Infinity and the Mind

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Infinity and the Mind
Infinity and the Mind (Rudy Rucker book) cover.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorRudy Rucker
CountryUnited States
SubjectInfinity, set theory
GenrePopular mathematics
Publication date
1 May 1982
Media typePrint

Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite[1] is a popular mathematics book by American mathematician, computer scientist, and science fiction writer Rudy Rucker.[2]


The book contains accessible popular expositions on the mathematical theory of infinity, and a number of related topics. These include Gödel's incompleteness theorems and their relationship to concepts of artificial intelligence and the human mind, as well as the conceivability of some unconventional cosmological models. The material is approached from a variety of viewpoints, some more conventionally mathematical and others being nearly mystical. There is a brief account of the author's personal contact with Kurt Gödel.

An appendix contains one of the few popular expositions on set theory research on what are known as "strong axioms of infinity."


Infinity and the Mind was reviewed by the New Yorker, which asserted that "Rudy Rucker's Infinity and the Mind is a terrific study with real mathematical depth." Martin Gardner described the book as "Informal, amusing, witty, profound... In an extraordinary burst of creative energy, Rudy Rucker has managed to bring together every aspect of mathematical infinity.... A dizzying glimpse into that boundless region of blinding light where the mysteries of transcendence shatter the clarity of logic, set theory, proof theory, and contemporary physics."


The dust jacket of the original (Birkhäuser) edition had a picture of a star over a mountain and appeared to be a religious or mystical work. Subsequent paperback reprintings had covers suggesting that the publishers wished to appeal to a "new age" market. The most recent editions, from Princeton University Press, have very austere covers suggesting an academic work.


  1. ^ Rucker, Rudy (1982). Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-00172-2.
  2. ^ "Infinity and the Mind The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite". Princeton University Press. Retrieved 29 October 2018.

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