Everything and More: A Compact History of InfinityOne of the outstanding voices of his generation, David Foster Wallace has won a large and devoted following for the intellectual ambition and bravura style of his fiction and essays. Now he brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity. Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? The nineteenthcentury mathematical genius Georg Cantor's answer to this question not only surprised him but also shook the very foundations upon which math had been built. Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities created controversy in his time and may have hastened his mental breakdown, but it also helped lead to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and even computer technology. Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and highprofile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics. 
What people are saying  Write a review
User ratings
5 stars 
 
4 stars 
 
3 stars 
 
2 stars 
 
1 star 

LibraryThing Review
User Review  Eoin  www.librarything.comHighwire all the way. More DFW or math in either direction and the thing falls to it's death. If you would like a glimpse of what Real math is like and don't hate Mr. Wallace, this is worth it. Read full review
LibraryThing Review
User Review  tgraettinger  LibraryThingI found it interesting, but hard to read  not just because the content was difficult, but more due to the toonumerous asides made by the author. This was likely a stylistic choice of the author, but ... Read full review
Other editions  View all
Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity David Foster Wallace,Neal Stephenson Limited preview  2010 
Common terms and phrases
abstract actually algebraic analysis Aristotle Aristotle's arithmetic Axiom Axiom of Choice basic bers Bolzano calc calculus Cantor Cantorian cardinal number Cauchy college math concept continuous function Continuum Continuum Hypothesis convergent convergent series correspondence curve Dauben decimal Dedekind defined definition denumerable derived set Dichotomy differential equations entities Eudoxus example exist finite formal Fourier Series Galileo geometric Georg Cantor Godel going Greek idea important impredicative infinite number infinite sequence infinite sets infinitesimals infinity integers interval involves irrational numbers kind Kline Kronecker Leibniz limit logical math's mathematical mathematicians means metaphysical nite Number Line ordertypes ordinal paradoxes problems proof prove quantities rational numbers Real Line real numbers recall reductio rigorous Russell's schnitt semicribbed sense set theory sort stuff subsets symbol technical Theorem there's thing tions transfinite transfinite math transfinite numbers trig series true Weierstrass Weierstrassian whole Zeno Zeno's Zeno's Paradoxes