The Anthropology of Numbers

The Anthropology of Numbers

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Numbers are an important feature of almost all known cultures. In this detailed anthropological study, Thomas Crump examines how people from a wide range of diverse cultures, and from different historical backgrounds, use and understand numbers. By looking at the logical, psychological and linguistic implications, he analyses how numbers operate within different contexts. The author goes on to consider the relationship of numbers to specific themes, such as ethnoscience, politics, measurement, time, money, music, games and architecture. The Anthropology of Numbers is an original contribution to scholarship, written in a clear and accessible style. It will be of interest to anthropologists who study cognition, symbolism, primitive thought and classification, and to those in adjacent disciplines of psychology, cognitive science and mathematical social science.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 211 pages
  • 158 x 235 x 18mm | 459g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0521380456
  • 9780521380454

Table of contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. The ontology of number; 2. The cognitive foundations of numeracy; 3. Number and language; 4. Cosmology, society and politics; 5. Economy, society and politics; 6. Measurement, comparison and equivalence; 7. Time; 8. Money; 9. Music poetry and dance; 10. Games and chance; 11. Art and architecture; 12. The ecology of number; Notes; References; Index.
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Review quote

'The book makes a lively, well-informed, and thoroughly unconventional contribution to its subject ... it should and will be read by any with an interest in this branch of anthropology.' R. H. Barnes, Anthropos 'Crump has soothed, stimulated, and occasionally transported me in the contemplation of numbers and mysteries.' Eric Korn, The London Review of Books
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