The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us
Many books explain what is known about the universe. This book investigates what cannot be known. Rather than exploring the amazing facts that science, mathematics, and reason have revealed to us, this work studies what science, ma ...more
Very clear presentation - I knew most of the stuff there and read and thought about lots of it across time, but I still immensely enjoyed the book and there was new thing for me too, the Goodestein sequence example (of a more natur ...more
"Wir müssen wissen. Wir werden wissen" (We must know. We will know. (It sounds way more authoritative in German, try it.))
to which another smart guy, Mr. Gödel had already replied:
"Hold my beer..."
The rest is history. And what a history it's been. Among the stellar achievements of humankind are the ones that sound like "oops, seems like there's no way we can solve this, here's the proof. Sorry." Because, we wouldn' ...more
Initially I was a tad disappointed because I thought this would be a debate on metaphysics and most probably on existence of God or case of religion and that was the reason why I picked it up in the first place. It did not start that way, it did not even give an impression that it would eventually lead to that. The first few chapters introduce what logic is, how can we define reason and so fourth. It had plenty of problems that I had studied in my Programming a ...more
The first time I read the book’s title, I thought it's gonna be a boring deep philosophical book fulling of complex philosophers’ discussions, but instead I found a simple book discussing the different limitations and contradictions that our thinking might lead us to, the book raised these limitations by presenting several paradoxes and its explication using proof by contradiction, to clear its impossibility as a limitation to our logic.
In other chapters, the boo ...more
Then again I also have issues with some of the contents, wh ...more
Having said this, he sometimes does not express positions he disagrees with in quite the detail or forcefulness that they deserve; on occasion he skirts ...more
First, a survey of paradoxes and other conundrums, frustrations, etc. having to do with the limits of “reason” as a tool for understanding the world. And then a probably very speculative analysis to find themes and maybe some theoretical conjectures about how we might tie together and understand those limits.
We get much more of the first than the second. Yanofsky takes us through a fascinating survey of paradoxes and other types of limit ...more
The Outer Limits of Reason is as far as I remember one of the best research essay that I have read so far. I definitely recommend the book to all inquiring minds around and to anyone who is too much confident about him/her-self knowledge.
Noson S. Yanofsky confirmed his knowledge page by page and with astonishing clarity explain hard topic such as Chaos, Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics. As a graduate student of Computer Science and Engineering I have found really well written explanations...more
Some unknowbale things are so because of the limitations of language. Some things ...more
My biggest gripe with the book is the interpretation of quantum mechanics that the author describes in a few passages. I'm an absolute layman, but as Mr. Yanofsky stated that consciousness causes wave function collapse (during the exploration of the Schröding ...more
The branch of philosophy that deals with what we can know is called epistemology. Although this area of thought may seem far removed from our everyday lives and hopelessly intellectual, it is, in fact, of fundamental importance to understanding what it means to be a human being.
This 2013 book enumerates, ...more
He does use a lo ...more
This book is simply not for me. I don’t like the style. It’s overly detailed, repetitive, and boring. Again, I’ve just read the introduction and the first chapter. But skimming t ...more
what's the target reader of this book? somehow it fails to clearly define that.
too much tedious yet half-baked proof and statements provided.
non-stem readers will be overwhelmed by this book, yet more advanced reader will not be satisfied with its content as well (hello? can you please not say "it is too tedious to put the proof here" when you flashed the topic in early part of the book please?) ...more
The book shows the difference between unknowable and irrational. Often academics and scientists presume that something is knowable and deny the irrationality of that assumption. Thank you!