Descartes' Dream: The World According to Mathematics

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Houghton Mifflin, 1986 - Mathematics - 321 pages
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Rationalist philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes visualized a world unified by mathematics, in which all intellectual issues could be resolved rationally by local computation. This series of provocative essays takes a modern look at the seventeenth-century thinker's dream, examining the physical and intellectual influences of mathematics on society, particularly in light of technological advances.

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Contents

Descartes Dream
3
Where the Dream Stands Today
9
Are We Drowning in Digits?
15
Copyright

18 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

abstract algebraic number theory algorithms anagogic analytic geometry answer applications applied mathematics Archimedes Aristotle arithmetic assembly language automated theorem proving axioms Benjamin Whorf Brown University calculation calculus called catenary century certain Charles Strauss chop suey chow mein Clifford Truesdell cliometrics Clocker cobalt come computer art computer graphics computer languages computer program computer science computer scientist computer thinks computerization continuity equations Courtesy created David Bohm Descartes differential equations discrete spaces don't dream eggs foo yung ematics equations Eric Temple Bell ethics Euclid Euclidean geometry example existence Federalist Paper formal FORTRAN Francis Crick functions Further Readings game theory Giovanni Battista Vico human ical idea Irene Adler Isaiah Berlin it's Jakarta John Hay John Kemeny Joseph Needham Karl Popper Keith Long kind knowledge laws Leonhard Euler linear programming logical Louise Goodman M.C. Escher machine machine language MACSYMA math mathematical model mathematical proofs mathematician mathematics filter matical meaning metaphor metic microcode microprogramming might mind multi-valued logics natural natural languages non-Euclidean geometry Norbert Wiener nuclear arms race numerical analysis operating system operations Pathetic Fallacy petcocks Philo philosopher philosophy of mathematics physical physicists player piano possible prediction probability probability theory problem problem-oriented languages proof Ptolemy puter Pythagoras question reality really reason Reuben Hersh rhetorical Robert Oppenheimer science fiction scientific scientific computation scientists sense social square root statement stochastic supercomputer symbols tests That's theoretical theoretical physics theory things thought total science trigonometric functions truth Turing machine universe word word computation

About the author (1986)

Davis is Professor Emeritus, Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University.

Reuben Hersh taught at several distinguished colleges and universities around the country. Now retired, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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