Introducing the question of why space should be considered to have dimensions, the Introduction proceeds to describe the scope and method of the book. It indicates its intellectual debt to the ideas described by Bruno Latour in We Have Never Been Modern (1993) and its intention to trace ‘quasi-objects’ that disturb the separation of nature and culture. It outlines its frame of reference in the work of scholars of the history of mathematics and late nineteenth-century culture including Joan Richards, Brian Rotman, Mary Poovey, Roger Luckhurst, Jeremy Gray, and Linda Dalrymple Henderson. It describes the historical range of the work, with a focus on the period from 1869 to 1907, outlines the contents of each chapter, and identifies the approach to cultural history of the book as a form of ‘cultural phenomenology’.
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