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Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth Paperback – 7 Sep 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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  • Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First Edition edition (7 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747597200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747597209
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 2.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

`A compelling read ... There are some terrific characters here, and seeing them in a comic shows off their quirky personalities' --BBC Focus Magazine

`Logicomix exposes the roots of Russell's need for certainty- a troubled childhood, what else? - and tracks the collateral damage it caused in his and his loved ones' lives. The book is a visual treat as well ... The authors themselves debate questions that may be a breeze compared with the ones Russell wrestled with, but they are still far from easy. Logicomix is a wonderfully persuasive answer'
--Financial Times

This is probably the best and certainly the most extraordinary graphic novel I have ever come across. -- Sunday Times

About the Author

Admitted to Columbia University when he was 15, Apostolos Doxiadis has studied mathematics at both undergraduate and graduate level. An internationally recognised expert on the subjects of mathematics and narrative, he has also worked in film and theatre, and is the author of the international bestseller Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture.



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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Who could have expected this jewel?

A comic book about Mathematical Logic
Created by Greek Mathematicians and artists
Structured around the life of Bertrand Russell
Starring characters include Wittgenstein, Hilbert, Peano, Cantor
Explains logic in a non-patronising, lightweight, clear way (so hard to do) - you do not need to be a specialist to understand this
Witty, flippant, and human story full of self-references to the authors

The commercial success of this book demonstrates the powerful demand for clear explanation of Science. Science does not need to be dumbed down a la BBC Science, presented by dingbats who know not of what they speak (to paraphrase Wittgenstein).

Congratulations to the authors - lets have more!
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Logicomix. At first, I was rather skeptical about whether a comic book would do justice to covering the life of Bertrand Russell and his contemporaries (including Alfred North Whitehead, Georg Cantor, Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, Kurt Godel, Ludwig Wittgenstein, et al.) as they sought to discover more rigorous foundations for mathematics via logic -- their epic search for truth. I'm happy to report that this comic book does an excellent job of doing that and more. The two main co-authors of this book are from maths related backgrounds and they have largely succeeded in their goal of making accessible Bertrand Russell's (and others' -- particularly Wittgenstein's) life-long goal of discovering they key to attaining unshakeable knowledge of 'truths' fundamental to the workings of the universe. That they failed (thanks to Kurt Godel and Alan Turing and, to some extent, Russell and Wittgenstein themselves) in their quest -- which the book points out -- is nothing to be ashamed of since -- as the Greek authors of the book may point out (drawing upon Aristotle) -- the journey toward knowledge is rewarding in it of itself. It's also worth noting that the 'failure' of their original goals actually gave birth to the creation of an important and wholly new field of endeavor: computer science.

Please don't let my egg-headed, solemn-toned praise of this book put you off if you feel intimidated by logic, philosophy, or maths. This is one of those rare books that will give anyone -- regardless of the background knowledge one may or may not bring to it -- the sense of having been intellectually enriched and smarter after reading it.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is an astonishing book, an absolute gem. It kept me captivated from beginning to end, and reawoke a long dormant fascination with matters philosophical. A work of genius that will be enjoyed by anyone with an open mind (no prior knowledge of maths or philosophy required).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read it in just 2 days. Great work has gone into this comic which brings mathematics at the forefront with the most exciting way. Even if you're not into mathematics or philosophy you will certainly find it very interesting. The great thing is that one can be introduced into the basics of 20th century philosophy quite neatly and more importnantly in an understandable way. Definitely recommend this book to anyone!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book breaks new ground for the graphic novel. It's so refreshing to see this sort of material presented in such a fresh and fun way. I loved it from beginning to end and if you've struggled with the concepts dealt with by this work then by the time you've read it all the lights will be on!
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By Athan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read "Uncle Petros" in the original Greek and loved it. On the evidence of the dialogue in "Logicomix," the author, an amateur mathematician, has a much better command of the Greek language than any other, and I presume that's what's steered him toward the comic format here.

It's mighty successful!

There's poetic license here, a lot of interpretation, a fair amount of vanity (I once went to a lecture where Doxiadis spoke and he's a lot thinner in "Logicomix" than in real life) but the bottom line is that the book is vastly entertaining, highly instructive and paints a deep, complex portrait of Bertrand Russell, takes you though his relationships with the mathematicians and logicians he worked with, including Frege, Whitehead, Wittgenstein and Godel and as an added bonus teaches you a fair amount of logic.

It's easy to complain that it's not complete, or that it's not fully accurate etc. but IT'S A COMIC BOOK for crying out loud. If you want more there are libraries out there.

I guess the ultimate measure of the book's success will be if I find it in me to schlep over to Imperial and take out a couple books on logic...
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Format: Paperback
This book is described as an innovative graphic novel based on the life of Bertrand Russel. In fact it uses Russel's life (though incomplete and often inaccurate as the authors admit) to expose the dramatic journey of mathematical logic and meta-mathematics during the twentieth century.
I must confess that I was disappointed when I received the book and saw that it was in a format of "comics" to which I am entirely unaccustomed and find it inappropriate and depthless to tackle such a serious project. It took me quite sometime and more than fifty plus pages through it to begin to enjoy it and even get excited by it.
One reason I suppose the authors used this format is that there are numerous books already on this subject starting with the "classic" by Douglas Hofstadter " Godel, Escher, Bach".
As the narrative progresses, the affinity of "set theory" to metaphyscs (Erret Bishop called it "God's Mathematics") becomes more and more obvious) and its consequent effect on its students-many of whom became either mad, depressed or committed suicide- is one of the most successful aspects of the book. As the authors state: "Put a man on the brink of the abyss and-in the unlike event that he doesn't fall into it- he will become either a mystic or a madman". I found inadequate the description of Wittgenstein's change between the "Tractacus" and the "Philosopical Investigations" but the overall narrative flowed naturally to the final message which is that the human journey for truth will always be incomplete and fated to remain forever uncharted.
The pictures are generally good, some pieces of the text are very clever (although some are superfluous and/or flat) but at the end of its reading the book was very satisfying and enjoyable.
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