Throughout history, application rather than abstraction has been the prominent driving force in mathematics. From the compass and sextant to partial differential equations, mathematical advances were spurred by the desire for better navigation tools, weaponry, and construction methods. But the religious upheaval in Victorian England and the fledgling United States opened the way for the rediscovery of pure mathematics, a tradition rooted in Ancient Greece.
In Equations from God, Daniel J. Cohen captures the origins of the rebirth of abstract mathematics in the intellectual quest to rise above common existence and touch the mind of the deity. Using an array of published and private sources, Cohen shows how philosophers and mathematicians seized upon the beautiful simplicity inherent in mathematical laws to reconnect with the divine and traces the route by which the divinely inspired mathematics of the Victorian era begot later secular philosophies.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Series:||Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Mathematics|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Daniel J. Cohen is an assistant professor of history at George Mason University and the coauthor of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Allure of Pure Mathematics in the Victorian Age 1
Heavenly Symbols: Sources of Victorian Mathematical Idealism 14
God and Math at Harvard: Benjamin Peirce and the Divinity of Mathematics 42
George Boole and the Genesis of Symbolic Logic 77
Augustus De Morgan and the Logic of Relations 106
Earthly Calculations: Mathematics and Professionalism in the Late Nineteenth Century 137