The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, 1945 [FIRST EDITION, EINSTEIN LETTER]

1945. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING OF HADAMARD’S EXPLORATION OF HOW MATHEMATICIANS INVENT NEW IDEAS ALONGSIDE A STUDY OF THEIR PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS. Among the important documents collected is a letter from Albert Einstein analyzing his own mechanism of thought. This work appears in Weil’s list of Einstein’s publications (#214).

Hadamard was himself a prominent mathematician. In this volume Hadamard explores the psychological temperaments, attributes, and peculiarities of innovators such as Newton, Kepler, Polya, Lévi-Strauss, Hamilton, Poincare, Helmholtz and Einstein, among many others.

To Hadamard, “the roots of creativity lie not in consciousness, but in the long unconscious work of incubation, and in the unconscious aesthetic selection of ideas that thereby pass into consciousness. His discussion of this process comprises a wide range of topics, including the use of mental images or symbols, visualized or auditory words, “meaningless” words, logic, and intuition… In exploring this phenomenon, Hadamard produced one of the most famous and cogent cases for the existence of unconscious mental processes in mathematical invention and other forms of creativity” (Princeton).

Jacques Hadamard was a French mathematician who made major contributions to number theory, complex analysis, differential geometry and partial differential equations. Item #1594

CONDITION & DETAILS: 8vo. [12], xiii, [143], 4. Tightly bound in maroon cloth with a clean maroon lettered label at the spine. Clean and bright throughout. Near fine condition in every way.

Price: $160.00