Details

ISBN-10: 0674237811
ISBN-13: 9780674237810
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 04/22/2019
Dimensions: 8.20" L, 5.50" W, 0.90" H

Numbers and the Making of Us: Counting and the Course of Human Cultures

Paperback

Price: $20.00

Overview

“A fascinating book.”
–James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review

A Smithsonian Best Science Book of the Year
Winner of the PROSE Award for Best Book in Language & Linguistics

Carved into our past and woven into our present, numbers shape our perceptions of the world far more than we think. In this sweeping account of how the invention of numbers sparked a revolution in human thought and culture, Caleb Everett draws on new discoveries in psychology, anthropology, and linguistics to reveal the many things made possible by numbers, from the concept of time to writing, agriculture, and commerce.

Numbers are a tool, like the wheel, developed and refined over millennia. They allow us to grasp quantities precisely, but recent research confirms that they are not innate–and without numbers, we could not fully grasp quantities greater than three. Everett considers the number systems that have developed in different societies as he shares insights from his fascinating work with indigenous Amazonians.

“This is bold, heady stuff… The breadth of research Everett covers is impressive, and allows him to develop a narrative that is both global and compelling… Numbers is eye-opening, even eye-popping.”
New Scientist

“A powerful and convincing case for Everett’s main thesis: that numbers are neither natural nor innate to humans.”
Wall Street Journal

Author

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Reviews
Caleb Everett provides a fascinating account of the development of human numeracy, from innate abilities to the complexities of agricultural and trading societies, all viewed against the general background of human cultural evolution. He successfully draws together insights from linguistics, cognitive psychology, anthropology, and archaeology in a way that is accessible to the general reader as well as to specialists. He does not avoid controversy, making this a key contribution to a developing debate.–Bernard Comrie, University of California, Santa Barbara
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Details

ISBN-10: 0674237811
ISBN-13: 9780674237810
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 04/22/2019
Dimensions: 8.20" L, 5.50" W, 0.90" H
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