Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393241998

Category: Mathematics

Page: 384

View: 6687

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"A gripping guide to the modern taming of the infinite."—The New York Times. With a new introduction by Neal Stephenson. Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? David Foster Wallace brings his intellectual ambition and characteristic bravura style to the story of how mathematicians have struggled to understand the infinite, from the ancient Greeks to the nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's counterintuitive discovery that there was more than one kind of infinity. Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and high-profile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics.
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The Broom of the System

A Novel

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101153536

Category: Fiction

Page: 480

View: 9772

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Published when Wallace was just twenty-four years old, The Broom of the System stunned critics and marked the emergence of an extraordinary new talent. At the center of this outlandishly funny, fiercely intelligent novel is the bewitching heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman. The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio. Lenore’s great-grandmother has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her beau, and boss, Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous, and her cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started spouting a mixture of psycho-babble, Auden, and the King James Bible. Ingenious and entertaining, this debut from one of the most innovative writers of his generation brilliantly explores the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.
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The Infinite

Author: A.W. Moore

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351381253

Category: Philosophy

Page: 308

View: 2669

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We are all captivated and puzzled by the infinite, in its many varied guises; by the endlessness of space and time; by the thought that between any two points in space, however close, there is always another; by the fact that numbers go on forever; and by the idea of an all-knowing, all-powerful God. In this acclaimed introduction to the infinite, A. W. Moore takes us on a journey back to early Greek thought about the infinite, from its inception to Aristotle. He then examines medieval and early modern conceptions of the infinite, including a brief history of the calculus, before turning to Kant and post-Kantian ideas. He also gives an account of Cantor’s remarkable discovery that some infinities are bigger than others. In the second part of the book, Moore develops his own views, drawing on technical advances in the mathematics of the infinite, including the celebrated theorems of Skolem and Gödel, and deriving inspiration from Wittgenstein. He concludes this part with a discussion of death and human finitude. For this third edition Moore has added a new part, ‘Infinity superseded’, which contains two new chapters refining his own ideas through a re-examination of the ideas of Spinoza, Hegel, and Nietzsche. This new part is heavily influenced by the work of Deleuze. Also new for the third edition are: a technical appendix on still unresolved questions about different infinite sizes; an expanded glossary; and updated references and further reading. The Infinite, Third Edition is ideal reading for anyone interested in an engaging and historically informed account of this fascinating topic, whether from a philosophical point of view, a mathematical point of view, or a religious point of view.
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Is God a Mathematician?

Author: Mario Livio

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781416594437

Category: Mathematics

Page: 320

View: 3563

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Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how—if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind—it can so perfectly explain the physical world. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that—mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is “a product of human thought that is independent of experience,” how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us? Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.
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David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

A Reader's Guide

Author: Stephen J. Burn

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441186328

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 3452

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Infinite Jest has been hailed as one the great modern American novels and its author, David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008, as one of the most influential and innovative authors of the past 20 years. Don DeLillo called Infinite Jest a "three-stage rocket to the future," a work "equal to the huge, babbling spin-out sweep of contemporary life," while Time Magazine included Infinite Jest on its list of 100 Greatest Novels published between 1923-2006. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest: A Reader's Guide was the first book to be published on the novel and is a key reference for those who wish to explore further. Infinite Jest has become an exemplar for difficulty in contemporary Fiction-its 1,079 pages full of verbal invention, oblique narration, and a scattered, nonlinear, chronology. In this comprehensively revised second edition, Burn maps Wallace's influence on contemporary American fiction, outlines Wallace's poetics, and provides a full-length study of the novel, drawing out the most important themes and ideas, before surveying Wallace's post-Infinite Jest output, including The Pale King.
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