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AuthorRestivo, Sal. author
TitleMathematics in Society and History [electronic resource] : Sociological Inquiries / by Sal Restivo
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands : Imprint: Springer, 1992
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Descript XVI, 202 p. online resource


This is the first book by a sociologist devoted exclusively to a general sociology of mathematics. The author provides examples of different ways of thinking about mathematics sociologically. The survey of mathematical traditions covers ancient China, the Arabic-Islamic world, India, and Europe. Following the leads of classical social theorists such as Emile Durkheim, Restivo develops the idea that mathematical concepts and ideas are collective representations, and that it is mathematical communities that create mathematics, not individual mathematicians. The implications of the sociology of mathematics, and especially of pure mathematics, for a sociology of mind are also explored. In general, the author's objective is to explore, conjecture, suggest, and stimulate in order to introduce the sociological perspective on mathematics, and to broaden and deepen the still narrow, shallow path that today carries the sociology of mathematics. This book will interest specialists in the philosophy, history, and sociology of mathematics, persons interested in mathematics education, students of science and society, and people interested in current developments in the social and cultural analysis of science and mathematics


I. Introduction -- 1: Mathematics and Culture -- 2: Mathematics from the Ground Up -- II. Mathematical Traditions -- 3: The Mathematics of Survival in China -- 4: Mathematics in Context: The Arabic-Islamic Golden Age -- 5: Indian Mathematics: A History of Episodes -- 6: Mathematics and Renaissance in Japan -- 7: Conflict, Social Change, and Mathematics in Europe -- III: Math Worlds -- 8: Mathematics as Representation -- 9: Foundations of the Sociology of Pure Mathematics -- 10: The Social Relations of Pure Mathematics -- Bibliographic Epilogue -- Notes To Chapter 7 -- Name Index

Philosophy Philosophy and science Mathematics History Mathematics -- Study and teaching Philosophy Philosophy of Science Mathematics Education History of Mathematical Sciences


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