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The Mathematical Experience
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This is the classic introduction for the educated lay reader to the richly diverse world of mathematics: its history, philosophy, principles, and personalities.
Paperback, 464 pages
Published
January 14th 1999
by Mariner Books
(first published 1980)
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Start your review of The Mathematical Experience
One of my pet peeves is the belief that "creative" people are those who study the humanities and that "analytical" types (as if "analytical" must somehow stand in opposition to creativity) are those who study sciences and mathematics. Perhaps this belief stems from a mathematics education grounded in rote, memorization, and dull exercises. The Mathematical Experience is about mathematics, but takes a much more philosophical tone, exploring the concept of proof and truth, the history of math, and
...more
Dec 18, 2008
DJ
marked it as toread
·
review of another edition
Recommends it for:
aspiring young mathematicians & civilian math fanboys
My second dip into this book was routed by an encounter with Godel, Escher, Bach. I'm sorry Mathematical Experience, but your womanly wiles are no match for the allures of recursion and paradoxes that is GEB. Perhaps one day we will meet again...
Despite our early parting of ways, I can highly recommend this book to (a) young students getting interesting in longterm studies in mathematics and (b) civilian math fanboys who want to know more about the culture of mathematics.
The book reads like an ...more
Despite our early parting of ways, I can highly recommend this book to (a) young students getting interesting in longterm studies in mathematics and (b) civilian math fanboys who want to know more about the culture of mathematics.
The book reads like an ...more
Jan 10, 2016
Michael
added it
Interesting book. I pick it up and put it down whenever. There's some cool info and history in there.
...more
Doing intermediate level Mathematics alone in cold nights of winters, i felt strange sensation of entering into the magical world of abstract math. The Math which has nothing to do with the mundane reality of daily life. later in life i left abstract math and philosophy for its application in different unrelated field. Although application of math was very interesting but my mind remained stuck in abstract world and that strange sensation.
Years later reading and watching biographies of great mat ...more
Years later reading and watching biographies of great mat ...more
Jul 28, 2015
Remy
rated it
liked it
·
review of another edition
Recommends it for:
A different garbage can
Recommended to Remy by:
A garbage can
All in all, I'd say this is worth reading, although with some reservations. I can't complain too much, since I found it in the trash. It does a pretty great job introducing historical figures. Also, there are plenty of neat puzzles and proofs, if you can follow them.
Here are my nitpicks:
It definitely feels a bit dated, for one thing.
The authors suffer terribly from the curse of knowledge; they obviously have no idea what is meant by "general reader".
It is far too polemical. The authors get less ...more
Here are my nitpicks:
It definitely feels a bit dated, for one thing.
The authors suffer terribly from the curse of knowledge; they obviously have no idea what is meant by "general reader".
It is far too polemical. The authors get less ...more
Wow, from Plato to Polya, this venerable work looks very very much like it is worth reading, taking notes, and reading again just for the pleasure of it, once I actually have time to enjoy all of the citations (like the Myth of Euclid?! and Chinese mathematics!! cool!!!).
I so enjoy the study of teaching mathematics, pity I don't enjoy the students nearly as much, the vast majority of the time (ok, nearly all of the time, but I do enjoy planning my lessons!).
And let us not forget Pacioli, of dou ...more
I so enjoy the study of teaching mathematics, pity I don't enjoy the students nearly as much, the vast majority of the time (ok, nearly all of the time, but I do enjoy planning my lessons!).
And let us not forget Pacioli, of dou ...more
This book does a good job coming to terms with the fundamental dilemma of mathematics: what in the world is it? While I don't agree with all their conclusions, the book really does convey a sense of the difficulties lying behind the mathematical experience. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the philosophy of mathematics or in epistemology in general.
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I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed this book while a math major in college. Highly recommended for math fans.
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by Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh

Am reading this book slowly
and in no particular order.
Am heavily into "The Prime Number Theorem" chapter.
Am getting some new insights.
...more

Am reading this book slowly
and in no particular order.
Am heavily into "The Prime Number Theorem" chapter.
Am getting some new insights.
...more
"Our knowledge of what exists may go far beyond what we are able to calculate or even approximate. Here is a simple instance of this. We are given a triangle with three unequal sides. We ask, is there a vertical line which bisects the area of the triangle? Within algorithmic mathematics one might pose the problem of finding such a line, by ruler and compass, or by more generous means. Within dialectic mathematics, one can answer, yes, such a line exists without doing any work at all. One need on
...more
This is the Portuguese translation of "The Mathematical Experience". An interesting attempt to convey the nature and importance of Mathematics to the lay reader, the text digresses through a variety of topics in a clear and, at times, inspired prose. It is not a mathematical text though, and apart from Chapter 5 and some examples spread through Chapters 4 and 6, not much mathematical culture is required from the reader, although someone lacking a mathematical education at the level of the first
...more
Mathematics is certainly useful to science, engineering and even our daily lives. We never stop and think about accepting the legitimacy of the basis for it. Can we really prove that 1+1=2? Sure, math is useful, but is it a manmade creation that helps us understand the universe, or is it something we discover that is abstract that exists independent of us and our language, thought, and practices just as stars exist independently of us? If you enjoy math and the history of math or if you enjoy p
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packed with interesting stuff, first half mostly of historical interest, middle parts have wellwritten expositions about a variety of topics across many subdomains of math, and towards the end talks about pedagogy and philosophy.
Has discussions about formalism vs. Platonism (as well as Brouwer's constructionism/intuitionism) and how "philosophy of mathematics" is typically about foundations, i.e., Russell, Frege, and Hilbert, whose formalistfoundational projects were blown up by Goedel and as ...more
Has discussions about formalism vs. Platonism (as well as Brouwer's constructionism/intuitionism) and how "philosophy of mathematics" is typically about foundations, i.e., Russell, Frege, and Hilbert, whose formalistfoundational projects were blown up by Goedel and as ...more
From the preface: "The book is not intended to present a systematic, selfcontained discussion of a specific corpus of mathematical material, either recent or classical. It is intended rather to capture the inexhaustible variety presented by the mathematical experience."
.....
I didn't love this book. I'm not even sure I'd say I liked it. It was roughly 50 pages of "Oh, that's (semi)interesting," and 361 pages of "zzzzzZZzZzzZZZ." It's basically a book of essays (each chunk is shorter than a cha ...more
.....
I didn't love this book. I'm not even sure I'd say I liked it. It was roughly 50 pages of "Oh, that's (semi)interesting," and 361 pages of "zzzzzZZzZzzZZZ." It's basically a book of essays (each chunk is shorter than a cha ...more
This is a great book. If you are at all interested in mathematics you should read this. It's written in a pleasant stile. Its not overly popularized and not pedantic. It covers a wide range of subjects some things you will undoubtedly know, some things you know but never really thought about and some things completely new ( to me at least ). They don't force there opinion on you I wish more science writing was done in this style. As you see I don't want to give away to much because reading the b
...more
Jul 16, 2007
Dan
rated it
it was amazing
Recommends it for:
mathematicians, larval mathematicians, math groupies
this is an excellent book that discusses the history of mathematics, as well as the evolutions of mathematical philosophy, citing clear understandable examples.
Reading this book helped me understand my discipline better and helped me understand where the field of mathematics has been and where it is heading.
I think having a math background helped me understand this book. I don't know if someone without a math background would like this book as much.
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Reading this book helped me understand my discipline better and helped me understand where the field of mathematics has been and where it is heading.
I think having a math background helped me understand this book. I don't know if someone without a math background would like this book as much.
...more
An interesting book, perhaps not for the general reader, about the state of mathematics today. reading it had a definite influence on my decision not to pursue pure mathematics as a career.
It refers to the 'generic mathematician' as 'he' throughout ...more
It refers to the 'generic mathematician' as 'he' throughout ...more
Stopped at p. 126 "Abstraction"
QA8.4.D370 Crerar
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QA8.4.D370 Crerar
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What do mathematicians DO all day? This book provides some answers. Here is my review on Yahoo Voices: http://voices.yahoo.com/bookreviewm...
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