Number: the language of science, Volume 1959From the rudimentary mathematical abilities of prehistoric man to bizarre ideas at the edges of modern math, here is the story of mathematics through the history of its most central concept: number. Dantzig demonstrates that the evolution of numbers is inextricably linked with the history of human culture. He shows how advances in math were spurred by the demands of growing commerce in the ancient world; how the pure speculation of philosophers and religious mystics contributed to our understanding of numbers; how the exchange of ideas between cultures in times of war and imperial conquest fueled advances in knowledge; how the forces of history combine with human intuition to trigger revolutions in thought. Dantzig's exposition of the foundations and philosophy of math is accessible to all readers. He explores many of the most fascinating topics in math, such as the properties of numbers, the invention of zero, and infinity. First published in 1930, this book is, beyond doubt, the best book on the evolution of mathematicsnow again in print. 
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Review: Number: The Language of Science
User Review  Andi  GoodreadsLoved this (near) closing line  The reality of today was but an illusion yesterday. Read full review
Review: Number: The Language of Science
User Review  Steve Gathje  GoodreadsWho could have thought a history of numbers could be so interesting. Okay, I could have thought that. And it was very interesting! Read full review
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aggregate algorithm analysis analytic geometry Archimedes argument arithmetic calculating called Cantor cardinal number century Chapter coefficients complex numbers continued fraction continuum convergent correspondence counting cubic cubic equation Dantzig Dedekind Descartes digits Diophantus divisible divisors equal equation Euclid Euler existence expressed fact Fermat Fermat prime finite formula Gauss Gematria geometrical sequence Georg Cantor Greek idea induction infinite number infinite processes infinity integers intuition irrational Leibnitz limit logic magnitudes mathe mathematical induction mathematician mathematics matter means method metic mind modern natural numbers notation number concept number sense number theory number words objects operations polynomial positive prime numbers principle problem proof properties proposition proved Pythagoreans quadratic quadratic equation rational domain rational numbers real numbers reality represented roots sequence solution square symbols theorem theory of numbers tion transcendental true twin prime conjecture twin primes whole numbers Wilson's theorem Zeno zero