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Forever Undecided: A Puzzle Guide To Gödel

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A challenging puzzle collection and an instructive and entertaining introduction to Kurt Godel's famous theorems, including incompleteness and undecidability. Much of the action of the book takes place on an imaginary and magical island, the Island of Knights and Knaves, where knights always make true statements, knaves always make false statements, and every inhabitant is ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 18th 1988 by Oxford Paperbacks (first published 1987)
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Ed Erwin
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: math, horror
There is this island where everyone is either a Knight or a knave. (Yes, even the women.) The Knights always tell the truth. The knaves never tell the truth.

If you find yourself on this island, SHOOT TO KILL! Whatever you do, do NOT speak to any of the inhabitants. That way madness lies.
Tim Robinson
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: maths
This book contains many, many ideas, some convoluted, some deep and some convoluted and deep. As a result, it presents too much material in too little space, and has an intellectual density more appropriate to an advanced textbook than to a work of popular science. The writing is breezy and clear, but there is simply too much to say. Godel Escher Bach covers half the material at a much more leisurely pace. You should read that first.


Smullyan as a puzzlist works mainly in the deep end, but even h
...more
Dmk
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
It's focken wierd. It's an intermediate step between his puzzle books and his serious academic writings. So it's wierd to read. Smullyan doesn't say "you should prove this theorem" but he says " I have puzzle for you. There is some sentence, could you decide if it is true? Could you tell me why is it true? Why it can't be a lie".

I really dislike this style of writing, but the book gives many interesting thoughs and information about Gödel's work.

Michael Bench-Capon
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A logician goes to an island of knights and knaves. Knights always tell the truth; knaves always lie. One of the locals says “either I’m a knave or there’s gold on this island”. Is there gold on the island?

This kind of puzzle is a staple of the puzzle books of Raymond Smullyan, and Forever Undecided: A Puzzle Guide To Gödel is no exception. This isn’t just a compendium of brainteasers intended solely for entertainment though; Smullyan has a serious purpose. He’s explaining some of the main resul
...more
Swarner
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Raymond Smullyan is my Logician Dumbledore. I own and read every book of his I can get my hands on. Which is well over a dozen.
Thomas Whitney
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clever introduction to the rules of logic as well as the limitations of logic.
Liedzeit
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Eine wirklich schöne Hinführung zu Gödel-Problemen, aber ich habe spätestens ab Kapitel VII nicht mehr folgen können.
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Raymond M. Smullyan was a logician, musician, Zen master, puzzle master, and writer.

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