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The Mathematician's Mind : The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field - Jacques Hadamard

The Mathematician's Mind

The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field

Paperback Published: 20th October 1996
ISBN: 9780691029313
Number Of Pages: 168

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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 Levi-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.

Preface to the Paperback Edition
General Views and Inquiriesp. 1
Discussions on Unconsciousnessp. 21
The Unconscious and Discoveryp. 29
The Preparation Stage
Logic and Chancep. 43
The Later Conscious Workp. 56
Discovery as a Synthesis
The Help of Signsp. 64
Different Kinds of Mathematical Mindsp. 100
Paradoxical Cases of Intuitionp. 116
The General Direction of Researchp. 124
Final Remarksp. 133
App. Ip. 137
App. IIp. 142
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691029313
ISBN-10: 0691029318
Series: Princeton Science Library
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 168
Published: 20th October 1996
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.24 x 13.34  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.2
Edition Type: Revised

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