The central theme of these essays is the nature and role of mathematics, its growth and spread, and its involvement with ever-wider areas of knowledge. The author attempts to determine the decisive and creative aspects of the abstractness" of mathematics which have made it the dominant intellectual force that it is. He frequently confronts the mathematics and physics of today with the mathematics and physics of the Greeks, which, however renowned, was not yet capable of this abstractness.
Originally published in 1981.
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