Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings

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Cambridge University Press, 1983 - Mathematics - 600 pages
4 Reviews
The twentieth century has witnessed an unprecedented 'crisis in the foundations of mathematics', featuring a world-famous paradox (Russell's Paradox), a challenge to 'classical' mathematics from a world-famous mathematician (the 'mathematical intuitionism' of Brouwer), a new foundational school (Hilbert's Formalism), and the profound incompleteness results of Kurt Gödel. In the same period, the cross-fertilization of mathematics and philosophy resulted in a new sort of 'mathematical philosophy', associated most notably (but in different ways) with Bertrand Russell, W. V. Quine, and Gödel himself, and which remains at the focus of Anglo-Saxon philosophical discussion. The present collection brings together in a convenient form the seminal articles in the philosophy of mathematics by these and other major thinkers. It is a substantially revised version of the edition first published in 1964 and includes a revised bibliography. The volume will be welcomed as a major work of reference at this level in the field.
  

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Review: Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings

User Review  - Alec Julien - Goodreads

A must-have book, if you're a student of the philosophy of mathematics. This was THE anthology of important essays when it came out, and remained so for a lot of years. As an historical map of the phil-math terrain, this book is essential. Read full review

Review: Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings

User Review  - Josie - Goodreads

An important book in the field Read full review

Contents

II
3
III
41
IV
52
V
61
VI
66
VII
77
VIII
90
IX
97
XVII
295
XVIII
315
XIX
329
XX
355
XXI
377
XXII
394
XXIII
403
XXIV
421

X
130
XI
160
XII
183
XIII
202
XIV
207
XV
241
XVI
272
XXV
447
XXVI
470
XXVII
486
XXVIII
503
XXIX
530
XXX
571
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About the author (1983)

According to John Passmore, Hilary Putnam's work is a "history of recent philosophy in outline" (Recent Philosophers). He adds that writing "about "Putnam's philosophy' is like trying to capture the wind with a fishing-net." Born in Chicago and educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Los Angeles, Putnam taught at Northwestern University, Princeton University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to Harvard University in 1965. In his early years at Harvard, he was an outspoken opponent of the war in Vietnam. Although he writes in the idiom of analytic philosophy, Putnam addresses major themes relating science to ethics and epistemology. If these themes are reminiscent of David Hume---as, for that matter, is much of analytic philosophy---his treatment of them is not. Putnam's work is far more profoundly shaped by recent work in logic, foundations of mathematics, and science than would have been possible for Hume; Putnam has contributed to each. He differs from Hume and stands more in the tradition of Willard Quine and American pragmatism in his treatment of the crucial distinctions between analytic and synthetic statements and between facts and values. Both distinctions, sharply made by Hume, are claimed by Putnam not to be absolute. He attempts to show, for example, that basic concepts of philosophy, science, and mathematics all are interrelated, so that mathematics bears more similarity to empirical reasoning than is customarily acknowledged.

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