This book is not a conventional history of mathematics as such, a museum of documents and scientific curiosities. Instead, it identifies this vital science with the thought of those who constructed it and in its relation to the changing cultural context in which it evolved. Particular emphasis is placed on the philosophic and logical systems, from Aristotle onward, that provide the basis for the fusion of mathematics and logic in contemporary thought.
Ettore Carruccio covers the evolution of mathematics from the most ancient times to our own day. In simple and non-technical language, he observes the changes that have taken place in the conception of rational theory, until we reach the lively, delicate and often disconcerting problems of modern logical analysis. The book contains an unusual wealth of detail (including specimen demonstrations) on such subjects as the critique of Euclid's fifth postulate, the rise of non-Euclidean geometry, the introduction of theories of infinite sets, the construction of abstract geometry, and-in a notably intelligible discussion-the development of modern symbolic logic and meta-mathematics.
Scientific problems in general and mathematical problems in particular show their full meaning only when they are considered in the light of their own history. This book accordingly takes the reader to the heart of mathematical questions, in a way that teacher, student and layman alike will find absorbing and illuminating. The history of mathematics is a field that continues to fascinate people interested in the course of creativity, and logical inference û quite part and in addition to those with direct mathematical interests.