Agustín Rayo wins 2020 PROSE Award

MIT philosophy professor's “On the Brink of Paradox” honored as one of the best books in professional and scholarly publishing.


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The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has announced the winners for the 2020 PROSE Awards, which annually recognize the best in professional and scholarly publishing. Among the winners is “On the Brink of Paradox: Highlights from the Intersection of Philosophy and Mathematics” (MIT Press, 2019) by Agustín Rayo, author and professor of philosophy at MIT.

The book won for the textbook/humanities category. In it, Rayo, who is also associate dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, offers an introduction to awe-inspiring issues at the intersection of philosophy and mathematics and explores ideas at the brink of paradox: infinities of different sizes, time travel, probability and measure theory, computability theory, the Grandfather Paradox, Newcomb's Problem, and others. The book is based on a popular course (and massive open online course) taught by the author at MIT.

The AAP unveiled 49 subject category winners for the 2020 PROSE Awards honoring the best scholarly works published in 2019. The winners were selected by a panel of 19 judges from the 157 finalists previously identified from the more than 630 entries in this year’s PROSE Awards competition. The subject category winners announced demonstrate exceptional scholarship and have made a significant contribution to a field of study.

“I want to congratulate the winners of this year’s PROSE Awards and recognize the 10 MIT Press books that were named finalists,” says Amy Brand, director of the MIT Press. “'On the Brink' offers unique and compelling insights into mathematics and reflects the overall mission of the MIT Press to push the boundaries of what a university press can be. We are honored to be among the other winners for this distinguished prize.”

Another MIT Press book, “Decomposed: The Political Ecology of Music,” by Kyle Devine, also won a PROSE Award for the music and the performing arts category.


Topics: MIT Press, Awards, honors and fellowships, Books and authors, Faculty, Philosophy, Mathematics, School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences

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