Making and Breaking Mathematical Sense

Histories and Philosophies if Mathematical Practice

Roi Wagner uniquely combines philosophical, historical, and cognitive studies to paint a fully rounded image of mathematics not as an absolute ideal but as a human endeavor that takes shape in specific social and institutional contexts. The book builds on ancient, medieval, and modern case studies to confront philosophical reconstructions and cutting-edge cognitive theories. It focuses on the contingent semiotic and interpretive dimensions of mathematical practice, rather than on mathematics' claim to universal or fundamental truths, in order to explore not only what mathematics is, but also what it could be. Along the way, Wagner challenges conventional views that mathematical signs represent fixed, ideal entities; that mathematical cognition is a rigid transfer of inferences between formal domains; and that mathematics' exceptional consensus is due to the subject's underlying reality.

"Mathematicians and philosophers should find this excellent book accessible and stimulating. As a mathematician, I was pleasantly surprised that some of Deleuze's philosophy could be made not just comprehensible but compelling. Among the new mathematical material, the books account of Bombelli and the cubic equation was particularly impressive. And the story of the emergence of negative and imaginary numbers has never been told with such subtlety and clarity."--John Stillwell, University of San Francisco

Roi Wagner is a research fellow at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University, where he earned PhDs in both mathematics and the history and philosophy of science. He is the author of S(Zp,Zp): Post-Structural Readings of Gödel's Proof and the coeditor of Sourcebook in the Mathematics of Medieval Europe and North Africa (forthcoming, Princeton).

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Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 256
Erscheinungsdatum 10.01.2017
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-691-17171-5
Verlag Princeton University Press
Maße (L/B/H) 24,1/16,3/2,7 cm
Gewicht 539 g
Abbildungen 3 b&w Illustrationen
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