Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
To Mock a Mockingbird Paperback – November 30, 2000
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Raymond Smullyan, a well-known mathematician and logician and the author of many books, is Oscar Ewing Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University and Professor Emeritus of the City University of New York-Lehman College and Graduate Center.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
in that it is fully about puzzles from functional programming.
The birds are functors that compute on strings.
Self reference comes into play when the Mockingbird
shows you what a fixpoint computation is.
The phethora of birds may confuse you if you try to read it
fast or skip solving the puzzles. The problems are not
easy, it took the mighty mathematical titans - Turing and Godel
to provide the initial solutions. If you are stuck,
Smullyan provides all the solutions at the chapter end.
It requires concentration and remembering previous tricks,
something akin to solving Rubik's cube without a solution guide.
You will love it if you love chess problems.
In the end you will come out with a deep sense of
accomplishment having understood the proof of Godel's
incompleteness theorems, Combinatorial Logic, and Functional
programming, when all you thought you were doing was figuring
out puzzles of birds.
Hard to find book, but its worth its weight in gold.
The other book to complement this is "Forever Undecided,
a puzzle guide to Godel" by Smullyan, it uses Modal logic
puzzles to motivate you, but the end result is the same.
Remember Smullyan is Professor of mathematics and logic,
he is classy and witty like Knuth. Don't confuse him
with the popular mathematical journalists.
- Mosh [...]
The worst feature of the book is the fact that only one (unintuitive) model for the theory is provided. Discussion of the significance of the results obtained is not particularly useful - probably anyone smart enough to solve the puzzles will not find anything there that they couldn't figure out for themselves.
But nevermind: if you want a good introductory course in combinatory logic (or you want to understand (a version of) Godel's 1st incompleteness theorem), then I would recommend this book for you!
Combinatory logic is one of the most obscure and fascinating branches of logic I have ever encountered. Its mathematical counterpart (largely the same thing) is known as lambda calculus, and it in fact is used extensively in artificial intelligence and programming language design. The Lisp programming language is actually based on lambda calculus. Learning either combinatory logic or lambda calculus is a venture for only those whose mind is best suited to mathematics, logic, or computer science. If you are someone interested in all three (like myself) then this is the book for you!
Overall, highly recommended for nerdy types, or anyone who likes puzzles.