Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (Great Discoveries)

Great Discoveries

Book 0
W. W. Norton & Company
2
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"A gem…An unforgettable account of one of the great moments in the history of human thought." —Steven Pinker

Probing the life and work of Kurt Gödel, Incompleteness indelibly portrays the tortured genius whose vision rocked the stability of mathematical reasoning—and brought him to the edge of madness.

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About the author

Rebecca Goldstein is a MacArthur Fellow, a professor of philosophy, and the author of five novels and a collection of short stories. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Feb 17, 2006
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780393242454
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Science & Technology
Mathematics / History & Philosophy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The book grapples with these elusive mysteries, but at its heart is a fiery love story of startling urgency. Insights into quantum mechanics and relativity theory are attached to the nerve fibers of human emotions, and these connections are alive with poignancy and pathos.
For these characters, the passion to know and understand, like the desire for love, is full of terrible risk, holding out possibilities for heartbreak as well as for ecstasy. The true subject of Properties of Light is the ecstatic response to reality, perhaps the only response that can embrace the erotic and the poetic, the scientific and the spiritual. Written with, and about, a rare form of passion, this incandescent novel is fiction at its most daring and utterly original.
The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands

The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it.

Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?

How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.

Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.
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