Routes of Learning: Highways, Pathways and Byways in the History of Mathematics

D.M. Hutton (Norbert Wiener Institute of Systems and Cybernetics, Wales, UK)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 18 October 2011




Hutton, D.M. (2011), "Routes of Learning: Highways, Pathways and Byways in the History of Mathematics", Kybernetes, Vol. 40 No. 9/10, pp. 1554-1554.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This is a book with an intriguing title and is the result of the author collecting a range of papers. Ivor Grattan‐Guinness is a well‐known historian of mathematics who has selected the published papers over his career of some 40 years. He starts by, in his first two sections, considering the place of history in mathematical education. He looks at, and often criticises, some of the approaches and accounts that have been made. He uses case studies to back up his arguments and to illustrate and explain in a constructive and interesting fashion the approach he has chosen to follow.

Grattan‐Guinness started his book by considering “Highways” and “Pathways” returning to his titles “Byways” in his third and final sections.

In these he takes up other themes such as Christianity and music, as opposed to his earlier consideration of “Education”. Cyberneticians/systemists who rely on their mathematics for their research and development programmes may wish to pause in their endeavours and consider the history of mathematics especially when it is presented by such an erudite author.

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