January 31, 2006
Cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter to present Presidential Lecture on Feb. 6
Douglas Hofstadter, a noted author and professor of cognitive science at Indiana University, will present a talk, "Analogy as the Core of Cognition," at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at Cubberley Auditorium as the second of the 2005-06 Presidential Lectures in the Humanities and Arts. A lecture discussion will take place at the Stanford Humanities Center the following day at 4 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
Hofstadter directs the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition (CRCC) and is an adjunct professor of history and philosophy of science, philosophy, psychology and comparative literature at Indiana. His research focuses on topics including artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind and creativity in translation.
Among his many books is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979). When the book was reissued in 1999, Hofstadter described the book's principal thesis as "a very personal attempt to say how it is that animate beings can come out of inanimate matter. What is a self, and how can a self come out of stuff that is as selfless as a stone or a puddle?"
Hofstadter also is co-author of The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul (1981), which was selected by American Scientist as one of "100 or so books that shaped a century of science," and the author of Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language (1997).
Hofstadter received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Stanford in 1965 and a doctorate in physics from the University of Oregon in 1975. He is the son of the late Nobel laureate and Stanford physics Professor Robert Hofstadter.
The Presidential Lectures in the Humanities and Arts are organized by the Humanities Center. More information about Hofstadter, including excerpts of his books and articles, can be found at the center's website, http://shc.stanford.edu/.