Indiscrete Thoughts (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 1, 2008 - Mathematics - 280 pages
2 Reviews
Indiscrete Thoughts gives a glimpse into a world that has seldom been described, that of science and technology as seen through the eyes of a mathematician. The era covered by this book, 1950 to 1990, was surely one of the golden ages of science as well as of the American university. Cherished myths are debunked along the way as Gian-Carlo Rota takes pleasure in portraying, warts and all, some of the great scientific personalities of the period "Stanislav Ulam (who, together with Edward Teller, signed the patent application for the hydrogen bomb), Solomon Lefschetz (Chairman in the 1950s of the Princeton mathematics department), William Feller (one of the founders of modern probability theory), Jack Schwartz (one of the founders of computer science), and many others. Rota is not afraid of controversy. Some readers may even consider these essays indiscreet. After the publication of the essay "The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics upon Philosophy" (reprinted six times in five languages) the author was blacklisted in analytical philosophy circles. Indiscrete Thoughts should become an instant classic and the subject of debate for decades to come. "Read Indiscrete Thoughts for its account of the way we were and what we have become; for its sensible advice and its exuberant rhetoric."--The Mathematical Intelligencer "Learned, thought-provoking, politically incorrect, delighting in paradox, and likely to offend"but everywhere readable and entertaining."--The American Mathematical Monthly "It is about mathematicians, the way they think, and the world in which they live. It is 260 pages of Rota calling it like he sees it... Readers are bound to find his observations amusing if not insightful. Gian-Carlo Rota has written the sort of book that few mathematicians could write. What will appeal immediately to anyone with an interest in research mathematics are the stories he tells about the practice of modern mathematics."--MAA Reviews
  

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Review: Indiscrete Thoughts

User Review  - Robb Seaton - Goodreads

Confused drivel. Read full review

Review: Indiscrete Thoughts

User Review  - Aneel - Goodreads

Rota was my favorite professor. This is a collection of fairly random writings of his. There are short biographies of mathematicians that Rota knew, some writings on Phenomenology that are well beyond ... Read full review

Contents

Fine Hall in its Golden Age
3
Light Shadows
21
Combinatorics Representation Theory
39
The Barrier of Meaning
55
The Lost Café
63
The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics Upon Philosophy
89
Philosophy and Computer Science
104
The Phenomenology of Mathematical Beauty
121
Fundierung as a Logical Concept
172
The Primacy of Identity
182
Three Senses of A is B in Heidegger
188
Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught
195
Ten Lessons for the Survival of a Mathematics Department
204
Book Reviews
235
End Notes
259
Epilogue by Fabrizio Palombi
265

The Phenomenology of Mathematical Proof
134
Syntax Semantics and the Problem of the Identity
151
The Barber of Seville or the Useless Precaution
158

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