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2014; approx. 282 pp; softcover
List Price: US$39
Member Price: US$31.20
Order Code: MBK/83
Not yet published.
Expected publication date is February 7, 2014.
A Mathematical Medley: Fifty Easy Pieces on Mathematics - George G Szpiro
Mathematics under the Microscope: Notes on Cognitive Aspects of Mathematical Practice - Alexandre V Borovik
Triangle of Thoughts - Alain Connes, Andre Lichnerowicz and Marcel Paul Schutzenberger
The question "What am I doing?" haunts many creative people, researchers, and teachers. Mathematics, poetry, and philosophy can look from the outside sometimes as ballet en pointe, and at other times as the flight of the bumblebee. Reuben Hersh looks at mathematics from the inside; he collects his papers written over several decades, their edited versions, and new chapters in his book Experiencing Mathematics, which is practical, philosophical, and in some places as intensely personal as Swann's madeleine.
--Yuri Manin, Max Planck Institute, Bonn, Germany
Most mathematicians, when asked about the nature and meaning of mathematics, vacillate between the two unrealistic poles of Platonism and formalism. By looking carefully at what mathematicians really do when they are doing mathematics, Reuben Hersh offers an escape from this trap. This book of selected articles and essays provides an honest, coherent, and clearly understandable account of mathematicians' proof as it really is, and of the existence and reality of mathematical entities. It follows in the footsteps of Poincaré, Hadamard, and Polya. The pragmatism of John Dewey is a better fit for mathematical practice than the dominant "analytic philosophy". Dialogue, satire, and fantasy enliven the philosophical and methodological analysis.
Reuben Hersh has written extensively on mathematics, often from the point of view of a philosopher of science. His book with Philip Davis, The Mathematical Experience, won the National Book Award in science. Hersh is emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of New Mexico.
The book is of interest to everyone who wonders what math really is, whether they are students, teachers, mathematicians, philosophers, or otherwise.
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