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Extended Audio Sample The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World Audiobook, by David Deutsch Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (628 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Deutsch Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2011 ISBN: 9781596598553
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A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers.

Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor. This stream of ever improving explanations has infinite reach, according to Deutsch: we are subject only to the laws of physics, and they impose no upper boundary to what we can eventually understand, control, and achieve.

In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch describe the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species. Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking audio book that will become a classic of its kind. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliant and exhilarating and profoundly eccentric book. It’s about everything: art, science, philosophy, history, politics, evil, death, the future, infinity, bugs, thumbs, what have you…It hardly seems worth saying…that the chutzpah of this guy is almost beyond belief, and that any book with these sorts of ambitions is necessarily, in some overall sense, a failure, or a fraud, or a joke, or madness. But Deutsch…is so smart, and so strange, and so creative, and so inexhaustibly curious, and so vividly intellectually alive, that it is a distinct privilege, notwithstanding everything, to spend time in his head.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Makes the case for infinite progress with such passion, imagination, and quirky brilliance.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Among the most ambitious works of nonfiction I have read.”

    New Yorker

  • “An adventurous, intellectually stimulating book on how problems are solved.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “Both skeptical and optimistic, Deutsch devotes ingenious chapters to refuting ideas (empiricism, induction, holism) and philosophies (positivism, most modernism, post-modernism) that limit what we can learn…[a] provocative, imaginative investigation of human genius.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2011 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/31/2014

    " David's Fabric was a deeply satisfying explanation of reality and Beginning of Infinity takes us even further. What enthrals me is the way he clarifies Popper's work and uses it to delve so masterfully into the nature of existence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Sowick | 1/24/2014

    " One of the best books I've ever read in my life. Top 3, if not #1. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drew | 1/12/2014

    " What a happy book! Without being a posthumanist, Deutsch reaches back to the optimism of 1950's public science in the UK to give us a complete materialist world view. This is the sort of book that if young folks manage to get their hands on it, they will be converted. Dangerous stuff. The discussion on quantum computation is a bit thin, and I don't think he pulls together the idea of computation with the idea of explanation very well -- I do like his engagement and rejection of the classic philosophers of science on the issue (Hempel and his followers), but engagement with contemporary philosophy of science might have given him some new targets (albeit folks no one has ever heard of before). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 H Wesselius | 12/29/2013

    " A heavy dense ode to the Enlightenment,science,thinking,and the human possibility. If you already are inclined toward Enlightenment thought and optimism, this book will reinforce it for the book is convincing in its optimism and ideals. However, the book is such a struggle to read and unless you are on the author's side its highly unmotivating to read, thus rendering moot any ability for the book to convince adherents of a more pessimistic and less scientific worldview. For those inclined to skip the Socratic dialogue, don't. It provides the clearest example of the author's thinking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela Collier | 12/25/2013

    " I don't know why I keep reading these popular science books. They all say the same things. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Scott | 12/24/2013

    " I always think I like the philosophy of positivism until I stare down its most self-absorbed authors and realize they just wish everything they say is true. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dave | 11/8/2013

    " An example of a scientist trying to write about other topics he did not really understand. Amazing how many words can be combined to try and explain complex subjects. Simpler would have been better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Oser | 8/6/2013

    " A great work. It will be read for hundreds of years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Oppenheim | 5/17/2013

    " I liked it. You can read my review in Kirkus Reviews, the June 1, 2011 issue (the reviews have no byline, but it's mine). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 9/21/2012

    " Amazing book, everyone should read it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 BAKU | 8/27/2012

    " didn't read all of this, just the chapter summaries and some things. not as good as ' Fabric ' "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josie | 7/15/2012

    " There are very good ideas in here about how to think about neuroscience but I have to take long breaks in reading it because of its relentless optimism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 7/11/2012

    " Highly recommended, he gives a convincing and entertaining argument for a theory of everything. There's even an argument for the objective truth of ethics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jwdeming | 6/3/2012

    " Most important book so far in the 21st century. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 5/2/2012

    " This is a fabulous book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roy | 3/24/2012

    " One of the best and most optimistic books on science I've read, this brings back fond memories of reading Sagan and Bronowski and should be required reading for anyone even remotely interested in what science is about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Bayne | 3/8/2012

    " Loved it! I'm ready to hop on board Deutch's techno-utopian train. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MOHAN KUMAR B | 11/14/2011

    " Pretty heavy stuff - to appreciate, one would require basic knowledge of physics and mathematics . "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cavolonero | 8/25/2011

    " didn't read all of this, just the chapter summaries and some things. not as good as ' Fabric ' "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 8/7/2011

    " Highly recommended, he gives a convincing and entertaining argument for a theory of everything. There's even an argument for the objective truth of ethics.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 7/3/2011

    " I liked it. You can read my review in Kirkus Reviews, the June 1, 2011 issue (the reviews have no byline, but it's mine). "

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About the Author
Author David Deutsch

David Deutsch is a member of the Quantum Computation and Cryptography Research Group at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford University. He is the author of The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World and The Fabric of Reality, which was shortlisted for the Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize in 1998.

About the Narrator

Walter Dixon is a broadcast media veteran of more than twenty years’ experience with a background in theater and performing arts and voice work for commercials. After a career in public radio, he is now a full-time narrator with more than fifty audiobooks recorded in genres ranging from religion and politics to children’s stories.