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Thinking about Mathematics: The Philosophy of Mathematics

Thinking about Mathematics: The Philosophy of Mathematics
Author: Stewart Shapiro
ISBN 13: 9780192893062
ISBN 10: 192893068
Edition: 1
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2000-10-05
Format: Paperback
Pages: 328
List Price: $45.00

This unique book by Stewart Shapiro looks at a range of philosophical issues and positions concerning mathematics in four comprehensive sections. Part I describes questions and issues about mathematics that have motivated philosophers since the beginning of intellectual history. Part II is an historical survey, discussing the role of mathematics in the thought of such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. Part III covers the three major positions held throughout the twentieth century: the idea that mathematics is logic (logicism), the view that the essence of mathematics is the rule-governed manipulation of characters (formalism), and a revisionist philosophy that focuses on the mental activity of mathematics (intuitionism). Finally, Part IV brings the reader up-to-date with a look at contemporary developments within the discipline.

This sweeping introductory guide to the philosophy of mathematics makes these fascinating concepts accessible to those with little background in either mathematics or philosophy.

  • Uniquely guides the reader through the history of the subject, providing an overview of the major debates and figures