- Paperback: 592 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (July 18, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195105192
- ISBN-13: 978-0195105193
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What Is Mathematics? An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods 2nd Edition
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A 1996 revision of a timeless classic originally published in 1941. Highly recommended for any serious student, teacher or scholar of mathematics.
*Praise for the previous edition:
"Without doubt, the work will have great influence. It should be in the hands of everyone, professional or otherwise, who is interested in scientific thinking."--The New York Times
"Should prove a source of great pleasure and satisfaction."--Journal of Applied Physics
"Succeeds brilliantly in conveying the intellectual excitement of mathematical inquiry and in communicating the essential ideas and methods."Journal of Philosophy
"It is a work of high perfection, whether judged by aesthetic, pedagogical or scientific standards. It is astonishing to what extent What is Mathematics? has succeeded in making clear by means of the simplest examples all the fundamental ideas and methods which we mathematicians consider the life blood of our science."--Herman Weyl
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Top Customer Reviews
Physical copy: 1/5
I own the paperback 1996 second edition from Oxford University Press, which was $15. Though the price is awesome for the amount of knowledge you get in this book, the print quality is not. It appears that the book is simply photocopied from an earlier edition. The margins are crooked from page to page, the weight of the font varies between lines, and the smaller size type kind of blots together which makes it difficult to read. Most importantly, I've found several places where small parts of notation are missing or cut off, probably from the photocopy not picking it up.
Overall, this is a wonderful book for anyone curious about serious math. It's cheap though, perhaps too cheap. It's due for a new typesetting in a new edition, even if it raises the price to $25-30. It might be better to look for an old hardcover of the book, even if it costs more than a new paperback.
"It doesn't matter what mathematical things are: it's what they do that counts. Thus mathematics hovers uneasily between the real and the not real; its meaning does not reside in formal abstractions, but neither is it tangible. This may cause problems with philosophers who like tidy categories, but it is the great strength of mathematics -- what I have elsewhere called its 'unreal reality.' Mathematics links the abstract world of mental concepts to the real world of physical things without being located completely in either." - Ian Stewart, What is Mathematics?
...I was hooked and after reading it several times, I still can't put it down! Great job to all who contributed to creating this masterpiece.