Download 18 Unconventional Essays on the Nature of Mathematics by Reuben Hersh PDF

By Reuben Hersh

This startling new number of essays edited by means of Reuben Hersh comprises frank proof and critiques from best mathematicians, philosophers, sociologists, cognitive scientists, or even an anthropologist. each one essay presents a hard and thought-provoking examine contemporary advances within the philosophy of arithmetic, demonstrating the chances of considering clean, sticking just about real perform, and fearlessly letting move of normal shibboleths.

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Vi. , I, p. v. , I, p. vi. 89 See, for example, Cellucci 1998a, 1998b, 2000, 2002b. 81 34 Carlo Cellucci because that would require far more space than is available. To my mind, however, the questions discussed here should be dealt with in any investigation concerning the nature of mathematics. The book consists of a number of short chapters, each of which can be read independently of the others, although its full meaning will emerge only within the context of the whole book. To illustrate my view, I often use fairly simple mathematical examples, which can be presented briefly and do not require elaborate preliminary explanations.

144. Leary 2000, p. 48. 39 Dummett 1991, p. 305. 40 Kreisel-MacIntyre 1982, pp. 232-233. 41 Odifreddi 2001, p. 233. 42 Ibid. 43 The analytic method is meant here not in the sense of Aristotle or Pappus but in the sense of Hippocrates of Chios and Plato. On this distinction see Cellucci 1998a. 38 “Introduction” to Filosofia e matematica 25 The idea that, to prove a proposition, you start from some first principles, derive some results from those axioms, then, using those axioms and results, push on to prove other results, contrasts with mathematical experience which shows that in mathematics one first formulates problems, then looks for hypotheses to solve them.

If mathematicians discover some property of the circle, this at once gives us some information about any object of circular shape. Thus, the method of mathematics enables us to deal with different things at the same time. HIPPOCRATES What about the following similes: If somebody looks at a city from the top of a nearby mountain, he gets a more comprehensive view than if he walks through its crooked streets; or if a general watches the movements of an enemy army from a hill, he gets a clearer picture of the situation than does the soldier in the front line who sees only those directly opposite him.

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