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A Century of Mathematics in America (History of Mathematics, - download pdf or read online

By Peter Duren Richard A. Askey

ISBN-10: 0821801244

ISBN-13: 9780821801246

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More fundamentally, in placing the component parts of the earth's crust into relation with one another, geologists hoped to reveal the outlines of the divine plan for the world by reading the "pages" of the "book" of nature. While taking the extreme antiq­ uity of the earth for granted, almost all the major figures of the pe­ riod believed that the strata exhibited traces of divine planning and foresight. 43 In their view, geological classifications were emphatically not artificial groupings for convenience, but at­ tempts to uncover divisions preexistent in nature.

It has long been rec­ ognized that in their English versions the theories of catastrophism, progressionism, neptunism, and diluvialism all postulated divine intervention in the history of nature to lesser or greater degrees, in part as antidotes to religious disbelief and civil disorder. But the in­ fluence of such concerns penetrated to a more basic level as well, to the day-to-day activity of the geologist in the field. C. Harrison 1979. For theoretical perspectives on the relationship between classifications of nature and society, see Bloor 1982, which offers an important updated reading of Durkheim and Mauss 1963.

Greene 1959 discusses the replacement of a static by an evolutionary view of na­ ture; Schaffer 1980 discusses stellar astronomy and natural history. 41 Porter 1977, 1979. 34 — ChapterOne and an elite troubled by dissent from the "lower" orders is unmis­ takable. In 1841 Punch made the point ridiculously concrete by com­ piling a stratigraphical column of social classes, from "people wear­ ing coronets" at the summit to "tag-rag and bob-tail in varieties" at the very base (Fig. 42 To see the rocks as a layered sequence of strata was at first far from obvious.

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A Century of Mathematics in America (History of Mathematics, Vol 1) by Peter Duren Richard A. Askey


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