Circles Disturbed: The Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative

Overview

"Circles Disturbed offers a range of possibilities for how narrative can function in mathematics and how narratives themselves show signs of a mathematical structure. An intelligent, exploratory collection of writings by a distinguished group of contributors."—Theodore Porter, University of California, Los Angeles

"This collection is a pioneering effort to trace the hidden connections between mathematics and narrative. It succeeds magnificently, and represents a very significant contribution that will appeal to ...

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Circles Disturbed: The Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative

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Overview

"Circles Disturbed offers a range of possibilities for how narrative can function in mathematics and how narratives themselves show signs of a mathematical structure. An intelligent, exploratory collection of writings by a distinguished group of contributors."—Theodore Porter, University of California, Los Angeles

"This collection is a pioneering effort to trace the hidden connections between mathematics and narrative. It succeeds magnificently, and represents a very significant contribution that will appeal to the professional mathematician as well as the general educated reader. The articles are written by top authorities in their fields."—Doron Zeilberger, Rutgers University

"The idea of a volume devoted to mathematics and narrative is a good one. The strength of the present volume is the breadth of its outlook, and I would imagine a fairly diverse readership from a wide variety of perspectives."—Robert Osserman, professor emeritus, Stanford University

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Editors Doxiadis and Mazur have compiled a collection of 15 essays that look at the many possible roles narrative can play in mathematics, which is usually considered far removed from storytelling. . . . Circles Disturbed will be of special value to collections in history of mathematics, philosophy of mathematics, and mathematical pedagogy.
From the Publisher
"Editors Doxiadis and Mazur have compiled a collection of 15 essays that look at the many possible roles narrative can play in mathematics, which is usually considered far removed from storytelling. . . . Circles Disturbed will be of special value to collections in history of mathematics, philosophy of mathematics, and mathematical pedagogy."—Choice

"Circles Disturbed presents a cohesive narrative whose strength lies in helping each side to understand the other. It should encourage scientists to grasp the logic behind storytelling and literary critics to sense the allure of mathematics."—Mel Bayley, British Society for the History of Mathematics Bulletin

"Well thought and well written and with a careful balance between erudition and down-to-earthness all through it, Circles Disturbed is a highly recommended reading for mathematicians and students of mathematics, as well as for anyone who wishes to better understand what it is to do mathematics and why they are done the way they are done."—Capi Corrales Rodrigánez, European Mathematical Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691149042
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/18/2012
  • Pages: 552
  • Sales rank: 902,656
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Apostolos Doxiadis is a writer whose books include "Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture and Logicomix." Barry Mazur is the Gerhard Gade University Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Harvard University. His books include "Imagining Numbers" and "Arithmetic Moduli of Elliptic Curves" (Princeton).

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii
Chapter 1: From Voyagers to Martyrs: Toward a Storied History of Mathematics 1
By AMIR ALEXANDER
Chapter 2 Structure of Crystal, Bucket of Dust 52
By PETER GALISON
Chapter 3: Deductive Narrative and the Epistemological Function of Belief in Mathematics: On Bombelli and Imaginary Numbers 79
By FEDERICA LANAVE
Chapater 4: Hilbert on Theology and Its Discontents: The Origin Myth of Modern Mathematics 105
By COLIN MCLARTY
Chapter 5: Do Androids Prove Theorems in Their Sleep? 130
By MICHAEL HARRIS
Chapter 6: Visions, Dreams, and Mathematics 183
By BARRY MAZUR
Chapter 7: Vividness in Mathematics and Narrative 211
By TIMOTHY GOWERS
Chapter 8: Mathematics and Narrative: Why Are Stories and Proofs Interesting? 232
By BERNARD TEISSIER
Chapter 9: Narrative and the Rationality of Mathematical Practice 244
By DAVID CORFIELD
Chapter 10: A Streetcar Named (among Other Things) Proof: From Storytelling to Geometry, via Poetry and Rhetoric 281
By APOSTOLOS DOXIADIS
Chapter 11: Mathematics and Narrative: An Aristotelian Perspective 389
By G .E .R . LLOYD
Chapter 12: Adventures of the Diagonal: Non-Euclidean Mathematics and Narrative 407
By ARADY PLOTNITSKY
Chapter 13: Formal Models in Narrative Analysis 447
By DAVID HERMAN
Chapter 14: Mathematics and Narrative: A Narratological Perspective 481
By URI MARGOL N
Chapter 15: Tales of Contingency, Contingencies of Telling: Toward an Algorithm of Narrative Subjectivity 508
By JAN CHRISTOPH MEISTER
Contributors 541
Index 545

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