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Pi in the Sky By John D. Barrow

Pi in the Sky
by John D. Barrow

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A philosophical look at mathematics, this book asks whether it is just a human invention, a discovery, part of the mind of God, or a game played on paper with any rules we like.
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Pi in the Sky Summary

Pi in the Sky: Counting, Thinking and Being by John D. Barrow

We have learnt that there is safety in numbers. Our understanding of the world around us has grown with our appreciation of its habits and repetitions. We live in a world of consequences rather than coincidences. This understanding of the way the of the world is founded upon our discovery of the power and utility of "number" in unravelling its innermost workings. From the farthest reaches of space to the inner space of elementary particles of matter we have found the world to dance to a mathematical tune. This book takes a philosophical look at mathematics, and asks whether it is just a human invention, a discovery, part of the mind of God, or a game played on paper with any rules we like. It should be of interest to physicists, philosophers of science, and general readers.

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About John D. Barrow

About the Author:
John D. Barrow is Professor in the Astronomy Centre of the University of Sussex. His is the author of several highly acclaimed volumes on the philosophy of science, including most recently Theories of Everything, which Publishers Weekly hailed as "a mind-boggling intellectual adventure."

Table of Contents

From mystery to history - a mystery within an enigma, illusions of certainty, the secret society, non-euclideanism, logics, the Rashomon effect, the analogy that never breaks down, symbols, thinking about thinking; the counter culture - by the pricking of my thumbs, the bare bones of history, creation or evolution, the ordinals versus the cardinals, counting without counting, fingers and toes, baser methods, counting with the base "2", the neo-2 system of counting, counting in fives, what's so special about 60? the spread of the decimal system, the dance of the seven veils, ritual geometry, the place-value system and the intervention of zero, conclusions about numbers; with form but void - numerology, the very opposite, Hilbert's scheme, Kurt Goedel, more surprises, thinking by numbers, Bourachique mathematique, arithmetic in chaos, logical friction, mathematics off form; the mothers of inventionism - mind from matter, shadowlands, trap-door functions, mathematical creation, Marxist mathematics, complexity and simplicity, maths as psychology, pre-established mental harmony?, self-discovery; intuitionism: the immaculate construction - mathematics from outer space, Ramanujan, intuitionism and three-valued logic, a very peculiar practice, a closer look at Broouwer, what is "intuition"?, the tragedy of Cantor and Kronecker, Cantor and infinity, the comedy of Hilbert and Brouwer, the four colour conjecture, transhuman mathematics, new-age mathematics, paradigms, computability, compressibility and utility; Platonic heavens above and within - the growth of abstraction, footsteps through Plato's footnotes, the Platonic world of mathematics, far away and long ago, the presence of the past, the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics, difficulties with Platonic relationships, seance or science?, revel without a cause, a computer ontological argument, a speculative anthropic interpretation of mathematics, maths and mysticism, supernatural numbers?.

Additional information

Pi in the Sky: Counting, Thinking and Being by John D. Barrow
John D. Barrow
Used - Very Good
Oxford University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.