Авторы: Reuben Hersh
Издательство: Oxford University Press
Кол-во страниц: 368
Размер: 17 Мб
Forty years ago, as a machinist's helper, with no thought that mathematics could become my life's work, I discovered the classic, What Is Mathematics? by Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins. They never answered their question; or rather, they answered it by showing what mathematics is, not by telling what it is. After devouring the book with wonder and delight, I was still left asking, "But what is mathematics, really?" This book offers a radically different, unconventional answer to that question. Repudiating Platonism and formalism, while recognizing the reasons that make them (alternately) seem plausible, I show that from the viewpoint of philosophy mathematics must be understood as a human activity, a social phenomenon, part of human culture, historically evolved, and intelligible only in a social context. I call this viewpoint "humanist."