"The object of the following chapters is not to teach mathematics, but to enable students from the very beginning of their course to know what the science is about, and why it is necessarily the foundation of exact thought as applied to natural phenomena." Thus begins this volume by the prominent English philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead, a concise statement on the nature and meaning of mathematics for the general student. Expertly written and abounding in insights, the book presents a lively exposition of mathematical concepts, the history of their development, and their applications to the physical world.
Whitehead explains in broad terms what mathematics is about, what it does, and how mathematicians do it.Generations of readers who have stayed with the philosopher from the beginning to the end have found themselves amply rewarded for taking this journey. As The New York Times observed decades ago, "Whitehead doesn't popularize or make palatable; he is simply lucid and cogent ... A finely balanced mixture of knowledge and urbanity .... Should delight you."
Table of Contents
1. The Abstract Nature Of Mathematics
3. Methods Of Application
5. The Symbolism Of Mathematics
6. Generalizations Of Numbers
7. Imaginary Numbers
8. Imaginary Numbers (Continued)
9. Coordinate Geometry
10. Conic Sections
12. Periodicity In Nature
15. The Differential Calculus