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New York Review of Books -
"A run through the history of the last four hundred years, seen through the eyes of a French mathematician. Mathematics appears as a unifying principle for history. Ekeland moves easily from mathematics to physics, biology, ethics, and philosophy."
Overview
Optimists believe this is the best of all possible worlds. And pessimists fear that might really be the case. But what is the best of all possible worlds? How do we define it? This question has preoccupied philosophers and theologians for ages, but there was a time, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when scientists and mathematicians felt they could provide the answer.
This book is their story. Ivar Ekeland here takes the reader on a journey through scientific ...