on 20 March 2009
This is an excellent introduction to the notion of Forcing from, as it were, the horse's mouth. Cohen is, however, something of an unreconstructed non-constructivist, and so does not seem to take the Intuitionist view all that seriously. Basically, he has no problem with completed infinities and so embraces the whole menagerie of large cardinals that ultimately flow from this standpoint. So if the whole idea of the Continuum as it stands gives you a bit of a philosophical itch in a place you can't quite reach, this book won't help you scratch it. It is, however, in it's own way, fascinating.
on 19 March 2009
As for the content of this book, there is little to say. It is the original book by Cohen.
However, I write this review just to warn that it is in a 'typewriter' font, which makes it very unpleasant on the eye and difficult to read.
on 2 November 2011
This book reminds me of the Russellian Principia.... To be filed in the list of unreadable books : books written by great mathematicians for their peers, professional mathematicians...
If you're interested in the continuum problem, your best buy is Smullyan's "Set theory and the continuum problem" : accessible, lucid, elegant and complete.