Gabriele Lolli

Are Mathematicians Writers?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Mathematics, Style, Cantor, Turing, Bourbaki, Dieudonné, Weil.

Mathematicians become writers in several occasions. Indeed, not only demonstrations, but also conjectures, preliminary analyses of problems, syntheses of previous contributions, scientific controversies, foundational questions or, more in general, research programmes and autobiographies can be seen as many forms of reasoning. Considering mathematicians as writers, we could thus examine what kind of style their works display: baroque and flowery, clear or neurotic, sloppy or elegant, dull or rich in metaphors and figures of speech. Such differences can be spotted quite easily, but the question whether a specific style could be connected to a way of thinking – creative or meticulous, direct or involute – or even to a philosophy of mathematics stands undoubtedly as an interesting one.

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