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Mathematics without ApologiesPortrait of a Problematic Vocation$
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Michael Harris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175836

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175836.001.0001

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No Apologies

No Apologies

(p.279) Chapter 10 No Apologies
Mathematics without Apologies

Michael Harris

Princeton University Press

This chapter presents the author's reflections about G. H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology. Upon rereading Hardy's Apology to prepare for writing this chapter, he was appalled to see what a hearty dose of unapologetic elitism he had imbibed along with Hardy's mathematical idealism when he was fourteen years old. When it began to dawn on him that some of the assumptions he had been taking for granted deserved to be questioned, the reading was buried so deeply in his past that he could not trace these beliefs back to their source. But years later, upon returning to A Mathematician's Apology, there they were.

Keywords:   mathematicians, excellence, G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

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