Hobbes on algebra

"He had no patience with algebra's 'scab of symbols,' the shorthand that made a mathematical page look 'as if a hen had been scraping there.' He conceded that these symbols might be useful, even necessary, aids to demonstration, but 'they ought no more to appear in public, than the most deformed necessary business which you do in your chambers.' " (CC to Hobbes, 114)
Written on November 30, 2008