This book contains ten interesting and original articles from the history and philosophy of mathematics, written by well-known mathematicians and historians of mathematics (eight from France, one from the UK). The articles have their origin in lectures at the Séminaire d’épistémologie de l’IREM de l’Université Paris VII and the Colloque de philosophie des mathématiques, organised by Michel Serfati, and discuss certain historical topics in classical and modern mathematics from mathematical, historical, philosophical and psychological viewpoints.

The first part (La force de la méthode) describes the force of some mathematical methods, their historical backgrounds and their influence on the development of mathematics. It was written by M. Serfati, A. Douady, R. Langevin, A. Revuz, O. Hurdy and I. Grattan-Guinness. The second part (L’existence en mathématiques) contains four articles by A. Michel, M. Serfati, M. Bitbol and J. Mosconi, which have deep psychological and philosophical aspects.

This book can be recommended to all scientists and teachers of mathematics, history and philosophy of mathematics, as well as those interested in the history of science.

Reviewer:

mnem