By Karl Menninger
''The historian of arithmetic will locate a lot to curiosity him the following . . . whereas the informal reader is perhaps intrigued through the author's more advantageous narrative ability." — Library Journal
This publication isn't just a desirable creation to the idea that of quantity and to numbers themselves, hut a multifaceted linguistic and ancient research of ways numbers have constructed and developed in lots of assorted cultures. Drawing on proof from historical past, literature, philosophy and ethnology, famous German pupil Karl Menninger. recounts the improvement of numbers either as they're spoken (and written as phrases) and as symbolic summary numerals which could he with no trouble manipulated and combined.
Despite the substantial erudition the writer brings to the subject, he keeps a mild tone all through, providing a lot of the knowledge in anecdotal shape. in addition, nearly three hundred illustrations (photographs and drawings) and lots of comparative language tables serve to augment the textual content. the writer starts with a lucid therapy of quantity series and quantity language, together with the formation of quantity phrases in either Indo-European and non-IndoEuropean languages, hidden quantity phrases and the evolution of the quantity series. He then turns to written numerals and computations: finger counting, folks symbols for numbers, alphabetical numerals, the "German" Roman numerals, the abacus and extra. the ultimate part matters the improvement of our modem decimal method, with its position notation and 0, in line with the Indian quantity method, and its advent to the West in the course of the paintings of the Italian mathematician Fibonacci. the writer concludes with a assessment of spoken numbers and quantity symbols in China and Japan.
"The booklet is principally sturdy on early counting and calculating units: primitive tally sticks, the knotted cords of historic Peru, the flowery finger symbols as soon as used for numbers, counting forums with movable counters, and naturally the abacus." — Martin Gardner, Book World
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