Really? What is Mathematics

Really? What is Mathematics

3.94 (98 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Most philosophers of mathematics treat it as isolated, timeless, ahistorical, inhuman. Reuben Hersh argues the contrary, that mathematics must be understood as a human activity, a social phenomenon, part of human culture, historically evolved, and intelligible only in a social context. Hersh pulls the screen back to reveal mathematics as seen by professionals, debunking many mathematical myths, and demonstrating how the "humanist" idea of the nature of mathematics more closely resembles how mathematicians actually work. At the heart of his book is a fascinating historical account of the mainstream of philosophy--ranging from Pythagoras, Descartes, and Spinoza, to Bertrand Russell, David Hilbert, and Rudolph Carnap--followed by the mavericks who saw mathematics as a human artifact, including Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Mill, and Lakatos.What is Mathematics, Really? reflects an insider's view of mathematical life, and will be hotly debated by anyone with an interest in mathematics or the philosophy of science.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 612.35g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195130871
  • 9780195130874
  • 598,009

Review quote

"Hersh has a talent for exposition that makes me wish he had written most of the books on math Ive had to read....[His] fascinating...book should prove an enlightening and entertaining read for anyone who desires greater insight into the nature of the pursuit of fundamental knowledge."--Physics Todayshow more

About Reuben Hersh

Reuben Hersh taught at several distinguished colleges and universities around the country. Now retired, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.show more

Rating details

98 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 40% (39)
4 28% (27)
3 24% (24)
2 4% (4)
1 4% (4)
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