Everything and More

Everything and More

A Compact History of [infinity]

Book - 2003
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
The award-winning author of Infinite Jest considers the paradoxical nature of infinity, considering whether or not it is mathematically plausible or just an abstract concept, and examining the work of Georg Cantor as it contributed to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and computer technology. 50,000 first printing.

Norton Pub
The best-selling author of Infinite Jest on the two-thousand-year-old quest to understand infinity.
One of the outstanding voices of his generation, David Foster Wallace has won a large and devoted following for the intellectual ambition and bravura style of his fiction and essays. Now he brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? The nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's answer to this question not only surprised him but also shook the very foundations upon which math had been built. Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities created controversy in his time and may have hastened his mental breakdown, but it also helped lead to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and even computer technology.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.

Book News
California novelist and essayist Wallace contributes to the series of popular technical writing by examining a set of mathematical achievements that he finds to be extremely abstract and technical but also extremely profound, interesting, and beautiful. He writes for readers who have no technical background, and includes sections clearly marked for those who do. He has not indexed his work. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
Since the time of the ancient Greeks, when Zeno proposed his notorious paradoxes, the nature of infinity has perplexed mathematicians and philosophers. Is it a valid mathematical entity or a meaningless abstraction? Plato and Aristotle in their day, Galileo and Newton nearly two thousand years later, all grappled with it. But it was the nineteenth-century mathematicians Karl Weierstrass, Richard Dedekind, and Georg Cantor whose work established a whole new mathematics of infinity. In particular, Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities was both enormously controversial and mind-bendingly beautiful - a glimpse of a strange landscape where the everyday rules of arithmetic are broken, and where there truly can be found everything and more.
Wallace is a splendid guide to this new territory, patiently and ingeniously taking us through the math and ideas that led to Cantor's discovery. In so doing he has created both an adept introduction to infinity and a literary masterpiece.

Baker
& Taylor

Considers the paradoxical nature of infinity, considering whether or not it is mathematically plausible or just an abstract concept, and examining the work of Georg Cantor as it contributed to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and computer technology.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393003383
0393003388
Branch Call Number: 511.3 WAL
Characteristics: 319 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at DPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top