Aha! Gotcha: Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight
13 October 2013, 15:19
1982 | PDF | 2.67MB
This is an ageless book for the people who love to think and do it well. A paradox is a situation where a supposedly valid chain of reasoning is performed and yet you end up with a conclusion that cannot be true. In many cases, the paradox is due to imprecise definitions of words or statements that are so broad in scope that they refer to themselves. For example, when a Cretan says, "All Cretans are liars." The scope of the sentence is so broad that it includes the sentence itself. Therefore, if the statement is true, the person saying it must be lying and if the statement is false, then the Cretan is telling the truth, which means that according to the statement he must be lying.
Many of the paradoxes are resolved by applying a simple analysis. Some of them are easily understood if presented in the appropriate context and no one does this better than Martin Gardner. He is truly unique in his ability to take a difficult mathematical concept and make it understandable. During his decades as the author of a regular mathematical column in Scientific American, he has done more to advance the progress of mathematics and science than anyone else in history. By turning so many young people on to mathematics, he is one of the intellectual grandfathers of hundreds of thousands of people.
This book is a delight and contains many problems that can be used in courses in mathematics, reasoning and philosophy. I strongly recommend it. - By Charles Ashbacher
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