Philosophy and Fun of Algebra

Mary Everest Boole (1832 - 1916)

Mary Everest Boole (1832-1916) was born Mary Everest in England and spent her early years in France. She married mathematician George Boole. She was the author of several works on teaching and teaching mathematics in particular.

This short book, Philosophy and Fun of Algebra, is meant to be read by children and introduces algebra and logic. She uses the word “algebra” broadly, defining it as a “method of solving problems by honest confession of one’s ignorance”. Using this definition, Boole introduces, in a conversational manner, the concepts of logic and algebra, illustrating these concepts with stories and anecdotes, often from biblical sources. At times, her discussion seems somewhat mystical, speaking of the imagination and angels as messengers which guide one toward the next step in a logical investigation. Boole ends the book with a reminder that algebra’s essential element is “the habitual registration of the exact limits of one’s knowledge” and a call for the public to keep this principle in mind when encountering any situation. (Summary written by Patricia Oakley)

Genre(s): Children's Non-fiction, Mathematics

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - From Arithmetic to Algebra Patricia Oakley
Play 02 02 - The Making of Algebras Patricia Oakley
Play 03 03 - Simultaneous Problems Patricia Oakley
Play 04 04 - Partial Solutions.. Elements of Complexity Patricia Oakley
Play 05 05 - Mathematical Certainty ... Patricia Oakley
Play 06 06 - The First Hebrew Algebra Patricia Oakley
Play 07 07 - How to Choose Our Hypotheses Patricia Oakley
Play 08 08 - The Limits of the Teacher Patricia Oakley
Play 09 09 - The Use of Sewing Cards Patricia Oakley
Play 10 10 - The Story of a Working Hypothesis Patricia Oakley
Play 11 11 - Macbeth's Mistake Patricia Oakley
Play 12 12 - Jacob's Ladder Patricia Oakley
Play 13 13 - The Great x of the World Patricia Oakley
Play 14 14 - Go Out of My Class-Room Patricia Oakley
Play 15 15 - Square Root of Minus One Patricia Oakley
Play 16 16 - Infinity Patricia Oakley
Play 17 17 - From Bondage to Freedom Patricia Oakley
Play 18 18 - Appendix Patricia Oakley