Conceptions of mathematical style

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)


As has also recently been observed by Mancosu, the topic of 'mathematical style' is an underdeveloped one. In our contribution, next to briefly reviewing what (kinds of) approaches are already at hand, we add an explicitly 'continental' perspective on the matter. As early as in 1948, in a paper in his edited volume Les grands courants de la pens ?ee math ?ematique (only much later translated as Great currents in mathematical thought), Franc ?ois Le Lionnais discussed the aesthetics of mathematics. Yet instead of focusing on expected issues such as symmetry, golden ratios and the like, Le Lionnais in it distinguished romantic versus classicist ideas of style in mathematics, corresponding roughly with an invention versus systematic exploration classification of mathematical domains.
Peculiar as it may seem, Le Lionnais' view is however not to be seen as an isolated phe- nomenon. This was after all the period of Bourbaki's program, but also of mathematician- writers such as Raymond Queneau and Jacques Roubaud, founders, together with Georges Perec, of the OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Litt ?erature Potentielle, or Workshop for Potential Lit- erature). It is indeed remarkable that many of the subjects discussed in that circle were in effect proposed by mathematician-philosophers, such as Henri Poincar ?e and Albert Laut- man. And although the structuralist Bourbaki approach clearly became the dominant one, we think it is time to reassess the value and importance of that other side, especially since it tended to focus on the full complexity of mathematical practice.
Originele taal-2English
TitelLogic, Reasoning and Rationality — International Congress (LRR10), 20-22 September, Universiteit Gent
StatusPublished - 20 sep 2010
EvenementUnknown -
Duur: 20 sep 2010 → …


Periode20/09/10 → …


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