On Neurobiological Roots of the Relationship Between Mathematics and Literature

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Saratov State Technical University
Address: 77 Politekhnicheskaya St., 410054 Saratov, Russian Federation
Affiliation: Saratov State Technical University
Address: 77 Politekhnicheskaya St., 410054 Saratov, Russian Federation
Journal nameChelovek
EditionVolume 31 Issue №2

An attempt was made to consider the phenomenon of the internal kinship of mathematics and literature from the standpoint of neurobiology was made. Based on the triune brain concept, a significant influence of emotions (limbic system or “emotional brain”) on the work of the neocortex is noted. Higher-order emotions — a sense of beauty and harmony — stimulate rational thinking and ensure overcome the “logical gap” called intuition. The location of unimodal speech zones in the left “mathematical” hemisphere provides the shortest neural connections between them and, possibly, is the neurobiological basis of the internal relationship between mathematics and literature. This paper regards letters as the art of word, belles-lettres (literature) and the science about words (philology). Mathematics, in addition to its classical definition as the science of quantitative relations and spatial forms, is understood both as the art of logical proofs and as the language of science. Mathematics and literature are considered as two pillars of culture, each being it necessary element. It is noted that outstanding mathematicians always supported the unity of mathematics and literature, and in the field of education, gave primacy to literature. The authors traces back a 300-year history of the interinfluence of mathematics and letters at Moscow University and points out that this integrative tendency aiming at unity is a distinctive feature of all Russian culture. Aesthetic and ethic wealth of poetry and mathematics is emphasized, with the focus on their communion.

Keywordsneurobiology, brain, emotions, mathematics, letters, literature, philology, education
Publication date15.05.2020
Number of characters38519
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