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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not about the man, but about his legacy
This book dedicates only a few pages to Pythagoras, simply because little is known about him. Rather it is about his view on mathematics and doing science, which is still very much alive these days. For instance, Copernicus' conclusion that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the other way around, leans heavily on Pythagorean philosophy.

Kitty...
Published on 17 Dec 2010 by Christian Jongeneel

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3.0 out of 5 stars As bright as ever
Gazing over Kitty Ferguson's mind - as this book allows you to do -- is a bit like looking at the Himalayas from a Nepali tea-shop. You're already in rarefied air, but the view goes on seemingly for ever, higher and higher. I am a fan.

This book is about Pythagoras, the tiny amount that is truly known about him (quite a bit of which is about beans), and the...
Published 10 months ago by Glenn Myers


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not about the man, but about his legacy, 17 Dec 2010
By 
Christian Jongeneel (Rotterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This book dedicates only a few pages to Pythagoras, simply because little is known about him. Rather it is about his view on mathematics and doing science, which is still very much alive these days. For instance, Copernicus' conclusion that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the other way around, leans heavily on Pythagorean philosophy.

Kitty Ferguson has a thorough grip on this fascinating theme. This makes for an interesting book, which does require quite some focus from its readers.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why Pythagoras is so important, 10 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Pythagoras: His Lives and the Legacy of a Rational Universe (Paperback)
For me, this book starts unpromisingly. The author explains early on that little is known about Pythagoras' early life, travels and studies: then takes five chapters detailing all the various ideas and claims made about such events. Fortunately, after that the book gets into gear.

What follows is an exhilarating expedition through the history of philosophers and mathematicians and their works, from the sixth century BC to the 21st century. Her dissection, discussion and explanations of the works of these many illustrious thinkers and practitioners is clear and instructive. She shows - and explains - both their faults and their value; and, of course, the relevance of Pythagorean ideas in their works. The final chapter (on current work) is the most complex, yet is explained as clearly as possible, given the immediacy of these events.

Through this magnificent journey Kitty Ferguson shows how Pythagorean insights still stand: that "rationality and order underlie the variety and confusion of nature"; and that his "music of the spheres" appears still to be valid.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A biography and history in one, 10 Aug 2010
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Like all Kitty Ferguson's books, I love how accessible she makes her subjects and this is no exception. For the lay person like me, this is such an enjoyable and interesting read but for the mathmetician I would have thought it was it was essential reading.
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3.0 out of 5 stars As bright as ever, 31 Aug 2013
This review is from: Pythagoras: His Lives and the Legacy of a Rational Universe (Paperback)
Gazing over Kitty Ferguson's mind - as this book allows you to do -- is a bit like looking at the Himalayas from a Nepali tea-shop. You're already in rarefied air, but the view goes on seemingly for ever, higher and higher. I am a fan.

This book is about Pythagoras, the tiny amount that is truly known about him (quite a bit of which is about beans), and the way a key shred of his thought has twisted, turned and grown through history. That shred of thought is that the universe is rational and mathematical. So using Pythagoras as a vehicle, Ferguson traces the history of that thought through the history of science.

The strengths of the book are its thoughtfulness, and its brilliant depictions, and in some cases deconstructions, of thinkers like Kepler and Bertrand Russell, whom Kitty Ferguson seems to ingest and dissect with the same ease as I do with burgers. The downsides (for me) the were less-interesting and lengthy discussions of (say) how Pythagoras was treated by the Romans, which I found a bit of chore to work through. But that's just me. Kitty Ferguson is always worth reading for her grasp of the matter, her fresh thinking, and, I think, her sly Christian faith. For me, this work failed to grip me in places, but is as shiningly clever as ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good history of maths book, 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Pythagoras: His Lives and the Legacy of a Rational Universe (Paperback)
Given as present but apparently an interesting and enjoyable read - good overview of this person's live and his contribution to maths
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10 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Subject - Shame About The Paper..., 21 Feb 2011
By 
A. Xiradakis - See all my reviews
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An immensely interesting subject handled expertly by Kitty Ferguson. I would give 5 stars for the content, unreservedly. It is a great shame however, that the publishers have used this poor quality paper making the book look and feel nothing more than a glorified paperback. It is a disservice to the hardback editions.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hard work, 19 Jun 2012
By 
Dr Certain (Rickmansworth, hertfordsgir United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Like many books on great man, this had potential to be fantastic. That is until teh first few pages tell you there is no real information on this man and its all a bit made up. Well, thanks, I could make a storey up too, but the title suggested a bit more research. I may be being unfair as I ead this ages ago and just got round to a review, however its not one that sits in the memory banks that well, so thumbs down from me.
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Pythagoras: His Lives and the Legacy of a Rational Universe
Pythagoras: His Lives and the Legacy of a Rational Universe by Kitty Ferguson (Paperback - 3 Mar 2011)
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