Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty

Overview

Most intelligent people today still believe that mathematics is a body of unshakable truths about the physical world and that mathematical reasoning is exact and infallible. Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty refutes that myth.

Stresses the illogical manner in which mathematics has developed, and the challenges to the consistency of mathematics' logical structure.

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Overview

Most intelligent people today still believe that mathematics is a body of unshakable truths about the physical world and that mathematical reasoning is exact and infallible. Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty refutes that myth.

Stresses the illogical manner in which mathematics has developed, and the challenges to the consistency of mathematics' logical structure.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195030853
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/17/1982
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 888,166
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.31 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    A history of mathematical truth for the non-mathematician.

    If the mathematicians can not find truth, where are we? We daily presume in intelligent discussion the existence of a logic that supports our reasoning. We expect some Euclidean system of postulates and axioms or a theory of sets that enables proof. If this... then that. Is there such a crystal clear and reliable system of truth or is this mental process just a fancy human self deception amounting to rationalisation? Kline in a very readable prose recounts the history of truth from a mathematical view. Starting with the original view that God was the source of truth the subject is narrowed over human history to the sophisticated jockeying of modern mathematicians. The reader is taken easily along the historic path to view the chasm of Godel's proof. If mathematics has a disputable foundation, then what about law and the rest of reasoned culture? This is highly recommended as a history to all that are mathematically inclined, and as a good read for the philosophical even if they have the least twinge of math fear. This is a history of the perception of truth from a mathematical stance, and not a position on its final determination. The reader is left to wonder how the situation applies in daily analysis.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2010

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