We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
What We Cannot Know Audiobook

What We Cannot Know

Regular Price:$14.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know.

Science is king. Every week headlines announce new breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe, new technologies that will transform our environment, new medical advances that will extend our lives. Science is giving us unprecedented insight into some of the big questions that have challenged humanity ever since we've been able to formulate those questions. Where did we come from? What is the ultimate destiny of the universe? What are the building blocks of the physical world? What is consciousness?

What We Cannot Know asks us to rein in this unbridled enthusiasm for the power of science. Marcus Du Sautoy explores the limits of human knowledge, to probe whether there is anything we truly cannot know. Are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? Are some regions of the future beyond the predictive powers of science and mathematics? Is time before the big bang a no-go arena? Are there ideas so complex that they are beyond the conception of our finite human brains? Can brains even investigate themselves, or does the analysis enter an infinite loop from which it is impossible to rescue itself? Are there true statements that can never be proved true?

Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out what we cannot know.

©2016 Marcus du Sautoy (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

Praise for Marcus du Sautoy: "Marcus du Sautoy [is] surely the single element in the Venn diagram intersection of 'mathematician' and 'cool'." (The Guardian)
"Marcus Du Sautoy knows how to tell a story, and, even more important, how to make difficult ideas palatable and entertaining. He is never condescending and is always true to the spirit of his subject. He is a living refutation of Hardy's snobbish view that popularisation is 'work for second rate minds'." (Sunday Telegraph)

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (7 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.4 (5 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.8 (5 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance


There are no reviews for this title yet.

Sort by:
  • Adisha
    United Kingdom
    5/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Embrace the future of of uncertainty!"

    This is an excellent, scholarly and ambitious audiobook enthusiastically read by the author. It will apppeal to anyone with a passion for science and maths as it unravels like a detective story. I really enjoyed the references to inspiring and legendary science programmes like Jacob Bronowski's 'Ascent of Man' and Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' as well as a tip of the hat to key developments in Quantum Physics. Much of what was discussed appealed to me because it resonated with my own background in studies in Math and Science. I especially liked the musical analogies that greatly helped illustrate wave theory and concepts. I expect future budding scientists will enjoy it immensely too. On reflection, I would've liked to hear more on the invaluable contribution of pioneering women in science to this journey of discovery (e.g. Rosalind Franklin, Chien-Shiung Wu) as I felt this was somewhat lacking - but this does not detract from the overall theme of the work. I wonder if other listeners feel the same way? In summary, this is a really stimulating and mind expanding addition to my audiobook library that is worthy of repeated listens and further enquiry. Thank you Professor Marcus Du Sautoy for another outstanding book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • T C parnell
    5/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic !"

    Sheer enjoyment listening to Prof du Sautoy's audiobook. I have read every mainstream book he has written but being able to listen to his wonderful and expressive voice takes it to another level. This is a masterpiece which will have many many relistens .

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Roberto
    7/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Maths student here"

    Loved it, I would recommend this to all science lovers and thinkers :)
    Definitely tickled my brain.
    Wonderfully written and read!
    Well done and keep doing more!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Claus Hegaard Vistesen
    2/6/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A real treat"

    Sumptuous to listen to this tour of science read by the author himself. Go read

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jerry Cornelius
    Fareham, Hampshire United Kingdom
    6/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well I don't know!"
    Any additional comments?

    Marcus du Sautoy is an enthusiastic and engaging reader. As its his book he should be. The subjects are interesting and varied and all in all it is a book that makes you think. I'd like to sit in a pub and talk over this book with Mr du Sautoy. I reckon that would make a great evening.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • S
    5/9/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, but."

    Author's voice too shrill and fast. A mistake for him to read his own book. Explanations sometimes too long and vague. The ongoing references to "god" as a definition for what we can't know were unnecessary and infuriating to listen to. However, a lot to learn and find interesting in this very long book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. J. A. Ball
    Spain
    4/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    "A very entertaining listen"

    The author's passion for his subject comes through very clearly. For anyone interested I science and philosophy this is a fascinating book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Greg Gauthier
    London, UK
    2/23/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Survey Course"

    du Sotoy's passion and curiosity are positively infectious. Listening to this book is like listening to a child who's recently discovered some fact, or thought of a novel idea, and can't wait to share it with you.

    And yet, the book is remarkably well structured, offers an amazing sampler platter of contemporary problems in science, maths, philosophy, and religion, and makes great use of interviews, storytelling, and imagery. I could easily see this becoming a BBC mini-series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ashley Border
    1/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Now I know..."

    ...this is a fabulous book... there is a probability that you will like it as much as I do. But I cannot know if you will like it in the same way or indeed as much as I do; how can we even begin to even measure the property of 'like'...? For now, I gave it five stars....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Phillip Middleton
    Cardiff, Wales
    1/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "interesting and thought provoking"

    hoped for a little more depth in relation to man's religious motivation and would perhaps prefer the same subject covered by a biologist rather than a mathematician,but this is a personal preference.
    The authors voice is quite light weight, I feel he would have benefited from the services of a more authoritative and heavier reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.