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June 16 , 2009


The Magic, Music and Mathematics of Raymond Smullyan


This is an exciting if not rambling account of events of Raymond Smullyan's four lives — as a mathematical logician, musician, magician, and author — together with thoughts that come to his mind as he recalls them. This book includes topics from some of Smullyan's twenty-six books, as well as many of his favorite anecdotes and jokes. It also presents some generalizations of theorems of the great logicians Gödel and Tarski, and discusses logic in general, and how he won his wife with a logic trick! Smullyan also relates some of his teaching experiences, and expresses his views on mathematical education, and how our present textbooks are primarily responsible for its decline! About his life as a pianist, Smullyan relates a good deal about his experiences with the Piano Society — a wonderful organization to which he is a staunch contributor, and how he has had such delightful relations with many of its members. Last but not least, Smullyan recounts how he has known some lovely ladies over the years.

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The issue of private property and the rights it confers remain almost undiscussed in critiques of globalization and free market economics. Yet property lies at the heart of an economic system geared to profit maximization. The authors describe the historically specific and self-consciously explicit manner in which it emerged. They trace this…

  • Early Childhood
  • Later Childhood
  • High School
  • Beginning College
  • University of Chicago, Music, Magic
  • Dartmouth, Princeton
  • After Graduation
  • Diagonalization, Love, Logic, a Letter
  • The Piano Society
  • Lovely Ladies I Have Known

Readership: Music enthusiasts, piano society, math and logic enthusiasts, people interested in magic, people interested in Taoist philosophy, etc.
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