Download A History of Mathematics: From Mesopotamia to Modernity by Luke Hodgkin PDF

By Luke Hodgkin

Even though the bankruptcy issues persist with the present version of historical past of arithmetic textual content books (compare the desk of contents Victor J. Katz's background of arithmetic; significantly similar), the textual content has a power, intensity, and honesty stumbled on all too seldom in a textual content ebook mathematical background. this isn't the common text-book on technical heritage that may be brushed off (as Victor J. Katz's might be) as "a pack of lies" with basically "slight exageration" (to quote William Berkson's Fields of Force).Also, the textual content is daring adequate to cite and translate the particular and usual form of presentation utilized in Bourbaki conferences: "tu es demembere foutu Bourbaki" ("you are dismmembered [..]) [a telegram despatched by means of Bourbaki staff to Cartan, informing him that his publication used to be accredited and will be published]. Luke Hodgkin's textual content dispenses with the asterisk (see p.241).

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Extra resources for A History of Mathematics: From Mesopotamia to Modernity

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2) are described by pictures rather than any phonetic system of writing. 2 On this basis, there could be a case for considering the questions raised above with reference to ancient Egypt as well—the organization of Egyptian society and its use of basic mathematical procedures for social control were similar, if slightly later. However, the sources are much 2. There were certainly early poems celebrating heroic actions, the Gilgamesh being particularly famous. But in many societies, such poems are not committed to writing, and this seems to have been the case with the Gilgamesh for a long time—before it too was pressed into service by the bureaucracy to be learned by heart in schools.

Why? √ Exercise 2. Why does ‘diagonal is incommensurable with side’ mean the same to us as ‘ 2 is not a fraction’? √ Exercise 3. Why is 2 not a fraction anyway? 2 Literature It is striking that near the end of the twentieth century there should appear two books arguing that much of the history of Greek mathematics written during that century is wrong. Reviel Netz argues that it is wrong because historians have not understood the crucial roles that language and diagrams played in shaping the deductive structure that is Greek mathematics’ most striking characteristic.

J. 2) While the Meno is a very illuminating discussion on a mathematical subject, it is too informal to be a good illustration of the mainstream Greek mathematics which is our primary concern. Socrates’ arguments make no attempt to go back to first principles, and the points he makes about areas of triangles are treated as obvious (which they are) rather than justified in painful detail. The mathematical argument of the Meno, if not its philosophical one, would have been easily accessible to an Egyptian.

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