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May 3rd, 2017 - Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal

May 3rd, 2017

May 3rd, 2017
06:36 pm


In the graphic novel Logicomix - An Epic Search For Truth, authors and artists Apostolos, Christos, Alecos and Annie bring the life of Bertrand Russell in pictures. The comic is narrated as a "self-referential" book, showing the making of a comic book on the great Philosopher-Mathematician-Logician. The life story of Russell unravels through a speech given by Russell himself, and a lot of focus is given on his quest for developing logical foundations for Mathematics, and the 10 years he spent on development of Principia Mathematica. Though some of the timelines of events in his life have been altered and some fictional events added in the book for creating dramatic effect, the authors claim that they have made sure it remains true to the spirit of the underlying philosophy and principles.

I think it was a brave attempt to make a comic book based on dry subjects like Logic and Mathematics. I felt that the makers have succeeded in giving the readers glimpses of the passion, frustrations, dilemmas that Russell and others might have gone through during their years of research. Even though the book doesn't go deep into technical aspects, we get a high level view from layman's perspective regarding why would someone write 300+ pages to prove the arithmetical consistency for "1+1=2", and also regarding the deep impact on the study of Logic and Mathematics caused first by Russell's Paradox, and then later by Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems. Moreover, the book also presents Russell as a person, and shows how his research affected his personal life and vice versa. The book is wonderfully illustrated too, often giving the feeling of watching a feature film.

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