Group Read of Godel, Escher, Bach?

ForumPhilosophy and Theory

Melde dich bei LibraryThing an, um Nachrichten zu schreiben.

Group Read of Godel, Escher, Bach?

Dieses Thema ruht momentan. Die letzte Nachricht liegt mehr als 90 Tage zurück. Du kannst es wieder aufgreifen, indem du eine neue Antwort schreibst.

Mrz. 10, 2008, 4:52pm

Hey philosophers, some of us are trying to get together a group read of Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach - if you're interested in joining us, we're over here. Cheers :)

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 21, 2008, 6:17am

Could you clarify for this poor country mouse just what the purpose(s) of a group read might be?

Would it be to assist members, chapter by chapter, who might have trouble with symbolic logic, musical structures, etc? (Not every reader will be able to parse a Bach fugue nor, for that matter, have a clear idea of the difference between a fugue and a canon.)

Would it be a project with side goals, such as cataloguing the (often outrageous) puns sprinkled throughout the book?

Or perhaps your purpose is simply to provide an exercise in internet gemutlichkeit?

Mrz. 21, 2008, 12:26pm

Well... I certainly don't intend to be tutoring anyone on logic - if for no other reason than because doing so over a net forum would probably prove near impossible. As with most of the other "group reads" which take place on LT, the purpose is mainly to provide a forum where readers can discuss the work, compare notes/thoughts, etc. Think of it like a book club, only on the internet.

And with this particular book, I think there is also some desire to provide a more structured approach to getting it read, since I (for one) have had it on my nightstand for a couple of months now, but just rarely get around to reading it because it's the kind of reading that requires some real attention in order to get the most out of it, and at the end of a long day of doing nothing but philosophy reading, sometimes I just need something lighter. The approach that was suggested for this read was a chapter or so a week, which is a pace most feel they can maintain, despite whatever other commitments they have.

Mrz. 21, 2008, 6:23pm

Thank you so very much for your reply. I'm new to this site and I ". . . found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost." Translation: Book reading groups are, to me, Terra incognito.

Should a chapter-by-chapter weekly read be started, I'd be pleased to add my comments. I've been through the book twice, and have a decent working knowledge of the many topics covered.

Mrz. 21, 2008, 7:59pm


There hasn't been overwhelming interest in this so far, but we'll leave it open and see if anybody else comes out of the woodwork, I suppose.

Mrz. 27, 2008, 6:28am

Just worked my way down to this thread - I'm in!

I've had GEB on my wishlist for months, so this is a great impetus.

Mrz. 31, 2008, 1:51am

Well, I've had GEB on my shelf for decades, and this looks like the right time to finally open it. I'm in. Is there an official starting day for the discussion? Perhaps we need to wait for some members to obtain the book?

Mrz. 31, 2008, 7:40am

Hey various philosophers and theorizers! The general consensus was that we'd go ahead and get started this week, and hope to be discussing chapter 1 by this weekend or so. I went ahead and started an actual "discussion" thread here, so come on over and start discussing whenever you're ready!


Jul. 24, 2009, 2:23pm


Find out more about this subject by using our research page

In 1900, in Paris, the International Congress of Mathematicians gathered in a mood of hope and fear. The edifice of maths was grand and ornate but its foundations, called axioms, were shaking with inconsistency and lurking paradox. And so, at that conference, a young man called David Hilbert set out a plan to rebuild them – to make them consistent, all encompassing and without any hint of a paradox.

Hilbert was one of the greatest mathematicians that ever lived, but his plan failed, spectacularly, and it did so because of the incompleteness theorems. These were the work of Kurt Gödel and they changed the way we understand maths, took us to the very limits of logic and sent challenges spilling out into the worlds of physics, philosophy and beyond.


Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at Wadham College, University of Oxford

John Barrow, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Gresham Professor of Geometry

Philip Welch, Professor of Mathematical Logic at the University of Bristol