Jean-Pierre Changeux, Alain Connes

Matter for Thought Publication date : April 3, 2008

Are mathematical objects real? Is mathematics a universal language? Does science lead to ethics? Can morality be based on natural foundations and universal principles, comparable to those of mathematics?

The author of L'Homme neuronal and L'Homme de vérité — a brilliant neurologist representing materialism — engages here in a dialogue with one of the greatest contemporary mathematicians.

This is an unusual exchange between the demanding representatives of two major disciplines.

Jean-Pierre Changeux, a neurobiologist, is professor emeritus at the Collège de France and at the Institut Pasteur. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences and the author of L'Homme artificiel (2007), L'Homme de vérité (2002) and Raison et plaisir (1994), and the co-author with Paul Ricœur of La Nature et la Règle (1998).

Alain Connes is a professor at the Collège de France where he holds the chair of Analysis and Geometry. He was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal for his work on operator algebras.