Zen, Mathematics, and Rāmānujan: Uncommon Links

in Culture and Dialogue
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

For centuries, religion has been the main impulse for moral and humanistic advancement, and ever since the rise of the Scientific Revolution (from 1543, the year Copernicus published De revolutioni bus orbium coelestium [On the revolution of the celestial sphere] – to the late 18th century), mathematics has been the cardinal element for scientific and technological progress. Mathematics requires a logical mind, but religion demands a receptive and compassionate mind. Even though there is a fundamental difference between the two subjects, the aim of this essay is to explore the relationships between Zen, mathematics, and Rāmānujan. The first section expounds on Bodhidharma’s and Hui neng’s notions of “no mind” and the “essence of mind,” as they are deemed an important bridge between Zen and mathematics. The second section presents how mathematics and Zen Buddhism relate to each other. Accordingly, the views on intuition, imagination, freedom, and language based on Einstein, Cantor, Brouwer, Poincare, et al. are discussed. The third section discusses the work of the most renowned mathematician in modern India in relation to Zen Buddhism. Rāmānujan’s unparalleled accomplishment in the field of number theory is well known among mathematicians. However, he is not well presented in the philosophy of mathematics, because of his unusual approach to mathematics.

Sections

References

2

Edward Rothstein, Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics (New York: Barnes and Nobles, 1995), xix.

4

Bearnard Faure, “Bodhidharma As Textual and Religious Paradigm,” History of Religions, 25 (Fall 1986): 188.

6

Ibid., 101.

9

John C. H. Wu, The Golden Age of Zen (Taipei: United Publishing Center, 1975), 45.

15

Ibid., 22-23.

18

Ibid., 32.

19

Ibid., 25-26.

20

Ibid., 60.

21

Ibid., 26.

22

Ibid., 27.

26

Edward Rothstein, Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics, xix.

29

John D. Barrow, Pi in the Sky (Oxford: Claredon Press,1992), 276.

30

Gerald Holton, Einstein, History, and Other Passions (Woodburry, New York: American Institute of Physics, 1995), 77.

31

Walter P. van Stigt, Brouwer’s Intuitionism, 158.

32

L. E. Brouwer, “Volition, Knowledge, Language,” L. E. Brouwer – Collected Works, 2 vols., ed. Arend Heyting (Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company, 1980), 1: L 443.

33

Walter P. van Stigt, Brouwer’s Intuitionism, 139.

35

Edward Rothstein, Emblems of Mind: The Inner life of Music and Mathematics, 137.

36

Walter P. van Stigt, Brouwer’s Intuitionism, 270.

37

Marvin Jay Greenberg, Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometries (San Francisco: Freeman and Company, 1973), 248.

38

Robert Kanigel, The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius – Ramanujan (New York: Washington Square Press, 1991), 159.

39

Ibid., 177.

40

Ibid., 7.

41

Ibid., 40.

42

Ibid., 280.

43

Ibid., 281.

44

Ibid., 281.

45

G. H. Hardy, Ramanujan – Twelve Lectures on Subjects Suggested by His Life and Work (New York: Chelsea Publishing Company, 1999), 5.

46

Ibid., 4.

47

Robert Kanigel, The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius – Ramanujan, 226.

50

John Mansley Robinson, An Introduction to Early Greek Philosophy (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968), 67.

51

Robert Kanigel, The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius – Ramanujan, 358.

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 10 10 6
Full Text Views 2 2 2
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0