The twentieth century has witnessed an unprecedented 'crisis in the foundations of mathematics', featuring a world-famous paradox (Russell's Paradox), a challenge to 'classical' mathematics from a world-famous mathematician (the 'mathematical intuitionism' of Brouwer), a new foundational school (Hilbert's Formalism), and the profound incompleteness results of Kurt Gödel. In the same period, the cross-fertilization of mathematics and philosophy resulted in a new sort of 'mathematical philosophy', associated most notably (but in different ways) with Bertrand Russell, W. V. Quine, and Gödel himself, and which remains at the focus of Anglo-Saxon philosophical discussion. The present collection brings together in a convenient form the seminal articles in the philosophy of mathematics by these and other major thinkers. It is a substantially revised version of the edition first published in 1964 and includes a revised bibliography. The volume will be welcomed as a major work of reference at this level in the field.
Provides an in-depth analysis of the cognitive science of mathematical ideas that argues that conceptual metaphor plays a definitive role in mathematical ideas, exploring such concepts as arithmetic, algebra, sets, logic, and infinity. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
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.
The Heart of Mathematics addresses the big ideas of mathematics (many of which are cutting edge research topics) in a non-computational style intended to be both read and enjoyed by students and instructors, as well as by motivated general readers. It features an engaging, lively, humorous style full of surprises, games, mind-benders, and all without either sacrificing good mathematical thought or relying on mathematical computation or symbols. The authors are award-winning authors, holding awards such as: Distinguished Teaching Award (Burger, from the Mathematical Association of America); Chauvenet Prize (the best expository mathematics writer in the world, Burger, from the MAA) and many others.
From a review of the second edition: "This book covers many interesting topics not usually covered in a present day undergraduate course, as well as certain basic topics such as the development of the calculus and the solution of polynomial equations. The fact that the topics are introduced in their historical contexts will enable students to better appreciate and understand the mathematical ideas involved...If one constructs a list of topics central to a history course, then they would closely resemble those chosen here." (David Parrott, Australian Mathematical Society) This book offers a collection of historical essays detailing a large variety of mathematical disciplines and issues; it’s accessible to a broad audience. This third edition includes new chapters on simple groups and new sections on alternating groups and the Poincare conjecture. Many more exercises have been added as well as commentary that helps place the exercises in context.
Authors analyze mathematics education from a range of perspectives. They address such practical problems as: maximizing the impact of teacher education programmes; increasing learning opportunities for students working in groups; and the impact of male domination in mixed classrooms.