© 2017

Humanizing Mathematics and its Philosophy

Essays Celebrating the 90th Birthday of Reuben Hersh

  • Bharath Sriraman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Bharath Sriraman
    Pages 1-10
  3. Bharath Sriraman
    Pages 11-18
  4. Reuben Hersh
    Pages 19-29
  5. William Byers
    Pages 45-60
  6. David A. Edwards
    Pages 61-67
  7. Ian Stewart
    Pages 69-83
  8. Dmitrii Yu. Manin, Yuri I. Manin
    Pages 85-96
  9. Michael Harris
    Pages 115-123
  10. Doron Zeilberger
    Pages 139-149
  11. Julian Cole
    Pages 151-165
  12. Chandler Davis
    Pages 167-172
  13. Martin Davis
    Pages 215-222

About this book


This Festschrift contains numerous colorful and eclectic essays from well-known mathematicians, philosophers, logicians, and linguists celebrating the 90th birthday of Reuben Hersh. The essays offer, in part, attempts to answer the following questions set forth by Reuben himself as a focus for this volume:

  • Can practicing mathematicians, as such, contribute anything to the philosophy of math? Can or should philosophers of math, as such, say anything to practicing mathematicians?

  • Twenty or fifty years from now, what will be similar, and what will, or could, or should be altogether different: About the philosophy of math? About math education? About math research institutions? About data processing and scientific computing?

The essays also offer glimpses into Reuben’s fertile mind and his lasting influence on the mathematical community, as well as revealing the diverse roots, obstacles and philosophical dispositions that characterize the working lives of mathematicians. 

With contributions from a veritable “who’s who” list of 20th century luminaries from mathematics and philosophy, as well as from Reuben himself, this volume will appeal to a wide variety of readers from curious undergraduates to prominent mathematicians.  


Philosophy of mathematics Reuben Hersh Math education Humanist philosophy Data processing Scientific computing

Editors and affiliations

  • Bharath Sriraman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesThe University of MontanaMissoulaUSA

About the editors

Bharath Sriraman is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Montana 

Bibliographic information


“This book presents a rich variety of essays. I would encourage readers to dip into the book, picking and choosing the essays that fit their interests. They will be rewarded.” (Joel Haack, MAA Reviews, August 04, 2019)

“This Festschrift … is a wonderful collection of nearly thirty essays exploring the ideas that Reuben made his life’s work. The book begins by introducing us to Reuben, first in a lively interview with him and then by sharing with us a dozen family photos. By the time we begin reading the serious essays, we already feel as if he is a good friend. Many of the contributors have known and worked with Reuben for many years, and the warmth of their friendships is quite apparent.” (John J. Watkins, The Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2019)

Bharath Sriraman has collected in this book 27 texts, comprising five chapters from Hersh himself (including one interview with the author), and 22 texts from authors whose work has been influenced by Hersh. These are mathematicians, philosophers, logicians, and linguistics, and altogether they offer the reader a cornucopia of lives, visions, positions, and contradictions about the nature of mathematics and its role in science and society.” (Alexandre Pais, Educational Studies in Mathematics, Vol. 99, 2019)

Bharath  Sriraman has collected twenty-five essays from mathematicians and  philosophers, an educator, and a linguist for a Festschrift volume to  celebrate Hersh’s ninetieth birthday. As one might expect, this is an  extremely varied collection of articles. Several contain heartfelt  appreciation of Hersh. Some attempt to develop and elucidate his  Humanist philosophy. Others just mention him in passing or not at all. A  few contain some nontrivial mathematics. … Anyone interested in the  philosophy of mathematics will profit from reading and engaging with  it.” (Joseph Auslander, Notices of the AMS, Vol. 65, No. 11, 2018).