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The Crest of the Peacock: The Non-European Roots of Mathematics

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The Crest of the Peacock: The Non-European Roots of Mathematics Cover

ISBN13: 9780691006598
ISBN10: 0691006598
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the Ishango Bone of central Africa and the Inca quipu of South America to the dawn of modern mathematics, The Crest of the Peacock makes it clear that human beings everywhere have been capable of advanced and innovative mathematical thinking. George Gheverghese Joseph takes us on a breathtaking multicultural tour of the roots and shoots of non-European mathematics. He shows us the deep influence the Egyptians and Babylonians had on the Greeks; the Arabs' major creative contributions; and the astounding range of successes of the great civilizations of India and China. This challenging and erudite book questions familiar assumptions and enlarges our sense of what we mean by mathematics.

Synopsis:

The author guides a breathtaking multicultural tour of the roots and shoots of non-European mathematics, revealing the deep influence the Egyptians and Babylonians had on the Greeks, the Arabs' major creative contributions, and the astounding range of successes of the great civilizations of India and China.

About the Author

George Gheverghese Joseph was born in Kerala, southern India, and lived in India for nine years. His family then moved to Mombassa in Kenya, where he received his schooling. He studied at the University of Leicester, and later at the University of Manchester, where he completed his postgraduate studies. He has worked in various occupations that have taken him to places all over the world, including East and Central Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, and South East Asia.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi

Preface to the First Edition xii

Preface to the Second Edition xvii

Chapter 1: The History of Mathematics: Alternative Perspectives 1

A Justification for This Book 1

The Development of Mathematical Knowledge 3

Mathematical Signposts and Transmissions Across the Ages 12

Chapter 2: Mathematics from Bones, Strings and Standing Stones 23

Beginnings: The Ishango Bone 23

Knotted Strings from South America: The Inca Quipu 28

The Emergence of Written Number Systems: A Digression 41

Mayan Numeration 49

Chapter 3 The Beginnings of Written Mathematics: Egypt 57

The Urban Revolution and its African Origins 57

Sources of Egyptian Mathematics 59

Number Recording Among the Egyptians 61

Egyptian Arithmetic 63

Egyptian Algebra: The Beginnings of Rhetorical Algebra 76

Egyptian Geometry 81

Chapter 4 The Beginnings of Written Mathematics: Babylonia 91

Sources of Babylonian Mathematics 95

The Babylonian Number System 96

Babylonian Algebra 108

Babylonian Geometry 113

Chapter 5 Egyptian and Babylonian Mathematics: An Assessment 125

Chapter 6 Ancient Chinese Mathematics 130

Background and Sources 130

The Development of Chinese Numerals 140

Chinese Magic Squares (and Other Designs) 148

Mathematics from the Chiu Chang 156

Chapter 7 Special Topics in Chinese Mathematics 178

The 'Piling-up of Rectangles': The Pythagorean Theorem in China 180

Estimation of tt 188

Solution of Higher-order Equations and Pascal's Triangle 197

Indeterminate Analysis in China 205

Chinese Mathematics: A Final Assessment 211

Chapter 8 Ancient Indian Mathematics 215

A Restatement of Intent and a Brief Historical Sketch 215

Maths from Bricks: Evidence from the Harappan Culture 221

Mathematics from the Vedas 224

Early Indian Numerals and Their Development 239

Jaina Mathematics 249

Mathematics on the Eve of the Classical Period 256

Chapter 9 Indian Mathematics: The Classical Period and After 264

Major Indian Mathematician-Astronomers 265

Indian Algebra 272

Indian Trigonometry 280

Kerala Mathematics 286

Other Notable Contributions 294

Chapter 10 Prelude to Modern Mathematics: The Arab Contribution 301

Historical Background 301

Major Arab Mathematicians 304

The Arab Role in the Rise and Spread of Indian Numerals 311

Arab Arithmetic 316

Arab Algebra 324

Arab Geometry 333

Arab Trigonometry 338

The Arab Conhibution: A Final Assessment 344

Reflections 349

The History of Mathematics: Alternative Perspectives 349

Mathematics from Bones, Strings and Standing Stones 357

The Beginnings of Written Mathematics: Egypt 369

The Beginnings of Written Mathematics: Babylonia 377

Ancient Chinese Mathematics 385

Special Topics in Chinese Mathematics 389

Ancient Indian Mathematics 395

Indian Mathematics: The Classical Period and After 406

Prelude to Modem Mathematics: The Arab Contribution 417

Bibliography 425

Name Index 441

Subject Index 447

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

vijayakumar2.v, November 8, 2006 (view all comments by vijayakumar2.v)
This book gives an morality and the things already been found out by our great ancesters..i call them as gaints of mathematics...

One thing..the author can take into account in his future addition like, the great aryapatta...the great personality, who found out many mathematical roots..but they gone inside the ground due to some reasons..the great scientists and professors in india are taken up this challenge and they found lots of truths about the inventions by great aryapatta on mathematics..he can discuss with those peoples and he can incluse them on his next edition or review...

THis book was introduced to me by one of the professor, one of the scientist in india on 2001...This book gave me great inspiration and good divulged knowledge of mathematical roots of earth.. Thanks to author and the professor who plannted this book in my deep mind...
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780691006598
Subtitle:
The Non-European Roots of Mathematics
Author:
Joseph, George Gheverghese
Author:
Joseph, George Gheverghese
Publisher:
Princeton
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Mathematics
Subject:
Mathematics, ancient
Subject:
History -- Philosophy.
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
New ed., reprinted with additional material.
Series Volume:
240
Publication Date:
20000724
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » History
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Product details 416 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691006598 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The author guides a breathtaking multicultural tour of the roots and shoots of non-European mathematics, revealing the deep influence the Egyptians and Babylonians had on the Greeks, the Arabs' major creative contributions, and the astounding range of successes of the great civilizations of India and China.
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