The Heritage of Thales

Springer Verlag (1998)
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Abstract

The authors' novel approach to some interesting mathematical concepts - not normally taught in other courses - places them in a historical and philosophical setting. Although primarily intended for mathematics undergraduates, the book will also appeal to students in the sciences, humanities and education with a strong interest in this subject. The first part proceeds from about 1800 BC to 1800 AD, discussing, for example, the Renaissance method for solving cubic and quartic equations and providing rigorous elementary proof that certain geometrical problems posed by the ancient Greeks cannot be solved by ruler and compass alone. The second part presents some fundamental topics of interest from the past two centuries, including proof of G del's incompleteness theorem, together with a discussion of its implications.

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