Mathematics for the Nonmathematician by Morris Kline

Mathematics for the Nonmathematician

Practical, scientific, philosophical, and artistic problems have caused men to investigate mathematics. But there is one other motive which is as strong as any of these — the search for beauty. Mathematics is an art, and as such affords the pleasures which all the arts afford." In this erudite, entertaining college-level text, Morris Kline, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at New York University, provides the liberal arts student with a detail...

Details Mathematics for the Nonmathematician

TitleMathematics for the Nonmathematician
Release DateFeb 1st, 1985
PublisherDover Publications
GenreScience, Mathematics, Nonfiction, Reference

Reviews Mathematics for the Nonmathematician

  • Roy Lotz
    For a long time, I’ve been searching for a book exactly like this one. Somewhat embarrassed by my ignorance of math, I wanted to relearn what I had forgotten in college, and perhaps go further. But I didn’t want to simply learn math; I wanted to learn its history, how it shaped and was shaped by the cultures in which it grew. This is a tall order, requiring both historical and mathematical understanding; but Kline is equal (or, perhaps, almos...
  • Ali
    My first review in English and I'm sure it's full of errors!There are two main flaws in this book. History of mathematics and philosophy of mathematics. Other reviewers have correctly mentioned Kline's unfair views on history. Throughout the book it was clear that Kline considers mathematics merely a mental construction. Although I don't find it plausible, but it's acceptable that a mathematician have such approach towards ontological issue since...
  • Jake
    Mr. Kline and his book are a remnant of a happily bygone era. I can only assume that the good people at Dover books who consent to repackage and sell this chauvinistic relic from 1967 must be equally unenlightened, and greedy into the mix. I gave up on this thing after the 'historical overview' bit (chapters 1-4). I'm just not content with a history of numbers that spends 20 pages on the drama of the Pythagoreans and irrational numbers, and then ...
  • Kevin
    Someone asked me to compile a list of the 10 most influential books I had ever read. This ranked near the top. I read it for the first time in my early twenties and it (among other things) began the process of turning my life around after half a decade of stupid choices.Stated quickly: There is more to mathematics than the memorization of arithmetic and the mechanical transformations of algebra. They are to real math what pronunciation and gramma...
  • Carlos
    This book isn't just about mathematics. It's about history, science, philosophy, the arts, and astronomy. One of my best reads ever. Reread many times.
  • Dustin Burt
    Many years ago, I hated math. Let be clear: this was a thorough loathing of the subject. Also many years ago, at one particular crossroads in my academic and professional paths, I realized I needed to get back into mathematics--and move well into calculus (at least). I walked into my local bookstore and saw this book. I bought it, and within minutes of having purchased it, I found I couldn't stop reading it.I walked the entire way home from the b...
  • Nicolas
    As noted in a lot of comments, the first few chapters vary between heavily biased or outright blatantly Eurocentric. Watching Marcus Du Sautoy's The Story of Math series will be far more effective in getting a sense of the history of Mathematics.That said. This is a wonderful work, Kline's explanation of very abstract concepts in a very clear way makes it well worth reading. His anticipation of questions that might arise when encountering a new s...
  • Russell
    My math skills are underdeveloped. I'll freely admit that. I am seeking to remedy that as quickly as I can.To that end, this book was a fantastic help for me. It really should be a standard text in at least college, if not in high school. The fun part of this wasn't just having math explained clearly, but also the history of the math. Kline hasbrief biographies of the major players behind the ideas, where the ideas came from, where they led, and ...
  • Ron Moreland
    This book simplifies complex mathematical topics. This is precisely what a good math teacher will do for their students. This book gives an overview regarding where some of the math which has been studied comes from. It also explores subjects ranging from basic math to Calculus and gives problems and solutions in a simple, easy to understand, practical way.
  • Kamili
    So you really want to feel stupid? Read this and have all the memories of 8th grade geometry come back to you. Why is it that I can remember every detail of Josh Engels' hair, but I can't remember how to do a proof? The mind reels.
  • J.
    Interesting insight into the history of math.
  • Stidmama
    A good, if dated (and very euro-centric) history of mathematics. Can be read relatively easily without knowing too much mathematics in advance -- by a late high-school or college level reader.
  • Jean-Luc
    Wish I had read this in grade school. It was *that* easy to understand...
  • Zach Mays
    One of the most important books of my life (so far)
  • Abner Rosenweig
    While mathematics has recently risen to prominence as the "M" in STEM, mathematical literacy has often been neglected in education and society at large. Too often, people are introduced to mathematics via dry technical books with a positivist focus on numerical operations. They gain little context for quantitative reasoning and the transformative, civilizing force that mathematics has been throughout the centuries. Consequently, a majority of peo...
  • Al Matthews
  • Alex Lee
    For such a far reaching and difficult subject matter, Kline does quite a good job at summarizing and exploring for us mathematics as a method in exploring and understanding relationships in this world. Ultimately what makes math interesting, is of course, its application.Kline takes a definite position on mathematics as something to be admired and understood. His writing is quite clear as it is clear he is interested in clarity of thought. Yet Kl...
  • Jaroslav Tuček
    This is a re-release of the textbook originally titled Mathematics for Liberal Arts. The text offers a high level overview of the most important branches of mathematics, while discussing its historical development and its tight relationship with empirical science.It is unfortunate that the title of the book has been changed, since the target audience is less clear now. The book probably succeeds admirably at delivering a captivating account of ma...
  • William Schram
    This book was pretty good. It covers the history of mathematics and how it is made manifest in the liberal arts. It starts with the Babylonians and the Egyptians, goes to the Arabs and then the Western Europeans and so on. It has some problems in it that you can do, hence my calling it a Textbook. The problems aren't really serious or tough, and since it was written in the 1960s or something, it still has trigonometric tables, but not logarithms....
  • Mr.soule
    I love how this book provides an interesting historical foundation and then includes examples of the mathematical discoveries just described. Mathematics can be a confusing subject, and I would argue that understanding the historical development of mathematics is just as important as the ability to solve an equation without context, connecting points or application. Kline helps to make math more interesting, as it should be.
  • Jeremiah
    Really interesting book. Loved learning so much about the history of mathematics and how it applies to all disciplines. Can't say I did all the exercises, but I found the book was nevertheless a good review of basic concepts and also a great introduction to concepts I have not yet had the chance to learn.
  • Michael
    This is a book that every mathematician should read. It gives excellent perspective on how and why mathematics developed the way it did. More interestingly, one can infer from this excellent read why mathematics is taught the way it is.
  • Jon Klem
    Very good book about the history and development of mathematics. I think people math-illiterate will find this book building their love of this much-hated subject and for the math-lovers gaining a deeper respect and admiration for the universal language.
  • Leland William
    Phew.... That was a slog!