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Comment: Dispatched from the US -- Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. 1953 Hardcover illus. . 484 p. Former Library books. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
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Mathematics in Western Culture. Hardcover – 1 Jun 1953

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr (T); 1st Edition edition (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 (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,369,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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