The Best of All Possible Worlds: Mathematics and Destiny

  title={The Best of All Possible Worlds: Mathematics and Destiny},
  author={Ivar Ekeland},
Optimists believe this is the best of all possible worlds. And pessimists fear that might really be the case. But what "is" the best of all possible worlds? How do we define it? Is it the world that operates the most efficiently? Or the one in which most people are comfortable and content? Questions such as these have preoccupied philosophers and theologians for ages, but there was a time, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when scientists and mathematicians felt they could… 
nature to a description of the physical world. He began by observing that the world could have only "one source, because of the interconnection among all ... things" (7959, p. 152). This source must
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