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Logicomix: graphic novel of the quest for the foundations of mathematics

Logicomix: graphic novel of the quest for the foundations of mathematics

Tim Finin, 11:28pm 26 September 2009

LogicomixThe NYT reviewed Logicomix by writer Apostolos Doxiadis and Berkeley CS professor Christos Papadimitriou.

“First published last year in Greece (where it became a surprise best seller), the comic book — er, graphic novel? — is the brainchild of Apostolos Doxiadis, previously the author of a not-bad mathematical fiction called “Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture.” For expert assistance on logic, Doxiadis called on his friend Christos Papadimitriou, a professor of computer science at Berkeley and the author of a novel about Alan Turing.”

It looks great. Amazon is out of stock for the harccover version, but there are other online sources that have copies and I’ve ordered one for the ebiquity lab. The paperback version will be released on Monday.

Here’s how the Logicomix site describes it.

“Covering a span of sixty years, the graphic novel Logicomix was inspired by the epic story of the quest for the Foundations of Mathematics.

This was a heroic intellectual adventure most of whose protagonists paid the price of knowledge with extreme personal suffering and even insanity. The book tells its tale in an engaging way, at the same time complex and accessible. It grounds the philosophical struggles on the undercurrent of personal emotional turmoil, as well as the momentous historical events and ideological battles which gave rise to them.

The role of narrator is given to the most eloquent and spirited of the story’s protagonists, the great logician, philosopher and pacifist Bertrand Russell. It is through his eyes that the plights of such great thinkers as Frege, Hilbert, Poincaré, Wittgenstein and Gödel come to life, and through his own passionate involvement in the quest that the various narrative strands come together.”

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