A History of Mathematics: From Mesopotamia to Modernity - download pdf or read online

By Luke Hodgkin

ISBN-10: 0198529376

ISBN-13: 9780198529378

Even supposing the bankruptcy issues stick with the present version of historical past of arithmetic textual content books (compare the desk of contents Victor J. Katz's historical past of arithmetic; significantly similar), the textual content has a power, intensity, and honesty chanced on all too seldom in a textual content e-book mathematical heritage. this isn't the common text-book on technical heritage that may be pushed aside (as Victor J. Katz's could be) as "a pack of lies" with merely "slight exageration" (to quote William Berkson's Fields of Force).Also, the textual content is daring adequate to cite and translate the particular and general variety 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 booklet was once accredited and will be published]. Luke Hodgkin's textual content dispenses with the asterisk (see p.241).

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On a core of OB mathematics there is a consensus, which dates back to the pioneering work of Neugebauer and Thureau-Dangin in the first half of the twentieth century. There may be an argument about whether it is appropriate to use the word ‘add’ in a translation, but in the last instance there is agreement that things are being added. This is helpful, because it does give us a coherent and reliable picture of a practice of mathematics in a society about which a good deal is known. However, it is necessarily restricted in scope, and the sources which are usually available do not always make that fact clear.

65) We need to establish the economic and technical basis which determined the development of Sumerian and Babylonian applied mathematics. This mathematics, as we can see today, was more one of ‘book-keepers’ and ‘traders’ than one of ‘technicians’ and ‘engineers’. Above all, we need to research not simply the mathematical texts, but also the mathematical content of economic sources systematically. (Vaiman 1960, p. 2, cited Robson 1999, p. 3) The quotations above illustrate how the study of ancient mathematics has developed.

Well-known examples include Riemannian geometry and relativity, finite fields and the manufacture of CDs, etc. It has been a part of the case for the seriousness of Babylonian mathematics that their problems, while apparently practical, were clearly not designed for the real world. Rather, they were exercises in technique dressed up in practical language (because that was the only language available). The point is often made, and can hardly be contested. Our first example (stone-weighing) is a good illustration.

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


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