The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men: A Cultural History (Hardcover)
A masterful cultural history of mathematics from bestselling Italian mathematician and philosopher Paolo Zellini.
Is mathematics a discovery or an invention? Have we invented numbers or do they truly exist? What sort of reality should we attribute to them? Mathematics has always been a way of understanding and ordering the world: from sacred ancient texts and pre-Socratic philosophers to twentieth-century logicians such as Russell and Frege and beyond.
In this masterful, elegant book, mathematician and philosopher Paolo Zellini offers a brief cultural and intellectual history of mathematics, from ancient Greece to India to our contemporary obsession with algorithms, showing how mathematical thinking is inextricably linked with philosophical, existential and religious questions—and indeed with our cosmic understanding of the world.
About the Author
Paolo Zellini is a professor of mathematics at the University of Rome, where his research focuses on numerical analysis and the evolution of mathematical thought. He is the author of the international bestseller A Brief History of Infinity. He lives in Rome.
Translator Erica Segre is the acclaimed translator of Carlo Rovelli's many bestselling books for Penguin.
Translator Simon Carnell is the acclaimed translator of Carlo Rovelli's many bestselling books for Penguin.
One of the finest books ever published and one of the most important books of the twentieth or twenty-first centuries.
— Italo Calvino, author of Six Memos for the Next Millennium and The Complete Cosmicomic (Praise for Paolo Zellini's A Brief History of Infinity)