The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

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9780143121350: The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers.

Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor. This stream of ever improving explanations has infinite reach, according to Deutsch: we are subject only to the laws of physics, and they impose no upper boundary to what we can eventually understand, control, and achieve.

In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch describe the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species. Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking book that will become a classic of its kind.

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Product Description:

In our search for truth, how far have we advanced? This uniquely human quest for good explanations has driven amazing improvements in everything from scientific understanding and technology to politics, moral values and human welfare. But will progress end, either in catastrophe or completion - or will it continue indefinitely?

In this profound and seminal book, David Deutsch explores the furthest reaches of our current understanding, taking in the Infinity Hotel, supernovae and the nature of optimism, to instill in all of us a wonder at what we have achieved - and the fact that this is only the beginning of humanity's infinite possibility.

Review:

Experience the thrill of the highest level of discourse available on this planet ... This is the great Life, the Universe and Everything book for our time ( Independent)

Bold ... profound ... provocative and persuasive. ( The Economist)

Science has never had an advocate quite like David Deutsch. He is a computational physicist on a par with his touchstones Alan Turing and Richard Feynman, and also a philosopher in the line of his greatest hero, Karl Popper. His arguments are so clear that to read him is to experience the thrill of the highest level of discourse available on this planet and to understand it. (Peter Forbes The Independent)

This is Deutsch at his most ambitious, seeking to understand the implications of our scientific explanations of the world ... I enthusiastically recommend this rich, wide-ranging and elegantly written exposition of the unique insights of one of our most original intellectuals. (Michael Berry Times Higher Education Supplement)

David Deutsch...may well go down in history as one of the great scientists of our age. (Andrew Crumey The Scotsman)

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