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How our emotions and bodies are vital for abstract thought : perfect mathematics for imperfect minds

Author: Anna Sverdlik; Shelley Fairweather-Vega
Publisher: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2018. ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"If mathematics is the purest form of knowledge, the perfect foundation of all the hard sciences, and a uniquely precise discipline, then how can the human brain, an imperfect and imprecise organ, process mathematical ideas? Is mathematics made up of eternal, universal truths? Or, as some have claimed, could mathematics simply be a human invention, a kind of tool or metaphor? These questions are among the greatest  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Sverdlik, Anna.
How our emotions and bodies are vital for abstract thought.
Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2018
(DLC) 2018002968
(OCoLC)1021058736
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Anna Sverdlik; Shelley Fairweather-Vega
ISBN: 9781138565845 1138565849 9781138565869 1138565865
OCLC Number: 1016009445
Description: xvii, 218 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: 1. The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics --
2. Why logic is never ideal --
3. Working memory and logical limitations --
4. Overpowered by emotion --
5. From cognition to recognition and back again --
6. Non-algorithmic thinking machine? --
7. How mathematics can outwit physiology.
Other Titles: Kak ėmot︠s︡ii vlii︠a︡i︠u︡t na abstraktnoe myshlenie i pochemu matematika neveroi︠a︡tno tochna.
Responsibility: Anna Sverdlik ; translated by Shelley Fairweather-Vega.

Abstract:

"If mathematics is the purest form of knowledge, the perfect foundation of all the hard sciences, and a uniquely precise discipline, then how can the human brain, an imperfect and imprecise organ, process mathematical ideas? Is mathematics made up of eternal, universal truths? Or, as some have claimed, could mathematics simply be a human invention, a kind of tool or metaphor? These questions are among the greatest enigmas of science and epistemology, discussed at length by mathematicians, physicians, and philosophers. But, curiously enough, neuroscientists have been absent in the debate, even though it is precisely the field of neuroscience―which studies the brain’s mechanisms for thinking and reasoning―that ought to be at the very center of these discussions. How our Emotions and Bodies are Vital for Abstract Thought explores the unique mechanisms of cooperation between the body, emotions, and the cortex, based on fundamental physical principles. It is these mechanisms that help us to overcome the limitations of our physiology and allow our imperfect, human brains to make transcendent mathematical discoveries. This book is written for anyone who is interested in the nature of abstract thought, including mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, psychologists, and psychiatrists."

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This is a remarkable book, taking on the under-investigated overlap between twovery disparate worlds: on the one hand mathematics and rationality, contrasted withemotions and embodiment. Based on the Read more...

 
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