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Logic


Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Lowest new price: $14.66
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Author: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Brand: Douglas R Hofstadter

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

A metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll

Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of "maps" or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.

Twenty years after it topped the bestseller charts, Douglas R. Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid is still something of a marvel. Besides being a profound and entertaining meditation on human thought and creativity, this book looks at the surprising points of contact between the music of Bach, the artwork of Escher, and the mathematics of Gödel. It also looks at the prospects for computers and artificial intelligence (AI) for mimicking human thought. For the general reader and the computer techie alike, this book still sets a standard for thinking about the future of computers and their relation to the way we think.

Hofstadter's great achievement in Gödel, Escher, Bach was making abstruse mathematical topics (like undecidability, recursion, and 'strange loops') accessible and remarkably entertaining. Borrowing a page from Lewis Carroll (who might well have been a fan of this book), each chapter presents dialogue between the Tortoise and Achilles, as well as other characters who dramatize concepts discussed later in more detail. Allusions to Bach's music (centering on his Musical Offering) and Escher's continually paradoxical artwork are plentiful here. This more approachable material lets the author delve into serious number theory (concentrating on the ramifications of Gödel's Theorem of Incompleteness) while stopping along the way to ponder the work of a host of other mathematicians, artists, and thinkers.

The world has moved on since 1979, of course. The book predicted that computers probably won't ever beat humans in chess, though Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in 1997. And the vinyl record, which serves for some of Hofstadter's best analogies, is now left to collectors. Sections on recursion and the graphs of certain functions from physics look tantalizing, like the fractals of recent chaos theory. And AI has moved on, of course, with mixed results. Yet Gödel, Escher, Bach remains a remarkable achievement. Its intellectual range and ability to let us visualize difficult mathematical concepts help make it one of this century's best for anyone who's interested in computers and their potential for real intelligence. --Richard Dragan

Topics Covered: J.S. Bach, M.C. Escher, Kurt Gödel: biographical information and work, artificial intelligence (AI) history and theories, strange loops and tangled hierarchies, formal and informal systems, number theory, form in mathematics, figure and ground, consistency, completeness, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry, recursive structures, theories of meaning, propositional calculus, typographical number theory, Zen and mathematics, levels of description and computers; theory of mind: neurons, minds and thoughts; undecidability; self-reference and self-representation; Turing test for machine intelligence.

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  • Godel Escher Bach An Eternal Golden Braid

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Thinking Mathematically (6th Edition)

Thinking Mathematically (6th Edition) Lowest new price: $135.00
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Author: Robert F. Blitzer

NOTE: This book is a standalone book and doesn't include an access code.



In Thinking Mathematically, Sixth Edition, Bob Blitzer’s distinctive and relatable voice motivates students from diverse backgrounds and majors, engaging them in the math through compelling, real-world applications. Understanding that most students in a liberal arts math course are not math majors, and are unlikely to take another math class, Blitzer has provided tools in every chapter to help them master the material with confidence, while also showing them the beauty and fun of math. The variety of topics and flexibility of sequence make this text appropriate for a one- or two-term course in liberal arts mathematics or general education mathematics.

 

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Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MyMathLab does not come packaged with this content. If you would like to purchase both the physical text and MyMathLab, search for 

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An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments Lowest new price: $9.45
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Author: Ali Almossawi
Brand: Experiment

“A flawless compendium of flaws.” —Alice Roberts, PhD, anatomist, writer, and presenter of The Incredible Human Journey

The antidote to fuzzy thinking, with furry animals!

Have you read (or stumbled into) one too many irrational online debates? Ali Almossawi certainly had, so he wrote An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments! This handy guide is here to bring the internet age a much-needed dose of old-school logic (really old-school, a la Aristotle).

Here are cogent explanations of the straw man fallacy, the slippery slope argument, the ad hominem attack, and other common attempts at reasoning that actually fall short—plus a beautifully drawn menagerie of animals who (adorably) commit every logical faux pas. Rabbit thinks a strange light in the sky must be a UFO because no one can prove otherwise (the appeal to ignorance). And Lion doesn’t believe that gas emissions harm the planet because, if that were true, he wouldn’t like the result (the argument from consequences).

Once you learn to recognize these abuses of reason, they start to crop up everywhere from congressional debate to YouTube comments—which makes this geek-chic book a must for anyone in the habit of holding opinions.


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  • Experiment

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How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (Princeton Science Library)

How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (Princeton Science Library) Lowest new price: $9.18
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Author: G. Polya
Brand: Princeton University Press

A perennial bestseller by eminent mathematician G. Polya, How to Solve It will show anyone in any field how to think straight. In lucid and appealing prose, Polya reveals how the mathematical method of demonstrating a proof or finding an unknown can be of help in attacking any problem that can be "reasoned" out―from building a bridge to winning a game of anagrams. Generations of readers have relished Polya's deft―indeed, brilliant―instructions on stripping away irrelevancies and going straight to the heart of the problem.

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  • Princeton University Press

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My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math)

My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math) Lowest new price: $3.60
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Author: Martin Gardner
Brand: Dover Publications

Over a period of 25 years as author of the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American, Martin Gardner devoted a column every six months or so to short math problems or puzzles. He was especially careful to present new and unfamiliar puzzles that had not been included in such classic collections as those by Sam Loyd and Henry Dudeney. Later, these puzzles were published in book collections, incorporating reader feedback on alternate solutions or interesting generalizations.
The present volume contains a rich selection of 70 of the best of these brain teasers, in some cases including references to new developments related to the puzzle. Now enthusiasts can challenge their solving skills and rattle their egos with such stimulating mind-benders as The Returning Explorer, The Mutilated Chessboard, Scrambled Box Tops, The Fork in the Road, Bronx vs. Brooklyn, Touching Cigarettes, and 64 other problems involving logic and basic math. Solutions are included.

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  • My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles

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Logic: A Very Short Introduction

Logic: A Very Short Introduction Lowest new price: $8.00
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Author: Graham Priest
Brand: Graham Priest

Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

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  • Logic A Very Short Introduction

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Book of Proof

Book of Proof Lowest new price: $10.99
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Author: Richard Hammack
Brand: Richard Heath Hammack

This book is an introduction to the language and standard proof methods of mathematics. It is a bridge from the computational courses (such as calculus or differential equations) that students typically encounter in their first year of college to a more abstract outlook. It lays a foundation for more theoretical courses such as topology, analysis and abstract algebra. Although it may be more meaningful to the student who has had some calculus, there is really no prerequisite other than a measure of mathematical maturity. Topics include sets, logic, counting, methods of conditional and non-conditional proof, disproof, induction, relations, functions and infinite cardinality.

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How to Prove It: A Structured Approach, 2nd Edition

How to Prove It: A Structured Approach, 2nd Edition Lowest new price: $28.57
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Author: Daniel J. Velleman
Brand: Brand: Cambridge University Press

Geared to preparing students to make the transition from solving problems to proving theorems, this text teaches them the techniques needed to read and write proofs. The book begins with the basic concepts of logic and set theory, to familiarize students with the language of mathematics and how it is interpreted. These concepts are used as the basis for a step-by-step breakdown of the most important techniques used in constructing proofs. To help students construct their own proofs, this new edition contains over 200 new exercises, selected solutions, and an introduction to Proof Designer software. No background beyond standard high school mathematics is assumed. Previous Edition Hb (1994) 0-521-44116-1 Previous Edition Pb (1994) 0-521-44663-5

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Logic

Logic Lowest new price: $11.53
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Author: Wilfrid Hodges
Brand: imusti

If a man supports Arsenal one day and Spurs the next, then he is fickle but not necessarily illogical. From this starting point, and assuming no previous knowledge of logic, Wilfrid Hodges takes the reader through the whole gamut of logical expressions in a simple and lively way. Readers who are more mathematically adventurous will find optional sections introducing rather more challenging material.

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  • PENGUIN GROUP

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Mastering Logical Fallacies: The Definitive Guide to Flawless Rhetoric and Bulletproof Logic

Mastering Logical Fallacies: The Definitive Guide to Flawless Rhetoric and Bulletproof Logic Lowest new price: $9.02
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Author: Michael Withey
Brand: Withey Michael

“If I have learned anything in ten years of formal debating, it is that arguments are no different: without a good understanding of the rules and tactics, you are likely to do poorly and be beaten.”―HENRY ZHANG, President of the Yale Debate Association

Your argument is valid and you know it; yet once again you find yourself leaving a debate feeling defeated and embarrassed. The matter is only made worse when you realize that your defeat came at the hands of someone’s abuse of logic―and that with the right skills you could have won the argument.

The ability to recognize logical fallacies when they occur is an essential life skill. Mastering Logical Fallacies is the clearest, boldest, and most systematic guide to dominating the rules and tactics of successful arguments. This book offers methodical breakdowns of the logical fallacies behind exceedingly common, yet detrimental, argumentative mistakes, and explores them through real life examples of logic-gone-wrong.

Designed for those who are ready to gain the upper hand over their opponents, this master class teaches the necessary skills to identify your opponents’ misuse of logic and construct effective, arguments that win. With the empowering strategies offered in Mastering Logical Fallacies you’ll be able to reveal the slight-of-hand flaws in your challengers’ rhetoric, and seize control of the argument with bulletproof logic.

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