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Symbols, Impossible Numbers, and Geometric Entanglements : British Algebra through the Commentaries on Newton's Universal Arithmetick - Helena M. Pycior

Symbols, Impossible Numbers, and Geometric Entanglements

British Algebra through the Commentaries on Newton's Universal Arithmetick

Hardcover

Published: 13th May 1997
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Symbols, Impossible Numbers, and Geometric Entanglements is the first history of the development and reception of algebra in early modern England and Scotland. Not primarily a technical history, this book analyzes the struggles of a dozen British thinkers to come to terms with early modern algebra, its symbolical style, and negative and imaginary numbers. Professor Pycior uncovers these thinkers as a "test-group" for the symbolic reasoning that would radically change not only mathematics but also logic, philosophy, and language studies. The book also shows how pedagogical and religious concerns shaped the British debate over the relative merits of algebra and geometry. The first book to position algebra firmly in the Scientific Revolution and pursue Newton the algebraist, it highlights Newton's role in completing the evolution of algebra from an esoteric subject into a major focus of British mathematics. Other thinkers covered include Oughtred, Harriot, Wallis, Hobbes, Barrow, Berkeley, and MacLaurin.

'... a useful reference work ... this work represents a piece of solid scholarship.' Dennis H. Rouvray, Endeavour

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Setting the scene
William Oughtred and Thomas Harriot
John Collins's campaign for a current English algebra textbook
John Pell's English edition of Rahn's Algebra and John Kersey's Algebra
The arithmetic formulation of algebra in John Wallis's Treatise of Algebra
English mathematical thinkers take sides on early modern algebra
The mixed mathematical legacy of Newton's Universal Arithmetick
George Berkeley at the intersection of algebra and philosophy
The Scottish response to Newtonian algebra
Algebra 'considered as thelogical institutes of the mathematician'
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521481243
ISBN-10: 0521481244
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 13th May 1997
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.68