- Series: Dover Books on Mathematics
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; 1st Edition edition (June 1, 1959)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486605094
- ISBN-13: 978-0486605098
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 41 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The History of the Calculus and Its Conceptual Development (Dover Books on Mathematics) 1st Edition Edition
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Having stated the above I am glad that I kept at it because I learnt that the arrow of history was clearly pointing to someone or some group of mathematicians coming up with the Calculus as we know it today. Also much of the rigor we know today (Limits etc) are quite recent inventions. All in all I believe this book is worth reading IF, AND ONLY IF, you are truly interested in the history of mathematics. One of the reviewers trashed this text because it was supposedly western centric. This argument would hold water if someone could recommend a text supporting the argument with specifics.
One more caveat - it would be best to read this text if one has a good working knowledge of calculus. This is implied by the author in many places.
Example: “...it has at the same time been regarded by idealistic metaphysics as a manifestation that beyond the finitism of sensory percipiency there is a transcendent infinite which can be but asymptotically approached by human experience and reason.” WHAT!!??
Top international reviews
The title of the book mentions the "conceptual development", and thats were the book excels at, describing how the procedural evolution of maths got to the (invention? discovery?...who knows...) of Calculus.
It has never ceased to amaze me how accurately the differential ecuations describe the real physical fenomena or how Riemanns topology gave Einstein the mathematical foundation needed for his theory 100 years later and so on (if you are intrigued by the inner nature of mathematics DONT buy "Is God a Mathematician", a book more suited for an Oprah show than for someone really interested on the real nature of mathematics). Some reviewers were more critic with certain aspects of the book, fair enough, as humans we are fable, but I seriously doubt a better book on this subject has ever been written. Regrettably there are many books on the history of mathematics but most of them fail, not this one, as someone said , Boyer is the Edward Gibbon of the history of maths.
Thanks Newton, Euler, Rieman, Pitagoras, Pointcare, Leibniz, Cantor...I saw further because I stood on your shoulders.