Author: S. Restivo
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
View: 3168This is the first book by a sociologist devoted exclusively to a general sociology of mathematics. The author provides examples of different ways of thinking about mathematics sociologically. The survey of mathematical traditions covers ancient China, the Arabic-Islamic world, India, and Europe. Following the leads of classical social theorists such as Emile Durkheim, Restivo develops the idea that mathematical concepts and ideas are collective representations, and that it is mathematical communities that create mathematics, not individual mathematicians. The implications of the sociology of mathematics, and especially of pure mathematics, for a sociology of mind are also explored. In general, the author's objective is to explore, conjecture, suggest, and stimulate in order to introduce the sociological perspective on mathematics, and to broaden and deepen the still narrow, shallow path that today carries the sociology of mathematics. This book will interest specialists in the philosophy, history, and sociology of mathematics, persons interested in mathematics education, students of science and society, and people interested in current developments in the social and cultural analysis of science and mathematics.