Karine Chemla

In a variety of historical contexts, the goals and nature of proof are examined in this daring, thoroughly researched book. It disproves the notion that Aristotle’s logical ideas underpinned the earliest mathematical proofs in Greek geometry by demonstrating how much of that notion is a product of nineteenth-century historical research. It demonstrates the existence of proofs in early mathematical writings about numbers and demonstrates that mathematicians in Mesopotamia, China, and India were able to demonstrate the accuracy of algorithms, which are much more prevalent outside the narrow range of surviving classical Greek texts that historians have taken as the model of early mathematics. It paves the path for presenting the first extensive, text-based history of evidence.