Surfaces and Essences

Surfaces and Essences

Douglas Hofstadter


Basic Books









Is there one central mechanism upon which all human thinking rests? Cognitive scientists Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander argue that there is. At this core is our incessant proclivity to take what we perceive, to abstract it, and to find resemblances to prior experiences—in other words, our ability to make analogies. In The Essence of Thought , 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. We categorize because of analogies that range from simple to subtle, and thus our categories, throughout our lives, expand and grow ever more fluid. Through examples galore and lively prose peppered, needless to say, with analogies large and small, Hofstadter and Sander offer us a new way of thinking about thinking.

Douglas Richard Hofstadter is an American academic whose research focuses on consciousness, thinking and creativity. He is best known for his book Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, first published in 1979, for which he was awarded the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction.

Hofstadter is the son of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Hofstadter. Douglas grew u...

认知语言学/范畴论的应用集邮。在G. Lakoff提出认知隐喻之后这本书的的论点并没有特别的惊艳之处。但不同角度的呈现和讨论依然满含趣味。 A different metaphor is the sharpening of a knife, because our process of repeated exchanges became, for us, a constant act of sharpening of the ideas we were trying to express.
Like others have flagged, this is a thick book from Hofstadter, the kind you can utilize for self-defense, but, the fatness of all becomes a necessary evil when he leads and links obscure disciplines that you probably never dare to cross. Enjoy the semantic salad and fuzzy searches. 🤓
1 主要观点:categorization/analogy is the core of cognition! 2 概念的模型建构:core+halo 3 这本书的写书风格倒是符合这本书所探讨的主旨,通过大量的实例去论证论点,正如我们的概念是一个个实例、类比构建而来,然而这也给阅读体验带来了琐碎重复的啰嗦感。 4 之前有接触过George Lakoff的认知基于隐喻概念,所以书中的观点还算熟悉;我喜欢书中一些阐释类比形塑我们认知角度的例子。
相见恨晚,可视作《我们赖以生存的隐喻》的强化版,对认知和语言深刻的一瞥。 很久没看过一本能理解每一句话的科普类书(说非虚构类更好,不知怎么划分类别,涉及面太广)了,(因为非常细致,到了近乎啰嗦的地步),挺有成就感。 推荐给每一个老师和自学者看。