Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

logicomixLogicomix: An Epic Search for Truth
by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadirmitrou
2009 / 352 pages
rating:  9.5 / graphic fictional bio and philosophy

This is  a really fun novel if you’re into philosophy, logic and mathematics as taught by Bertrand Russell,  Kurt Gödel,  Leonard Wittgenstein and others of those stripes and eras.

Strangely enough the graphic novel suits this story – it really works to keep the pace going and the interest up.  The structure of the narrative also adds to the pacing with a first frame which includes the authors and artists devising the inner narratives which consist of another frame of  Russell giving a talk about his life and a backstory of Russell’s life and career.  The relevant concepts of logic, philosophy and mathematics are the focus but at a high school and theory  level – only a very few basic formulas involved.

It would seem that the mathematicians were the last of the Enlightenment thinking  humans could attain all material knowledge and that it could be empirically proven.  The book is basically a  biography fictionalized only in regards to the graphics and some of the scenes there – As far as I could gather the basic information is accurate – including all the madness in mathematicians.

The graphics are exceptionally well done adding appropriately to the text. The places where Russell is actually giving his talk get a bit boring.

There’s a great appendix explaining the concepts and personalities involved.

2 Responses to Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

  1. biblioglobal says:

    I enjoyed this book too. I remember when a math teacher first told me about Godel’s theorem that showed that math was necessarily either incomplete or inconsistent. I didn’t want to believe it!


    • It was such a shocker to people – even today I suppose when you’ve been learning that math has yes or no answers – proofs – axioms. I think I was rather startled but I don’t really remember.


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