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An Introduction to Mathematics (Classic Reprint)
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An Introduction to Mathematics (Classic Reprint)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  6 reviews
AN INTKODUCTION TO MATHEMATICS CHAPTER I the abstract nature of mathematics The study of mathematics is apt to commence in disappointment. The important applications of the science, the theoretical interest of its ideas, and the logical rigour of its methods, all generate the expectation of a speedy introduction to processes of interest. We are told that by its aid the sta...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published May 17th 2012 by Forgotten Books (first published January 1st 1958)
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A big fat book that has, of late, been sitting on the shelf in front of me is titled What is Mathematics? That book and this one should switch titles. When a student puts down What is Mathematics? they will know how to do various types of math problems, but not what math is. And when a student puts down this book, they will have a general idea of what math is, and won’t be able to solve any problems.

This is actually my favorite book of mathematics that I’ve read (which isn’t saying very much). I...more
Essentially a review of pure-level math in high-school, with more emphasis on explicating concepts and their origins than practical applications and problem solving. It's not dumbed down and makes efforts to describe the developments and proofs of mathematical thought, so I couldn't recommend it to anyone not already a little familiar with the concepts.

This text is just over 100 years old, but despite a few changes in notation and some anachronisms (it mentions the ether when describing physics)...more
Andrew Shores
I was re-reading this book to see whether any part would work as a reading for one of my classes. Unfortunately, this book is too old for it to be of much use there. It talks about light moving through the ether and it refers to people and places in England that few of my students (if any) would know (I didn't know most of them).

There are good paragraphs and I appreciate the book because it was probably one of the first books that attempted to talk about mathematics to a general audience.
I still get lost on some of this stuff, but Whitehead's exposition is great. Makes you wonder what happened to him. Wish I'd read this book a lot earlier, when I was actually working on mathematics. The problems he points out with textbooks seem to be worse today, and not only in mathematics.
Simply fascinating. A pinch of maths, a pinch of philosophy, a pinch of wonderful writing... all combined to make a great instructional text on how to understand maths as a whole.
Chris March
A fine review of high school math, plus some history and context. I might have enjoyed it, if an editor had trimmed down some of the verbiage.
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Alfred North Whitehead, OM FRS (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy, which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology, theology, education, physics, biology, economics, and psychology, among other areas.

In his early care...more
More about Alfred North Whitehead...
Process and Reality Science and the Modern World Adventures of Ideas The Aims of Education Modes of Thought

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“The study of mathematics is apt to commence in disappointment... We are told that by its aid the stars are weighed and the billions of molecules in a drop of water are counted. Yet, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, this great science eludes the efforts of our mental weapons to grasp it.” 8 likes
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