A Mathematician's Apology

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 1, 1967 - Mathematics - 154 pages
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One of the main themes of the book is the beauty that mathematics possess, which Hardy compares to painting and poetry. For Hardy, the most beautiful mathematics was that which had no applications in the outside world, by which he meant pure mathematics, and, in particular, his own special field of number theory. He justifies the pursuit of pure mathematics with the argument that its very "uselessness" meant that it could not be misused to cause harm. On the other hand, Hardy denigrates applied mathematics, describing it as "ugly", "trivial" and "dull."

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About the author (1967)

C. P. Snow was born on October 15, 1905 in Leicester, England. He graduated from Leicester University and received a doctorate in physics at the University of Cambridge. After working at Cambridge in molecular physics for about 20 years, he became a university administrator. During World War II, he was a scientific adviser to the British government. He was knighted in 1957 and created a Baron in the life peerage in 1964. He wrote an 11-volume novel sequence collectively called Strangers and Brothers, which was published between 1940 and 1970. His other works of fiction include Death Under Sail, In Their Wisdom, and A Coat of Varnish. He also wrote several non-fiction works including The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, Public Affairs, Trollope: His Life and Art, and The Realists: Eight Portraits. He died on July 1, 1980 at the age of 74.

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