Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor

Paperback | November 15, 1982

byJohn Allen Paulos

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John Allen Paulos cleverly scrutinizes the mathematical structures of jokes, puns, paradoxes, spoonerisms, riddles, and other forms of humor, drawing examples from such sources as Rabelais, Shakespeare, James Beattie, René Thom, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Koestler, W. C. Fields, and Woody Allen.

"Jokes, paradoxes, riddles, and the art of non-sequitur are revealed with great perception and insight in this illuminating account of the relationship between humor and mathematics."—Joseph Williams, New York Times

"'Leave your mind alone,' said a Thurber cartoon, and a really complete and convincing analysis of what humour is might spoil all jokes forever. This book avoids that danger. What it does. . .is describe broadly several kinds of mathematical theory and apply them to throw sidelights on how many kinds of jokes work."—New Scientist

"Many scholars nowadays write seriously about the ludicrous. Some merely manage to be dull. A few—like Paulos—are brilliant in an odd endeavor."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

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From Our Editors

John Allen Paulos cleverly scrutinizes the mathematical structures of jokes, puns, paradoxes, spoonerisms, riddles, and other forms of humor, drawing examples from such sources as Rabelais, Shakespeare, James Beattie, Rene Thom, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Koestler, W.C. Fields, and Woody Allen.

From the Publisher

John Allen Paulos cleverly scrutinizes the mathematical structures of jokes, puns, paradoxes, spoonerisms, riddles, and other forms of humor, drawing examples from such sources as Rabelais, Shakespeare, James Beattie, René Thom, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Koestler, W. C. Fields, and Woody Allen."Jokes, paradoxes, riddles, and the art of non...

From the Jacket

John Allen Paulos cleverly scrutinizes the mathematical structures of jokes, puns, paradoxes, spoonerisms, riddles, and other forms of humor, drawing examples from such sources as Rabelais, Shakespeare, James Beattie, Rene Thom, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Koestler, W.C. Fields, and Woody Allen.

John Allen Paulos is professor of mathematics at Temple University. His most recent book is Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:124 pages, 8 × 8 × 0.3 inPublished:November 15, 1982Publisher:University Of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226650251

ISBN - 13:9780226650258

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Mathematics and Humor
2. Axioms, Levels, and Iteration
3. Self-Reference and Paradox
4. Humor, Grammar, and Philosophy
5. A Catastrophe Theory Model of Jokes and Humor
6. Odds and the End
References
Index

From Our Editors

John Allen Paulos cleverly scrutinizes the mathematical structures of jokes, puns, paradoxes, spoonerisms, riddles, and other forms of humor, drawing examples from such sources as Rabelais, Shakespeare, James Beattie, Rene Thom, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Koestler, W.C. Fields, and Woody Allen.