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Forever Undecided is the most challenging yet of Raymond Smullyan's puzzle collections. It is, at the same time, an introduction--ingenious, instructive, entertaining--to Gödel's famous theorems. With all the wit and charm that have delighted readers of his previous books, Smullyan transports us once again to that magical island where knights always tell the truth and knaves always lie. Here we meet a new and amazing array of characters, visitors to the island, seeking to determine the natives' identities. Among them: the census-taker McGregor; a philosophical-logician in search of his flighty bird-wife, Oona; and a regiment of Reasoners (timid ones, normal ones, conceited, modest, and peculiar ones) armed with the rules of propositional logic (if X is true, then so is Y). By following the Reasoners through brain-tingling exercises and adventures--including journeys into the "other possible worlds" of Kripke semantics--even the most illogical of us come to understand Gödel's two great theorems on incompleteness and undecidability, some of their philosophical and mathematical implications, and why we, like Gödel himself, must remain Forever Undecided!
In his new book, Raymond Smullyan, grand vizier of the logic puzzle, joins Scheherazade, a charming young woman of "fantastic logical ingenuity," to give us 1001 hours of brain-teasing fun. Scheherazade, we find, has gotten back into hot water with the king, and is once more in danger of losing her head at down. But, thinking quickly, she tempts the king to stay her execution by posing him the most delightfully devious mathematical and logic puzzle ever invented. They keep him guessing for many more nights until the fatal hour has passed, and she keeps her head. The Riddle of Scheherazade includes several wonderful old chestnuts and many fiendishly original puzzles, 225 in all. There are logic tricks and number games, metapuzzles (puzzles about puzzles), liar/truth-teller exercises, Gödelian brian twisters, baffling paradoxes, and an excursion, under Scheherazade's expert guidance, into an amusing new field invented by Smullyan, called "coercive" logic, in which the answer to a problem can actually change the fate of the puzzler! An absolute must for all puzzle fans--from the middle-school whiz to the sophisticated mathematician or computer scientist.
Honorable knights, lying knaves, and other fanciful characters populate this unusual survey of the principles underlying the works of Georg Cantor. Created by a renowned mathematician, these engaging puzzles apply logical precepts to issues of infinity, probability, time, and change. They require a strong mathematics background and feature complete solutions.
Westerner light-heartedly discusses The TAO and its relation to everything.
In this entertaining and challenging collection of logic puzzles, Raymond Smullyan -- author of Forever Undecided -- continues to delight and astonish us with his gift for making available, in the thoroughly pleasurable form of puzzles, some of the most important mathematical thinking of our time. In the first part of the book, he transports us once again to that wonderful realm where knights, knaves, twin sisters, quadruplet brothers, gods, demons, and mortals either always tell the truth or always lie, and where truth-seekers are set a variety of fascinating problems. The section culminates in an enchanting and profound metapuzzle in which Inspector Craig of Scotland Yard gets involved in a search for the Fountain of Youth on the Island of Knights and Knaves. In the second part of To Mock a Mockingbird, we accompany the Inspector on a summer-long adventure into the field of combinatory logic (a branch of logic that plays an important role in computer science and artificial intelligence). His adventure, which includes enchanted forests, talking birds, bird sociologists, and a classic quest, provides for us along the way the pleasure of solving puzzles of increasing complexity until we reach the Master Forest and -- thanks to Godel's famous theorem -- the final revelation.
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