Meaning in Mathematics

Hardcover | June 5, 2011

EditorJohn Polkinghorne

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Is mathematics a highly sophisticated intellectual game in which the adepts display their skill by tackling invented problems, or are mathematicians engaged in acts of discovery as they explore an independent realm of mathematical reality? Why does this seemingly abstract discipline providethe key to unlocking the deep secrets of the physical universe? How one answers these questions will significantly influence metaphysical thinking about reality. This book is intended to fill a gap between popular 'wonders of mathematics' books and the technical writings of the philosophers of mathematics. The chapters are written by some of the world's finest mathematicians, mathematical physicists and philosophers of mathematics, each giving theirperspective on this fascinating debate. Every chapter is followed by a short response from another member of the author team, reinforcing the main theme and raising further questions.Accessible to anyone interested in what mathematics really means, and useful for mathematicians and philosophers of science at all levels, Meaning in Mathematics offers deep new insights into a subject many people take for granted.

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Is mathematics a highly sophisticated intellectual game in which the adepts display their skill by tackling invented problems, or are mathematicians engaged in acts of discovery as they explore an independent realm of mathematical reality? Why does this seemingly abstract discipline providethe key to unlocking the deep secrets of the p...

Reverend Dr John Polkinghorne gained his PhD in physics at Cambridge University in 1955. After a brief period as Lecturer in Mathematical Physics at Edinburgh University, he returned to Cambridge until, in 1979, he resigned his Professorship to train for the Anglican Priesthood. He served as Dean and Chaplin of Trinity Hall and then Pr...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.58 inPublished:June 5, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019960505X

ISBN - 13:9780199605057

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Table of Contents

John Polkinghorne: Introduction1. Timothy Gowers: Is Mathematics Discovered or Invented?2. Marcus du Sautoy: Exploring the Mathematical Library of Babel3. John Polkinghorne: Mathematical Reality4. Roger Penrose: Mathematics, the Mind, and the Physical World5. Peter Lipton: Mathematical Understanding6. Mary Leng: Creation and Discovery in Mathematics7. Michael Detlefsen: Discovery, Invention and Realism: Godel and others on the Reality of Concepts8. Stewart Shapiro: Mathematics and Objectivity9. Gideon Rosen: The Reality of Mathematical Objects10. Mark Steiner: Getting More out of Mathematics than What We Put InIndex