Mathematical Fallacies and Paradoxes

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Courier Dover Publications, Jul 1, 1997 - Mathematics - 216 pages
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From ancient Greek mathematics to 20th-century quantum theory, paradoxes, fallacies and other intellectual inconsistencies have long puzzled and intrigued the mind of man. This stimulating, thought-provoking compilation collects and analyzes the most interesting paradoxes and fallacies from mathematics, logic, physics and language.
While focusing primarily on mathematical issues of the 20th century (notably Godel's theorem of 1931 and decision problems in general), the work takes a look as well at the mind-bending formulations of such brilliant men as Galileo, Leibniz, Georg Cantor and Lewis Carroll ― and describes them in readily accessible detail. Readers will find themselves engrossed in delightful elucidations of methods for misunderstanding the real world by experiment (Aristotle's Circle paradox), being led astray by algebra (De Morgan's paradox), failing to comprehend real events through logic (the Swedish Civil Defense Exercise paradox), mistaking infinity (Euler's paradox), understanding how chance ceases to work in the real world (the Petersburg paradox) and other puzzling problems. Some high school algebra and geometry is assumed; any other math needed is developed in the text. Entertaining and mind-expanding, this volume will appeal to anyone looking for challenging mental exercises.

  

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i could not understand the series formula at all.how can value of n change each time in a single series?

Review: Mathematical Fallacies and Paradoxes

User Review  - Richard - Goodreads

The beginning pages are a little too elementary, though they set good groundwork for the paradoxes to come. Once the book gets into the problems of infinity and logic vs. mathematical logic, then we got some good stuff happening that makes for intriguing reading. Read full review

Contents

Thinking Wrong about Infinity
38
Using a Wrong Idea to Find Truth
74
Speaking with Forked Tongue
94
Paradoxes That Count
110
The Limits of Thought?
140
Misunderstanding Space and Time
161
Moving against Infinity
191
Selected Further Reading
211
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About the author (1997)

Bryan Bunch has written or edited numerous science books. He lives in Pleasant Valley, New York.

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