “Non Serviam” by Stanislaw Lem
    3. “Is God a Taoist?” by Raymond M. Smullyan
    4. “The Circular Ruins” by Jorge Luis Borge
    5. “Minds, Brains, and Programs” by John R. Searle
    6. “An Unfortunate Dualist” by Raymond M. Smullyan

VI. The Inner Eye

  1. “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” by Thomas Nagel
  2. “An Epistemological Nightmare” by Raymond M. Smullyan
  3. “A Conversation with Einstein’s Brain” by Douglas R. Hofstadter
  4. “Fiction” by Robert Nozick

Further Reading



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