Jeremy GraySeptember 2, 2008

Princeton University Press *Plato's Ghost* evokes Yeats's lament that any claim to worldly perfection inevitably is proven wrong by the philosopher's ghost; Gray demonstrates how modernist mathematicians believed they had advanced further than anyone before them, only to make more profound mistakes. He tells for the first time the story of these ambitious and brilliant mathematicians, including Richard Dedekind, Henri Lebesgue, Henri Poincaré, and many others. He describes the lively debates surrounding novel objects, definitions, and proofs in mathematics arising from the use of naïve set theory and the revived axiomatic method--debates that spilled over into contemporary arguments in philosophy and the sciences and drove an upsurge of popular writing on mathematics. And he looks at mathematics after World War I, including the foundational crisis and mathematical Platonism.

*Plato's Ghost* is essential reading for mathematicians and historians, and will appeal to anyone interested in the development of modern mathematics.

Publisher

Princeton University Press

Published on

Sep 2, 2008

Pages

528

ISBN

9781400829040

Features

Best For

Language

English

Genres

History / Modern / 19th Century

Mathematics / History & Philosophy

Content Protection

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