Université Paris VIII
Amphithéâtre D02



Jean-François Dortier
Directeur du Magazine Sciences Humaines (Animation de la table ronde)

Roberto Casati
Directeur de Recherche CNRS, Institut Jean Nicod

Jean-Luc Fidel
Directeur Editorial, Odile Jacob

Raphaële Miljkovitch
Professeure de Psychologie du Développement, Université Paris 8

Jean-François Richard
Professeur Honoraire, Université Paris 8

André Tricot
Professeur de Psychologie Cognitive, Université Toulouse Le Mirail

“Surfaces and Essences is a mind-boggling argument for the central role that analogies play in human thought. Hofstadter and Sander’s witty and profound masterpiece will leave you thinking about thinking in totally new ways.”

—Elizabeth F. Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California, and author of Eyewitness Testimony

“I am one of those cognitive scientists who believe that analogy is a key to explaining human intelligence. This magnum opus by Douglas Hofstadter, who has reflected on the nature of analogy for decades, and Emmanuel Sander, is a milestone in our understanding of human thought, filled with insights and new ideas.”

—Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Stuff of Thought

“Surfaces and Essences has much of both. And more. This book is fun! And serious. Category, analogy (and similarity) are at the core of cognition. On every page, you will find delights: you will be informed, you will be puzzled; you will agree vehemently and you will disagree just as vehemently; you will ponder. And you will return for more.”

—Barbara Tversky, Professor Emerita of Psychology, Stanford University, and Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia Teachers College

“Hofstadter and Sander’s book starts with two audacious goals: to show that none of us can think a minute without using a variety of analogies, and that becoming aware of this fact can help us think more clearly. Then, patiently and with humor, the authors prove their claims across the whole spectrum, from everyday conversation to scientific thought processes, even that of Einstein.”

—Gerald Holton, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics Emeritus, Harvard University

“Immensely enjoyable, with a plethora of fascinating examples and anecdotes, this book will make you understand your own,thought processes in a wholly new way. It’s analogy all the way down!”

—Melanie Mitchell, Professor of Computer Science, Portland State University, and author of Complexity

“Hofstadter and Sander provide a persuasive answer to the question ‘what is thought?’ They mount a compelling case through analysis of a wealth of insightful exemplars, from everyday thinking to the highest achievements of the human mind.”

—Nancy J Nersessian, Professor of Cognitive Science, Georgia Institute of Technology

“Doug Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander rip apart everyday understanding to reveal insights of both mind and universe. The key is to recognize that analogies and concepts are the same things, that they are ubiquitous, universal, and key to understanding human thought. Easy to read, but deep to comprehend. The result is both enjoyable and profound.”

—Don Norman, author of Living with Complexity and The Design of Everyday Things