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Mathematical Treasure: Whitehead's Introduction to Mathematics

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Figure 1. Title page of Alfred North Whitehead's Introduction to Mathematics (1911)

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) was a mathematician, logician, and philosopher. He is perhaps known best for founding, with his former student Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), the logicist school of mathematical thought and for his and Russell’s Principia Mathematica (1910-1913). But Whitehead was also an educator and teacher. His Introduction to Mathematics (1911), whose title page is shown above, was intended for the common student.

Figures 2 and 3. Here on the opening pages of his Introduction to Mathematics, Whitehead began to outline the structure of the foundations of mathematics that he would eventually more openly endorse.

These two images are presented courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. You may use them in your classroom and/or for private study; for all other purposes, please obtain permission from Archives and Special Collections, Waidner-Spahr Library, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Whitehead's Introduction to Mathematics," Loci (February 2014)

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