The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

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Penguin, Jul 21, 2011 - Science - 496 pages
14 Reviews
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The New York Times bestseller: A provocative, imaginative exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge

“Dazzling.” – Steven Pinker, The Guardian

In this groundbreaking book, award-winning physicist David Deutsch argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe—and that improving them is the basic regulating principle of all successful human endeavor. Taking us on a journey through every fundamental field of science, as well as the history of civilization, art, moral values, and the theory of political institutions, Deutsch tracks how we form new explanations and drop bad ones, explaining the conditions under which progress—which he argues is potentially boundless—can and cannot happen. Hugely ambitious and highly original, The Beginning of Infinity explores and establishes deep connections between the laws of nature, the human condition, knowledge, and the possibility for progress.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paul_S - LibraryThing

This book centres around splitting all things into two categories, everything is either infinite or parochial. Many times I have no idea what the author means when he calls something parochial. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mrgan - LibraryThing

It's odd that a book written in such a priggishly prescriptive tone should be, while you read it, so compelling, and even more odd that it should, in the end, say so little. While it touches on many ... Read full review

Selected pages


The Reach of Explanations
Closer to Reality
The Spark
The Reality of Abstractions
The Jump to Universality
A Dream of Socrates
The Multiverse
A Physicists History of Bad Philosophy
Why are Flowers Beautiful?
The Evolution of Culture
The Evolution of Creativity

Artificial Creativity
A Window on Infinity
The Beginning

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About the author (2011)

Born in Haifa, Israel, David Deutsch was educated at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a professor of physics at the University of Oxford, where he is a member of the Centre for Quantum Computation. His papers on quantum computation laid the foundations for that field, and he is an authority on the theory of parallel universes. His honors include the Institute of Physics' Paul Dirac Prize and Medal. The author of The Fabric of Reality, he lives in England.

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