Can There be a Mathematics of the Mind?

March 5, 1999
Sponsored by the Bhaktivedanta Institute*

Speaker: Prof. Keith Devlin, Dean of the School of Science, St Mary's College, Moraga;
Senior Researcher, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University

Abstract: Since the time of the ancient Greeks, mathematicians have made attempts to take mathematics into the human mind and develop a mathematics of human thought and, more recently, human language use. In this talk, based on his recent book Goodbye Descartes: The End of Logic and the Search for a New Cosmology of the Mind, mathematician, author, and broadcaster Keith Devlin will start with a quick historical overview of past attempts to develop a mathematics of the mind. He will follow that by taking a look at some contemporary work in this area, and end with some speculations as to what the future might offer.


Devlin, K., Goodbye Descartes: The End of Logic and the Search for a New Cosmology of the Mind (John Wiley, 1997)
Devlin, K., The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible (W. Freeman, 1998)
Devlin, K., Life by the Numbers (John Wiley, 1998)

Friday, March 5, 1999
Room 300, Health Sciences West, University of California, San Francisco *
7:30 pm – 8:00 pm Social; 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Lecture and Discussion

Registration: If you are attending for the first time, please pre-register by calling K. P. Rajan, Ph.D. at (510) 841-7618, or Jean Burns, Ph.D., at (510) 481-7507 (e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Directions: The closest parking is the UCSF public garage at 500 Parnassus Avenue ($1.75/hr). You may be able to find some free street parking within a few blocks of the campus. We post directions to reach Health Sciences West building in the lobby of the Medical Sciences building (513 Parnassus), across the street from the UCSF garage.

* The Bhaktivedanta Institute and UCSF are not affiliated. The use of meeting rooms at the University of California, San Francisco, by non-profit organizations does not imply that the University endorses this organization or the material being presented.