Whys and Wherefores

Whys and Wherefores

3.56 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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This latest collection of Gardner's essays and reviews includes articles on the puzzles in James Joyce's Ulysses and on the fantasies of Ray Bradbury, Arthur C.Clarke, Lord Dunsany, Gilbert Chesterton, and H.G.Wells. Gardner expresses opinions about the "anthropic principle", computer programs capable of discovering scientific laws, the philosophy of W.V.Quine, Marvin Minsky's view of how the mind works, the idiosyncrasies of Allan Bloom, the reality of unknown digits that "sleep" in pi, and whether physicists are really on the verge of discovering everything. A highlight of the book is a review from the "New York Review of Books" in which Gardner, using a pseudonym, blasted his own book "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 130 x 195mm | 199g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • integrated line drawings
  • 0192861069
  • 9780192861061

Table of contents

Part 1 Essays: "The Ancient Mariner"; "The Mighty Casey"; "The Martian Chronicles"; a dreamer's tales; the computer as scientist; illusions of the third dimension; kickshaws II; seven puzzle poems; slicing pi into millions; the travelling salesman; the abacus; the puzzles in "Ulysses"; the fantasies of H.G.Wells; the fantasies of G.K.Chesterton; the fantasies of Lord Dunsany; playing with mathematics. Part 2 Reviews: polywater; science in ancient China; great experiments; Gardner's "whys"; how science self-corrects; some trends in mathematics; comfort's comforts; calculating prodigies; Arthur C.Clarke; did Sherlock Holmes meet Father Brown?; Richard Feynman; physics - end of the road?; W.V.Quine; Mitsumasa Anno; WAP, SAP, PAP and FAP; secrets of the old one; Marvin Minsky's theory of mind; order in chaos; infinity and information; the curious mind of Allan Bloom.show more

Rating details

16 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 19% (3)
4 31% (5)
3 44% (7)
2 0% (0)
1 6% (1)
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