Mathematics in Western Culture. and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Mathematics in Western Culture. on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Mathematics in Western Culture. [Hardcover]

Morris Kline
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 15.72  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 16.91  
Unknown Binding --  

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr (T) (Jun 1953)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195006038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195006032
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,483,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


Reveals the important contributions of mathematics to physical and social sciences, philosophy, religion, literature, and art. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
The assertion that mathematics has been a major force in the molding of modern culture, as well as a vital element of that culture, appears to many people incredible or, at best, a rank exaggeration. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A de-mystification of mathematics. 2 Sep 1998
By A Customer
In most mathematics classes, students are presented with a completed edifice, and given a floor plan to help them navigate the halls. While this approach works for many people, others need a little more basic information. In this book, Morris Kline builds the building, starting with the mud and straw of the bricks.
"Mathematics in Western Culture" shows that the history of mathematics is one of hundreds of years of people sitting in the sand, drawing shapes and lines, scratching their heads, and trying to figure things out. This is not necessarily Dr. Kline's intention for the book, but this is certainly one of the many messages to be derived from it.
A fascinating, exciting book which makes mathematics more understandable and accessible.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
For those maths teachers who wish to spice up their lessons by including a historical perspective then this book is invaluable. It could also be helpful to history and art teachers; it includes a detailed discussion of perspective in the old masters. As a maths teacher I used this book successfully many times.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating blend 20 Oct 2006
By Graham R. Hill VINE VOICE
This book is a fascinating blend of rigorous mathematics, history, philosophy and literature. It can be dipped into as well as read straight through and ought to convince both the lay reader and the student of mathematics that maths is indeed a core part of our overall cultural life.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a sack of bones... 5 July 2013
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Professor Morris Kline wrote this book in 1953. He started out strong, from the first page of his preface, and kept going from there: "...educated people almost universally reject mathematics as an intellectual interest. This attitude toward the subject is, in a sense, justified. School course and books have presented `mathematics' as a series of apparently meaningless technical procedures. Such material is as representative of the subject as an account of the name, position, and function of every bone in the human skeleton is representative of the living, thinking, and emotional being called man." (As for the quaint last word, please recall the year it was written.) Kline supports his assertion with a like one, which serves as the book's epigraph, from René Descartes, a portion of which reads: "...the earliest pioneers of Philosophy in bygone ages refused to admit to the study of wisdom anyone who was not versed in Mathematics..."

Kline's work is a tour-de-force of Western scientific achievement, and its impact on the culture and lives of its citizens. Most fundamentally, science requires a solid mathematical basis. He is never heavy-handed in his assertions, but he demonstrates the numerous times that the religious establishment is opposed to the scientific method. The High Priests of Ancient Egypt knew that the solar year was 365 and a quarter days long, but hide this knowledge in order to retain their power over the people by predicting the annual flooding of the Nile. He quotes St. Augustine: "The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well-written overview of the role of maths in western culture. It is comprehensible to the layman - no deep mathematical knowledge is required. My only criticism is that I would have preferred greater recognition of the extent to which western maths has drawn on developments made by other cultures, particularly in India and the Middle East.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category