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This book is made up of two parts, the first devoted to general, historical and cultural background, and the second to the development of each subdiscipline that together comprise Chinese mathematics. The book is uniquely accessible, both as a topical reference work, and also as an overview that can be read and reread at many levels of sophistication by both sinologists and mathematicians alike.
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For the English language edition, this completely unique book of J.C. Martzloff has been fully revised and updated. It includes many new recent insights and illustrations, a new appendix on Chinese primary sources and a guide to the to the bibliography. From the reviews: "This book ranks with the most erudite Asian publications, and is the most informative and most broadly informed on its topic in any language." N. Sivin, China Quarterly "... crammed with insights, cautionary tales and a great deal of information about current research ... will surely become a standard reference for students, teachers, and researchers alike", J. N. Crossley, Annals of Science "... a truly scholarly and balanced exposition ... a book that the reviewer believes belongs in the library of every university or college, as well as in that of every individual seriously interested in the history of Chinese mathematics", B. L. McAllister, ZBfM "Martzloff History demonstrates clearly that while the Chinese were adept in applying their mathematics to a host of practical problems, including astronomy and engineering as well as commercial transactions, they also paid attention to algorithmic techniques, methods of calculation, geometric constructions, and even certain purely logical problems. But above all, what sets this book apart from the usual histories of mathemathics (in any language, Chinese or Western, of any period or country) is its emphasis first on context, then on content, in describing the long history of Chinese mathematics .... It is primarily the question of context that Martzloff approaches directly. Perhaps the greatest contribution his book makes is the chance it offers to consider issues of cultural context as significant, determining factors in the history of mathematics. Thus, Martzloff tries to get inside the Chinese mind, to explain how and why mathematics developed as it did in China, and often in ways strikingly different from its Western counterparts. Although he does not always account for these differences, he succeeds admirably in describing them, which results in a refreshingly rich sense of its evolution as well." Joseph W. Dauben, Historica Mathematica 20, 1993Language Notes:
Text: English, Chinese (translation)
Original Language: French
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