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Husserl and Mathematics


  • Date Published: August 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108845779

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About the Authors
  • Husserl and Mathematics explains the development of Husserl's phenomenological method in the context of his engagement in modern mathematics and its foundations. Drawing on his correspondence and other written sources, Mirja Hartimo details Husserl's knowledge of a wide range of perspectives on the foundations of mathematics, including those of Hilbert, Brouwer and Weyl, as well as his awareness of the new developments in the subject during the 1930s. Hartimo examines how Husserl's philosophical views responded to these changes, and offers a pluralistic and open-ended picture of Husserl's phenomenology of mathematics. Her study shows Husserl's phenomenology to be a method capable of both shedding light on and internally criticizing scientific practices and concepts.

    • Provides a detailed account of the mature Husserl's engagement in mathematics
    • Introduces the phenomenological method and how Husserl develops it to understand the aims and purposes of the exact sciences
    • Shows how Husserl's knowledge of mathematics impacted his wider philosophical views
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Edmund Husserl belongs to a lineage of philosophers for whom logic and mathematics were a primary source of philosophical reflection. In a jargon-free presentation, Hartimo skillfully guides us in the discovery of Husserl's attitude towards the mathematical practice of his time and insightfully analyzes the unfolding of his philosophical views on logic and mathematics as an attempt to make sense of this practice. This excellent book will benefit the general reader as well as the specialist.' Paolo Mancosu, University of California at Berkeley

    'This book presents an insightful and original account of Husserl's philosophy of mathematics and of how it has been shaped by a particular methodology. It will be a rich phenomenological resource, both in highlighting the relevance of Husserl's thought to present-day debates, as well as in bringing together a lot of interesting and much neglected material on its historical context.' Frode Kjosavik, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

    'From his days as a student of mathematics to his latest philosophical works, Husserl remained in touch with some of the major thinkers and pathbreaking advances in early 20th century mathematics. With great skill and a thorough knowledge of Husserl's work, Mirja Hartimo shows us in great detail how this is reflected in the development of his phenomenology.' David Carr, Emory University

    'This important work probes many of the critical problems that arose in this era of modern mathematics as it illustrates the reaction of Husserl to these issues … Highly recommended.' R. L. Pour, CHOICE

    'This is a remarkable book in both breadth and depth. It is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of mathematics and its historical development in the early twentieth century. While one may take issue with a few specific claims, the overall thrust of Hartimo's argument is convincing and her mastery of historical sources is impressive.' Andrea Staiti, Journal of the History of Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108845779
    • length: 230 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 159 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. From the Division of Labor to Besinnung
    2. The Chimera of Logicism: Husserl's Criticism of Frege
    3. Clarifying the Goal of Modern Mathematics: Definiteness
    4. Normativity of the Euclidean Ideal
    5. Husserl's Formal and Transcendental Logic (1929)
    6. Gödel, Skolem, and the Crisis of the 1930s
    7. Husserl's Combination View of Mathematics
    8. Kant and Husserl's Critical View of Logic
    Epilogue: A Look Ahead.

  • Author

    Mirja Hartimo, University of Jyväskylä
    Mirja Hartimo is Senior Researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She is co-editor of Phenomenology and the Transcendental (with Sara Heinämaa, and Timo Miettinen, 2014), and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on Husserl, phenomenology, and the history and philosophy of mathematics.

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