Saturday, April 05, 2008

The joy of The Joy of Sets

I'd not really come across Keith Devlin's book The Joy of Sets before. But I was looking for something to recommend the first few chapters of -- as a taster, so to speak, giving a sense of the structure of the set-theoretic hierarchy and some basic knowledge about the standard axioms -- and I started reading this. And I found myself actually reading quite a lot of the book. It really is terrifically well done. I love the style (and its willingness in later chapters to give illuminating proof sketches rather than dive into too much detail). OK, the pace picks up markedly as the book the progresses. But it is surely very hard to beat the first couple of chapters if you are looking for a clear and intuitive motivation for the ZFC axioms.

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