Studies in History and Philosophy of Science

From Discrete to Continuous

The Broadening of Number Concepts in Early Modern England

Authors: Neal, K.

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About this book

In the early modern period, a crucial transformation occurred in the classical conception of number and magnitude. Traditionally, numbers were merely collections of discrete units that measured some multiple. Magnitude, on the other hand, was usually described as being continuous, or being divisible into parts that are infinitely divisible. This traditional idea of discrete number versus continuous magnitude was challenged in the early modern period in several ways.

This detailed study explores how the development of algebraic symbolism, logarithms, and the growing practical demands for an expanded number concept all contributed to a broadening of the number concept in early modern England. An interest in solving practical problems was not, in itself, enough to cause a generalisation of the number concept. It was the combined impact of novel practical applications together with the concomitant development of such mathematical advances as algebraic notation and logarithms that produced a broadened number concept.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $139.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-017-0077-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $179.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-0565-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $179.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-5993-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
From Discrete to Continuous
Book Subtitle
The Broadening of Number Concepts in Early Modern England
Authors
Series Title
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Series Volume
16
Copyright
2002
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-017-0077-1
DOI
10.1007/978-94-017-0077-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-0565-7
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-5993-2
Series ISSN
0929-6425
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 175
Topics