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Book Recommendation [Set Theory]

  1. Feb 21, 2013 #1
    Would you guys recommend the following Book By Paul Cohen as a good (and cheap) intro to set theory and the Continuum Hypothesis.

    Set Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis (Dover Books on Mathematics)

    Some reviewers attacked Mr. Cohen as being a poor logician. Maybe people were just mad because he tried to prove a beautiful hypothesis that is better (and more elegant) if left unproven.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2013 #2


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    Re: Book Recommendation

    Yes, I would recommend it. I don't know what silly reviewers you got hold of, but Paul Cohen was a magnificent mathematician. He also explains well. Oh, and by the way, he is not trying to prove the Continuum Hypothesis. Or to disprove it, for that matter. But read the book and you'll find out more.
  4. Feb 22, 2013 #3
    Re: Book Recommendation

    No, I wouldn't recommend the book. Don't get me wrong, it's a very interesting and good book. But I think you would benefit from first reading through some basic set theory or logic books. I highly recommend a book like the one from Hrbacek and Jech. Working through that book will get your comfortable with the basic philosophy of set theory. This will help you with reading Cohen.
  5. Feb 22, 2013 #4
    Re: Book Recommendation

    Got you. Thanks.

    BTW the Hypothesis in your statement is impossible to prove no matter what logic we use if we consider the character of the originator of that statement. :tongue:
  6. Feb 22, 2013 #5
    Re: Book Recommendation

    If we consider the originator of the statement, then we can easily conclude that it's false :biggrin:
  7. Feb 23, 2013 #6


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    It's very readable - like "Goedel, Escher Bach" or Spivak's "Calculus on Manifolds". So it can also be enjoyed by people who are not serious mathematicians. Most importantly for outsiders, it has a very clear point of view. In that sense it is a good introduction to logic, set theory and the continuum hypothesis.
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