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A Mathematician's Apology Historical Context

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Since Hardy elucidated a philosophy that stresses the timelessness and immortality of pure mathematics, it is very difficult to contextualize A Mathematician's Apology with respect to a single historical period. Viewed as an autobiographical memoir, A Mathematician's Apology is a product of a genius who came of age towards the end of the Victorian era and who died as the world entered the nuclear age. However, viewed as a philosophical treatise and justification of mathematics, the book begins with the ancient Greeks and extends to the eve of World War II.

Hardy was a product of the English educational system that retained intellectually mediocre clergymen as the main instructors until well into the nineteenth century. Although this system had been largely reformed by the turn of the century, mathematics was one of the last disciplines to be affected. Cambridge mathematician Norbert Wiener described the level of mathematics at...

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This section contains 715 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Mathematician's Apology Study Guide
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A Mathematician's Apology from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.