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Cover Art
Author Alexander, Amir R.

Title Geometrical landscapes : the voyages of discovery and the transformation of mathematical practice / Amir R. Alexander.

Published Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, [2002]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM ERC  510.909031 ALEX    AVAILABLE
Physical description xv, 293 pages ; 24 cm.
Series Writing science ; 1.
Writing science ; 1.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references.
Contents 1. Prologue: The Origins of the Exploration Narrative 6 -- 2. Breaking Alien Coastlines 16 -- 3. Mathematical Empires 69 -- 4. Seeing the Truth: Hariot and the Structure of Matter 98 -- 5. "The Club of Hercules": Hariot's Mathematical Atomism 130 -- 6. Navigating Mathematical Oceans 171 -- Appendix A Mathematical Narrative 205 -- Appendix B Hariot's Method of Calculating Meridional Parts 214.
Summary This challenging book argues that a new way of speaking of mathematics and describing it emerged at the end of the 16th century. Leading mathematicians began referring to their field in terms drawn from the exploration accounts of Columbus and Magellan. Many of those who promoted the vision of mathematics as heroic exploration also played central roles in developing the most important mathematical innovation of the period- the infinitesimal methods, which the author shows was no coincidence.
Subject Mathematics -- History -- 16th century.
Mathematics -- History -- 17th century.
Discoveries in geography.
ISBN 0804732604 (cloth : alk. paper)