The Mathematician's Mind: The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 1945 - Mathematics - 143 pages
2 Reviews

Fifty years ago when Jacques Hadamard set out to explore how mathematicians invent new ideas, he considered the creative experiences of some of the greatest thinkers of his generation, such as George Polya, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Albert Einstein. It appeared that inspiration could strike anytime, particularly after an individual had worked hard on a problem for days and then turned attention to another activity. In exploring this phenomenon, Hadamard produced one of the most famous and cogent cases for the existence of unconscious mental processes in mathematical invention and other forms of creativity. Written before the explosion of research in computers and cognitive science, his book, originally titled The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, remains an important tool for exploring the increasingly complex problem of mental life.


The roots of creativity for Hadamard lie not in consciousness, but in the long unconscious work of incubation, and in the unconscious aesthetic selection of ideas that thereby pass into consciousness. His discussion of this process comprises a wide range of topics, including the use of mental images or symbols, visualized or auditory words, "meaningless" words, logic, and intuition. Among the important documents collected is a letter from Albert Einstein analyzing his own mechanism of thought.


  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I learnt about this book of Hadmard from Roger Penrose, and found that modern mathematicians also use intuition, they give you the impression that Mathematics is an absolute science. Though it was pointed at right from Pluto to Kurt Gödel.
I am an artist, this book or such thinking on the use of intuition interests me enormously. It is must for anyone interested not only in maths but in role of intuition in creativity, whatever the field one is working.
Avtarjeet Dhanjal
 

Review: The Mathematician's Mind: The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field

User Review  - Shraddha - Goodreads

Reminds me go How to solve it and A mathematician's apology, different in content but similar in style. Read full review

Contents

IV
1
V
21
VI
29
VII
43
VIII
56
IX
64
X
100
XI
116
XII
124
XIII
133
XIV
137
XV
142
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Visual Thinking
Rudolf Arnheim
Limited preview - 2004
All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information