Douglas is a scholar of cognitive science, physics and comparative literature whose research includes concepts such as the sense of self in relation to the external world, consciousness, analogy-making, artistic creation, literary translation and discovery in mathematics and physics. He is Director of the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition at Indiana University Bloomington. His 1979 book "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" won both the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and a National Book Award for Science. His 2007 book "I Am a Strange Loop" won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology.
Douglas describes himself as a "non-religious person" and a "materialist" who is strongly critical of pseudoscience and claims of the paranormal - so has a naturalistic worldview.
He seems to have at least a theoretical sentiocentric moral scope, having gone vegan as a teenager due to his views on the distribution of consciousness across the animal kingdom and due to his compassionate ethics. In "I Am a Strange Loop" he describes himself as vegetarian.