This book tackles important questions which have engaged mathematicians, scientists and philosophers for thousands of years and are still being asked today. In what sense do mathematical objects exist? How can we have knowledge of them? Why do mathematicians think mathematical entities exist for ever, independent of human action and knowledge?
Hersh explores the history of the philosophy of mathematics, from Pythagoras to Descartes, Spinoza to Kant and presents a radical new viewpoint which he calls 'humanist', in which mathematics exists only as part of human culture. In clear, elegant prose, this important book illuminates the mysteries behind the meaning and nature of mathematics.