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The Principles of Mathematics Paperback – February 17, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition (February 17, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393314049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393314045
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

`Unless we are very much mistaken, its lucid application and development of the great discoveries of Peano and Cantor mark the opening of a new epoch in both philosophical and mathematical thought.' - The Spectator

`It is impossible in a short review to do justice to the subtlety and originality.' - TLS --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was born in England and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. His long career established him as one of the most influential philosophers, mathematicians, and social reformers of the twentieth century.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Moises Macias Bustos (@logicalanalysis) on October 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
Bertrand Russell's greatest pieces of philosophical writing could probably be said to be "The Principles of Mathematics", "On Denoting" and with Alfred North Whitehead "Principia Mathematica". There is however one sense in which it could be said that the russellian magnum opus is The Principles of Mathematics, from here on TPM.

TPM is, arguably, the culmination in print of a long process of thought and concern, philosophically speaking, of Russell's intellectual preoccupations from his adolescence, youth and maturity with questions relating to the foundations of mathematics. Ever since Russell read Mill in his adolescence he had thought there was something suspect with the Millian view that mathematical knowledge is in some sense empirical & that mathematics is, so to speak, the most abstract of empirical sciences, but empirical nonetheless. Though he lacked the sophistication at the time to propose a different philosophy of mathematics, his concerns with these topics remained with him well into the completion of Principia Mathematica. Logic and Mathematics were, by that time, seen as separate subjects dealing with distinct subject-matters; it came to be, however, the intuition of Russell (an intuition shared, and indeed, anticipated by Frege) that mathematics was nothing more than the later stages of logic. He did not come into this view easily; after a long period of Hegelianism and Kantianism in philosophy, in which Russell sought to overcome the so called antinomies of the infinite and the infinitesimal, etc; Russell saw light coming, not from the works of philosophers, but from the work of mathematicians working to introduce rigour into mathematics.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By john warren on August 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
10-Point Rating: (8.75)
One of the claims of the analytical school of western philosophy is that math is reducible to logic, specifically the logic of groups, classes, or sets. In this vein, I can think of no better introduction than Russell's Principles of Mathematics. Although many of the ideas he proposes are intellectually outdated, Russell's method is rigorous and his presentation is lucid. While this book is not for everyone, no serious student of mathematical foundations should be without it. The chapters on zero and the concept of continuity are especially insightful.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By William J. Romanos on June 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent introduction to the fundamental principles and the core concepts of mathematics. There is no need to be mathematically inclined or a mathematical specialist to gain significantly from reading this book. Serious students of mathematics, logic, intellectual history, or philosophy will also gain significantly from its lucid and sharp explanations, and Bertrand's ability to question and challenge and manipulate even the most presumed unchangeable fundamental categories of mathematics.

This book is cogently written and is for the serious student and reader (yet there is no new mathematical or logical symbol system that needs to be learned, like in his and A.N. Whitehead's Principia Mathematica). A consistent theme throughout is on the philosophical nature of mathematical knowledge.

Since you cannot really get a sense of this book because there is no listing of table of contents or excerpt, etc.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Roger Bagula on May 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
He doesn't do much theorem proving, but he tackles
head on all the basic problem of mathematics that were known
a hundred years ago. It was how well he did everything
that makes this still a must read if you love mathematics.
There is actually only one equation in his book that I can think of:
and it is of a Clifford geometry measure! This man was a mathematician's
mathematician and a metamathematics master in the language of
philosophy as well! The pages are falling out and I still
go to this and Sommerville when I want inspiration or understanding of really hard issues.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Read and think on July 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When an editor simply republish something out of copyright protection, the only thing he has to do is to copy the pages, all the pages. If he just do that the client will be happy. That editor was incapable of doing that simple thing. Some pages from Bertrand Russell's book are *missing*. This is simply infuriating and absolutely inexcusable. To add insult to injury, the font is so degraded as to make the reading difficult. A double rip-off.
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More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

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