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Circles DisturbedThe Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative$
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Apostolos Doxiadis and Barry Mazur

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149042

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149042.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

From Voyagers to Martyrs

From Voyagers to Martyrs

Toward a Storied History of Mathematics

(p.1) Chapter 1 From Voyagers to Martyrs
Circles Disturbed

Amir Alexander

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces the history of mathematics, from the late sixteenth century to the present, through the lens of mathematical stories. The period is divided into three main epochs and a possible fourth, each characterized by a different dominant mathematical story, which in turn is related to a different dominant mathematical style. Each period reveals one or several dominant narratives that enjoyed wide currency not only among the broader population but also among practicing mathematicians. The chapter examines the transition of mathematics from the older narratives, spanning the Enlightenment and the exploration mathematics periods, to the time of tragic mathematical heroes such as Évariste Galois and Georg Cantor.

Keywords:   narrative, mathematicians, mathematics, Enlightenment, exploration mathematics, tragic mathematical heroes, Évariste Galois, Georg Cantor

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