Quotations by Hofstadter, Douglas


[The right wing] believe that their prestige in the community, even indeed their self-esteem, depends on having these values honored in public. Besides their economic expectations, people have deep emotional commitments in other spheres — religion, morals, culture, race relations — which they also hope to see realized in political action. Status politics seeks not to advance perceived material interests but to express grievances and resentments about such matters, to press claims upon society to give deference to non-economic values.

Douglas R. Hofstadter (b. 1945) American academic, cognitive scientist, author
“Pseudo-Conservatism Revisited — 1965,” sec. 4 (1965)
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Added on 4-Nov-20 | Last updated 4-Nov-20
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When you’re not looking at it, this sentence is in Spanish.

Douglas R. Hofstadter (b. 1945) American academic, cognitive scientist, author
“Understanding understanding,” Scientific American (Jan 1981)
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Frequently misattributed to his most famous book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979). Reprinted in his  <i>Metamagical Themas</i>, ch. 1 "On Self-Referential Sentences" (1985).

Added on 20-Jan-11 | Last updated 7-Oct-14
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The case against intellect is founded upon a set of fictional and wholly abstract antagonisms. Intellect is pitted against feeling, on the ground it is somehow inconsistent with warm emotion. It is pitted against character, because it is widely believed that intellect stands for mere cleverness, which transmutes easily into the sly or the diabolical. It is pitted against practicality, since theory is held to be opposed to practice, and the “purely” theoretical mind is so much disesteemed. It is pitted against democracy, since intellect is felt to be a form of distinction that defies egalitarianism. Once the validity of these antagonisms is accepted, then the case for intellect, and by extension for the intellectual, is lost. Who cares to risk sacrificing warmth of emotion, solidity of character, practical capacity, or democratic sentiment in order to pay deference to a type of man who at best is deemed to be merely clever and at worst may even be dangerous?

Douglas R. Hofstadter (b. 1945) American academic, cognitive scientist, author
Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Part 1, ch. 2 “On the Unpopularity of Intellect” (1962)
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Added on 11-Nov-20 | Last updated 11-Nov-20
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Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

Douglas R. Hofstadter (b. 1945) American academic, cognitive scientist, author
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, “Hofstadter’s Law” (1979)
Added on 4-Jan-11 | Last updated 4-Jan-11
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