Logicomix

I used to read a lot of Alfred North Whitehead (process philosophy, anyone?), but I’ve never read a lot (any) of Bertrand Russell. Logicomix, by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou was a great introduction to Russell’s significant contributions to logic, mathematics and philosophy.  It covers neither his whole life nor all of his writings, just one great story about his personal drive to isolate with certainty the logical foundations of mathematics and what that drive did to him and to the related fields of study.  Along the way, the reader meets Whitehead, Hilbert, Wittgenstein, Godel and many others.  The graphic novel is humorously self-referential, has a great notebook at the end which should be referenced often as you’re going through the text, and does a good job of getting across the aspect of the part of Russell’s life in which the authors are the most interested. There are a few out-of-place (or completely misunderstood by me) plugs for a sequel at the end of the novel, but other than that it was a great story.  As a former math major, a former fan of Whitehead and a consistent non-reader of Principia Mathematica, I had fun reading Logicomix.  The content of the story would have made a good text-based article, but seeing the art and following the conversations through the timing of the panels added to my enjoyment of the story.

To view the art, read more about the creative team, get a feel for the pace of the book and preview the contents of the notebook (see Cast of Characters and Topics, under About Logicomix), check out the Logicomix homepage.

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