The Mathematician |
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Von Neumann (John) |

Source: Works of the Mind Vol. I no. 1 (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1947), 180-196 |

Paper - Abstract |

Paper Statistics | Books / Papers Citing this Paper | Notes Citing this Paper |

__Notes__

- A very interesting article, though it has to steer clear of technicalities, so contains no actual mathematics.
- Von Neumann’s thesis is that mathematics – while not an empirical science – is done best when empirically-motivated.
- While theoretical physics has to respond to empirical problems or internal contradictions, which are urgent issues and tend to corral physicists into fairly narrow areas of primary concern – the mathematician is freer to choose his problems for ultimately aesthetic reasons.
- There’s an interesting discussion of the rigor of proof, and the varying standards that have been applied over time. Gödel’s theorem is taken to show that no standard of rigor is sufficient for the whole of mathematics. However, it is noted that the vast majority of working mathematicians have just carried on regardless of such issues.

- For the full text, see

→ von Neuman - The Mathematician - Part 1 and

→ von Neuman - The Mathematician - Part 2. - While this is nothing to do with "Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) - Aeon: T-Z" I’ve filed an annotated copy with the Aeon papers for want of a better home.

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