Social Life Of Numbers / Edition 1

Social Life Of Numbers / Edition 1

by Gary Urton, Primitivo Nina Llanos
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0292785348

ISBN-13: 9780292785342

Pub. Date: 01/01/1997

Publisher: University of Texas Press

Unraveling all the mysteries of the khipu—the knotted string device used by the Inka to record both statistical data and narrative accounts of myths, histories, and genealogies—will require an understanding of how number values and relations may have been used to encode information on social, familial, and political relationships and

Overview

Unraveling all the mysteries of the khipu—the knotted string device used by the Inka to record both statistical data and narrative accounts of myths, histories, and genealogies—will require an understanding of how number values and relations may have been used to encode information on social, familial, and political relationships and structures. This is the problem Gary Urton tackles in his pathfinding study of the origin, meaning, and significance of numbers and the philosophical principles underlying the practice of arithmetic among Quechua-speaking peoples of the Andes.

Based on fieldwork in communities around Sucre, in south-central Bolivia, Urton argues that the origin and meaning of numbers were and are conceived of by Quechua-speaking peoples in ways similar to their ideas about, and formulations of, gender, age, and social relations. He also demonstrates that their practice of arithmetic is based on a well-articulated body of philosophical principles and values that reflects a continuous attempt to maintain balance, harmony, and equilibrium in the material, social, and moral spheres of community life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292785342
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Edition description:
1ST UNIVER
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.65(d)

Table of Contents

  • List of Figures and Tables
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Anthropology and the Philosophy of Arithmetic
  • 2. The Cardinal Numbers and Their Social Relations
  • 3. Ordinal Numerals: The Reproduction and Succession of Numbers
  • 4. Yupay: Counting, Recounting, and the Fabric of Numbers
  • 5. Quechua Arithmetic as an Art of Rectification
  • 6. Numbers and Arithmetic in Pre-Hispanic and Colonial Andean Societies
  • 7. Conclusions
  • Appendix: Quechua Number Symbols and Metaphors Notes
  • Bibliography Index

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