By G. H. Hardy
G. H. Hardy used to be one in all this century's best mathematical thinkers, popular between his contemporaries as a 'real mathematician ... the purest of the pure'. He was once additionally, as C. P. Snow recounts in his Foreword, 'unorthodox, eccentric, radical, able to speak about anything'. This 'apology', written in 1940 as his mathematical powers have been declining, deals an excellent and fascinating account of arithmetic as a great deal greater than a technology; whilst it was once first released, Graham Greene hailed it along Henry James's notebooks as 'the most sensible account of what it was once wish to be an inventive artist'. C. P. Snow's Foreword provides sympathetic and witty insights into Hardy's lifestyles, with its wealthy shop of anecdotes touching on his collaboration with the bright Indian mathematician Ramanujan, his aphorisms and idiosyncrasies, and his ardour for cricket. it is a specified account of the fascination of arithmetic and of 1 of its such a lot compelling exponents nowa days.
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Additional resources for A Mathematician's Apology (Canto)
And how could it be other? For if marxism, too, is a product of history, it cannot finally claim by any dialectical tricks to escape the judgements of history itself. Nor, to the contrary of external or cynical critiques, however, can we reasonably expect the impetus of marxism or socialism simply to disappear like water into the arid sands of life after history. As Bauman will make more apparent in later work, sociologists cannot afford to let others do their thinking for them. The essential challenge for all social critics remains Kant's imperative: dare to think for yourself!
If the identity politics of labour in the nineteenth century connected to the politics of production, then midway into the twentieth century the indications were that consumption would now be central to identity. Labour, in turn, was not merely the recipient but also the agent of this process. The brief prospects of postwar corporatism sought then to consolidate the interests of producer groups as consumers of managed shares of GNP. Then the process we now, again after the fact, call globalization changed all that.
For as Castoriadis puts it, and Bauman concurs with his judgement, the crisis of the western world consists in that it stopped putting itself in question. We can revive the sense of question, for example, by discussing again Claus Offe's suggestion that we need to uncouple work and income or dignity and money (Bauman, 1 998b: 95). This means to open, again, those horizons called utopia, not in naive hope but because our world has changed, and may by that virtue change again. Ufe After Class Class was the great hope of the marxism which carried on from Marx's nineteenth-century legacy through Kautsky to Lukacs and later, to Althusser.
A Mathematician's Apology (Canto) by G. H. Hardy