FOM: What is mathematics, really?, (fwd)
Reuben Hersh
rhersh at math.unm.edu
Thu Jan 15 10:28:11 EST 1998
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 08:20:19 -0700 (MST)
From: Reuben Hersh <rhersh at math.math.unm.edu>
To: simpson at math.psu.edu
Cc: owner-fom at math.math.unm.edu
Subject: Re: FOM: What is mathematics, really?, (fwd)
Professor Simpson explained his quotation from Rothstein's NY Times
misreview of my book by saying I had already referred to it in an
earlier posting. In fact, the reference was Stephne Maurer's. Maurer
suspected I might consider it unfair, and asked for my reaction, which
I gave. All this was posted before Simpson quoted Rothstein.
Reuben Hersh
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 17:22:49 -0700 (MST)
From: Reuben Hersh <rhersh at math.math.unm.edu>
To: Stephen B Maurer <smaurer1 at swarthmore.edu>
Subject: Re: FOM: What is mathematics, really?,
On Mon, 22 Dec 1997, Stephen B Maurer wrote:
> Your message (forwarded to math history list) prompts me to ask you if you
> think the discussion of your book in the New York Times a few days ago
> (front page of the second section, as I recall) was a fair one, that is,
> did they get your point or did they misrepresent you? I thought it was a
> decent enough article for the general press, but I know full well how
> reporters, even at the Times, can grossly misunderstand what mathematicians
> are trying to tell them.
>
> Steve Maurer
>
>
Thank you for asking. Yes, I think it misrepresented me. I am pretty
sure Mr. Rothstein looked for something political, found it in chapter
13, and read nothing else. His linking me to postmodernism was
utterly gratuitous. He brought up multiculturalism twice, a word
I never used in the book. He didn't see that there was a philosohical
question that the the book was all about, he didn't see the defects
of standard philosophical treatments of math which I was proposing to
correct. He said implicitly that there's nothing here but sleazy politics.
He called my title "earnest", meaning he didn't even look at the first
few pages, where I explain why the "really."
I don't consider this a book review. It's Mr. Rothstein blowing
off steam about his political concerns, and misusing my book to do so.
Reuben Hersh>
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