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Description - Conversations on Mind, Matter, and Mathematics by Jean-Pierre Changeux

Do numbers and the other objects of mathematics enjoy a timeless existence independent of human minds, or are they the products of cerebral invention? Do we discover them, as Plato supposed and many others have believed since, or do we construct them? Does mathematics constitute a universal language that in principle would permit human beings to communicate with extraterrestrial civilizations elsewhere in the universe, or is it merely an earthly language that owes its accidental existence to the peculiar evolution of neuronal networks in our brains? Does the physical world actually obey mathematical laws, or does it seem to conform to them simply because physicists have increasingly been able to make mathematical sense of it? Jean-Pierre Changeux, an internationally renowned neurobiologist, and Alain Connes, an eminent mathematician, find themselves deeply divided by these questions. The problematic status of mathematical objects leads Changeux and Connes to discuss the organization and function of the brain, the ways in which its embryonic and post-natal development influences the unfolding of mathematical reasoning and other kinds of thinking, and whether human intelligence can b

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691004051
ISBN-10: 0691004056
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 140mm x mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 7-Dec-1998
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Jean-Pierre Changeux

Jean-Pierre Changeux is Director of the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and Professor at the College de France. Alain Connes, winner of the 1982 Fields Medal, is Professor of Mathematics at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in Bures-sur-Yvette and Professor at the College de France.

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