Reuben Hersh What Is Mathematics Really

ISBN 13: 9780224044172

What Is Mathematics Really

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9780224044172: What Is Mathematics Really
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This book tackles the important questions which have engaged mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers for thousands of years and which are still being asked today. It does so with clarity and with scholarship born of first-hand experience; a knowledge both of the ideas and of the people who have pronounced on them. The main purpose of the book is to confront philosophical problems: In what sense do mathematical objects exist? How can we have knowledge of them? Why do mathematicians think mathematical entities exist for ever, independent of human action and knowledge? The book proposes an unconventional answer: mathematics has existence or reality only as part of human culture. Despite its seeming timelessness and infallibility, it is a social, cultural, historic phenomenon.

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In What Is Mathematics, Really?, author Reuben Hersh proposes a philosophy of mathematics that he calls "humanism" and uses this philosophy to analyze age-old questions of proof, certainty, and invention versus discovery. He also surveys the history of the philosophy of math. Readers of all levels of mathematical experience will be stimulated by the fascinating and perspicacious discussions Hersh has to offer.

About the Author:

Reuben Hersh is Professor Emeritus at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. He is a winner of the Chauvenet Prize and the Ford Prize. He is the author (with Philip J. Davis) of The Mathematical Experience and Descarte's Dream. The Mathematical Experience won a National Book Award.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780195130874: What Is Mathematics, Really?

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ISBN 10:  0195130871 ISBN 13:  9780195130874
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1999
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9780195113686: What is Mathematics, Really?

Oxford..., 1997
Hardcover

9780099748311: What is Mathematics, Really?

Vintage, 1998
Softcover

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