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The Mathematician's Mind: The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (Princeton Science Library)

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The Mathematician's Mind: The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (Princeton Science Library) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Fifty years ago when Jacques Hadamard set out to explore how mathematicians invent new ideas, he considered the creative experiences of some of the greatest thinkers of his generation, such as George Polya, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Albert Einstein. It appeared that inspiration could strike anytime, particularly after an individual had worked hard on a problem for days and then turned attention to another activity. In exploring this phenomenon, Hadamard produced one of the most famous and cogent cases for the existence of unconscious mental processes in mathematical invention and other forms of creativity. Written before the explosion of research in computers and cognitive science, his book, originally titled The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, remains an important tool for exploring the increasingly complex problem of mental life.

The roots of creativity for Hadamard lie not in consciousness, but in the long unconscious work of incubation, and in the unconscious aesthetic selection of ideas that thereby pass into consciousness. His discussion of this process comprises a wide range of topics, including the use of mental images or symbols, visualized or auditory words, "meaningless" words, logic, and intuition. Among the important documents collected is a letter from Albert Einstein analyzing his own mechanism of thought.

Synopsis:

Fifty years ago when Jacques Hadamard set out to explore how mathematicians invent new ideas, he considered the creative experiences of some of the greatest thinkers of his generation, such as George Polya, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Albert Einstein. It appeared that inspiration could strike anytime, particularly after an individual had worked hard on a problem for days and then turned attention to another activity. In exploring this phenomenon, Hadamard produced one of the most famous and cogent cases for the existence of unconscious mental processes in mathematical invention and other forms of creativity. Written before the explosion of research in computers and cognitive science, his book, originally titled The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, remains an important tool for exploring the increasingly complex problem of mental life.

The roots of creativity for Hadamard lie not in consciousness, but in the long unconscious work of incubation, and in the unconscious aesthetic selection of ideas that thereby pass into consciousness. His discussion of this process comprises a wide range of topics, including the use of mental images or symbols, visualized or auditory words, "meaningless" words, logic, and intuition. Among the important documents collected is a letter from Albert Einstein analyzing his own mechanism of thought.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition
Foreword
Introduction
IGeneral Views and Inquiries1
IIDiscussions on Unconsciousness21
IIIThe Unconscious and Discovery29
IVThe Preparation Stage. Logic and Chance43
VThe Later Conscious Work56
VIDiscovery as a Synthesis. The Help of Signs64
VIIDifferent Kinds of Mathematical Minds100
VIIIParadoxical Cases of Intuition116
IXThe General Direction of Research124
Final Remarks133
App. I137
App. II142

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691029313
Author:
Hadamard, Jacques
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J. :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Mathematics
Subject:
Neuropsychology
Subject:
Advanced
Subject:
Mathematicians
Subject:
Mathematicians -- Psychology.
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Mathematics -- Philosophy.
Subject:
History
Subject:
Psychology-Mind and Consciousness
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Princeton science library
Series Volume:
PNW-GTR-367
Publication Date:
September 1996
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
168
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in 7 oz

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Related Subjects

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The Mathematician's Mind: The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (Princeton Science Library) New Trade Paper
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Product details 168 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691029313 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Fifty years ago when Jacques Hadamard set out to explore how mathematicians invent new ideas, he considered the creative experiences of some of the greatest thinkers of his generation, such as George Polya, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Albert Einstein. It appeared that inspiration could strike anytime, particularly after an individual had worked hard on a problem for days and then turned attention to another activity. In exploring this phenomenon, Hadamard produced one of the most famous and cogent cases for the existence of unconscious mental processes in mathematical invention and other forms of creativity. Written before the explosion of research in computers and cognitive science, his book, originally titled The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, remains an important tool for exploring the increasingly complex problem of mental life.

The roots of creativity for Hadamard lie not in consciousness, but in the long unconscious work of incubation, and in the unconscious aesthetic selection of ideas that thereby pass into consciousness. His discussion of this process comprises a wide range of topics, including the use of mental images or symbols, visualized or auditory words, "meaningless" words, logic, and intuition. Among the important documents collected is a letter from Albert Einstein analyzing his own mechanism of thought.

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