For Our Mathematical Pleasure Jim Henle, Editor aymond Smullyan—logician, magician, mathemati cian, puzzlist, and Taoist philosopher—passed away R last year at the age of 97. In each of his vocations, he made serious contributions. But in his heart, and from his JIM HENLE head to his toes, he was an entertainer. In gatherings large and small, among friends and among strangers, Ray was ‘‘on.’’ If there was a piano, there would be music. If there was a deck of cards, there would be This is a column about the mathematical structures that tricks. And if there was conversation, there would be sto- ries, jokes, and paralyzing paradoxes. give us pleasure. Usefulness is irrelevant. Signiﬁcance, Smullyan had important things to say about logic, about knowledge, about mathematics, and about the meaning of depth, even truth are optional. If something appears in life. To bring his ideas to the public, he created libraries of fantasies, puzzles, and conundrums. It’s my belief that this column, it’s because it’s intriguing, or lovely, or just these were more than means to an end. They were really fun. Moreover, it is so intended. his greatest joy. The professor professed—so the enter- tainer could entertain. Smullyan
The Mathematical Intelligencer – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018
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