Monday, December 28, 2009

Mathematical Weaknesses

Here is a telling statement by Professor Carl B. Boyer, straight from—of all places—A History of Mathematics:

A number of deficiencies in pre-Hellenic mathematics are quite obvious. Extant papyri and tablets contain specific cases and problems only, with no general formulations, and one may question whether these early civilizations really appreciated the unifying principles that are at the core of mathematics.

Of course. But then again: one may question whether academicians can see beyond the end of their own nose.

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