Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite

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Princeton University Press, 1995 - Nature - 342 pages
2 Reviews

In Infinity and the Mind, Rudy Rucker leads an excursion to that stretch of the universe he calls the "Mindscape," where he explores infinity in all its forms: potential and actual, mathematical and physical, theological and mundane. Rucker acquaints us with Gödel's rotating universe, in which it is theoretically possible to travel into the past, and explains an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which billions of parallel worlds are produced every microsecond. It is in the realm of infinity, he maintains, that mathematics, science, and logic merge with the fantastic. By closely examining the paradoxes that arise from this merging, we can learn a great deal about the human mind, its powers, and its limitations.

Using cartoons, puzzles, and quotations to enliven his text, Rucker guides us through such topics as the paradoxes of set theory, the possibilities of physical infinities, and the results of Gödel's incompleteness theorems. His personal encounters with Gödel the mathematician and philosopher provide a rare glimpse at genius and reveal what very few mathematicians have dared to admit: the transcendent implications of Platonic realism.

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User Review  - MaowangVater - LibraryThing

In the 1981 preface Rucker writes, “This book discusses every kind of infinity: potential and actual, mathematical and physical, the ontological and the mundane.” The main line of argument is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Packrat - LibraryThing

The contents of this book is best used in 50 lb bags, available at most lawn & garden stores. You would get a better grasp of infinity by overdosing on dextromethorphan than by reading this tripe. The basic concept of a true infinity escapes Mr. Rucker throughout the whole book. Read full review

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