Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor

Mathematics and Humor A Study of the Logic of Humor 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 Shakespear

  • Title: Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor
  • Author: John Allen Paulos
  • ISBN: 9780226650258
  • Page: 477
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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, Ren Thom, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Koestler, W C Fields, and Woody Allen Jokes, paradoxes, riddles, and the art of non sequitur are revealed with great percJohn 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, Ren 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 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

    Mathematical joke A mathematical joke is a form of humor which relies on aspects of mathematics or a stereotype of mathematicians to derive humor The humor may come from a pun, or from a double meaning of a mathematical term, or from a lay person s misunderstanding of a mathematical concept.Mathematician and author John Allen Paulos in his book Mathematics and Humor described several ways that mathematics Mathematics Books Math Books Dover Publications Mathematics Of all the technical areas in which we publish, Dover is most recognized for our magnificent mathematics list We are the home of such world class theorists as Paul J Cohen Set Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis , Alfred Tarski Undecidable Theories , Gary Chartrand Introductory Graph Theory , Hermann Weyl The Concept of a Riemann Surface , Shlomo Sternberg Definitions of mathematics Survey of leading definitions Early definitions Aristotle defined mathematics as The science of quantity. In Aristotle s classification of the sciences, discrete quantities were studied by arithmetic, continuous quantities by geometry. Auguste Comte s definition tried to explain the role of mathematics in coordinating phenomena in all other fields The science of indirect measurement. Home Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy IMSA Senior Talks About Gut Wrenching Account of Child Shooting Victims in Since Parkland , Remains Hopeful As soon as she learned to read, Madison Hahamy began to write Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program The National Merit Scholarship Program named finalists from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy IMSA in its competition. Andrew Nestler s Guide to Mathematics and Mathematicians Guide to Mathematics and Mathematicians on The Simpsons Compiled by Dr Andrew Nestler, Santa Monica College Thanks to my partner in this endeavor, Dr Sarah J Greenwald, at Appalachian State University Our main page is S impsonsMath Revised This is a work in progress and for educational purposes only. Great Problems of Elementary Mathematics The collection, drawn from arithmetic, algebra, pure and algebraic geometry and astronomy, is extraordinarily interesting and attractive Mathematical Gazette This uncommonly interesting volume covers of the most famous historical problems of elementary mathematics. Whistler Alley Mathematics Mar , Whistler Alley Mathematics These are some mathematics investigations I have pursued over the years They may be of some interest to teachers, students, or hobbyists. Math jokes collection by Andrej and Elena Cherkaev mathematical jokes and mathematical folklore A mathematician and a Wall street broker went to races The broker suggested to bet , on a horse. The Math Forum Math Library Full Table of Contents Search for these keywords Click only once for faster results all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase parts of words whole words The Heart of Mathematics An Invitation to Effective Description Transform your mathematics course into an engaging and mind opening experience for even your most math phobic students Now in its Fourth Edition, The Heart of Mathematics An Invitation to Effective Thinking succeeds at reaching non math, non science oriented majors, encouraging them to discover the mathematics inherent in the world around them.

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    About “John Allen Paulos”

    1. John Allen Paulos

      John Allen Paulos Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor book, this is one of the most wanted John Allen Paulos author readers around the world.

    615 thoughts on “Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor”

    1. I've always felt that one of the really big philosophical questions concerns the nature of humour. What is humour? What purpose, if any, does it serve? Why are some things funny, and others not? I've thought about this stuff, on and off, for ages. The other day, I was poking around on Google and stumbled over this little book, which I immediately ordered from . It arrived yesterday and only took an evening to read.Well if you've got a mathematical background and you're as interested as I am in t [...]

    2. I'm moving on. Call this read. Maybe nobody will notice that it isn't.But it has made me discuss humour with people and I've been given some great ideas along the way. And I would like to preserve bits and pieces here.My mother said that when we were little we were really funny but that other kids aren't. My first thought was that's what all mothers think. But actually, we were raised to think that laughing at life and ourselves is so important.My family was experimental and this somewhat bother [...]

    3. It's small, well-written, and the math behind the concepts is also presented well. I'm not great at math, but was able to follow along. The diagrams help too. Overall, a VERY compelling read for anyone interested in linguistics and the construction of narrative. Definitely motivated to keep reading this author's other books to see what sort of insights he has regarding storytelling, etc.

    4. thoroughly enjoyed. clever, meta, a bit of math history, humor theory, what is not to like? read in the midst of a binge on standup comedy

    5. John Allen Paulos has written a number of books on Mathematics, and “Mathematics and Humor” was his first, published originally in 1980. It is a short book, at just a little over 100 pages, and that is with plenty of drawings and graphs. I had high hopes going into it of an interesting read, but it just didn’t deliver. Paulos has some interesting thoughts and ideas, but the writing was a detriment to the communication of his points to the reader.In the introduction, Paulos looks at various [...]

    6. I was a little disappointed in this, but then again, I tend to form unreasonably high expectations. I've read a lot of Paulos' stuff, so I was already beyond being impressed by the fact that here is a mathematician who can actually write well and express detailed technical material in something very close to English. I was initially intrigued by the use of Rene Thom's catastrophe theory to model the logic of humor in another book, the title of which escapes me at the moment. Its reference to the [...]

    7. Very short; more an essay than a book. It's a strong and powerful essay, an attempt to model humor mathematically. It does this through the tools of catastrophe theory (which I'd never heard of, but Paulos does a great job of explaining it) and brings together modern topology with the classic literary analyses of humor to provide a compelling baseline for future mathematical/comedic study. I know I must be making this sound terribly dull, but it was actually riveting. Paulos wrote the fantastic [...]

    8. Interesting, but the book seems unsure of its audience: is it for a mathematician or for a lay reader. On the one hand, the lay reader will have to muddle through some ideas expressed in logical symbolism that it seems could have been as easily expressed in simple sentences. On the other hand, it doesn't look like there is enough math here to engage someone with a more comprehensive maths background. I am a lay reader, so maybe I just missed something. Still, the chapter on jokes and their relat [...]

    9. If you are looking for an in depth look at the logical structure and psychology of humor, this is it. I've seen other attempts at a book like this and this definitely takes the cake. The book finds solid explanations for various kinds of humor, cultural differences, uses logical / cognitive theories used in other fields and applies them to humor, all the while providing insight into what is funny, what isn't, comedians, culture, etc.Highly recommend

    10. I just finished reading this book. It starts with a brief summary of the most famous theories on humor. But the second and the third chapters are very vague full of mathematical equations. Quite boring. That's ironic, since this book supposed to be the art of laughter. Anyway, this book still have some greats insights about the psychology of humor, wordplay and paradoxes. But for his attempt to try to explain humor with mathematics, Allen Paulos deserve a smile and a nod.

    11. I thought this was going to be some mildly interesting collection of math-themed humor, but it's much better than that. It's an absolutely fascinating application of mathematics to model how humor works. That might sound ridiculous, but I thought a lot of it made sense, especially the example of using catastrophe theory to model how punchlines work.

    12. This book is all over the place. While I liked Innumeracy this is just a weird jumbling of "hey this is humor at an algorithmic layer" and then "hey here is some geometry". Also, most jokes are horrible.

    13. It contains interesting ideas and is (as expected from Dr. Paulos) well-written, erudite and witty but there's just not very much of it.

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