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Looking Beyond the Emphasis on Western Civilization

February 27, 1988

I entirely endorse the viewpoint of Freedman on the crying need to broaden our curriculum to include the study of non-Western cultural traditions. Because his article is so important and may be used for future reference, I wish to amend it. The concept of zero and the Arabic numerals (the Arab expression for them is Hindu numerals) originated in India and were, like many other mathematical, scientific, literary and medical concepts and works from India and China transmitted along with Arab works by the Arab intermediaries to European universities in the 12th and 13th centuries. It would be as vital today as it was then to learn diverse languages to enrich our knowledge of the advances made in the various countries and cultures.

DAMODAR R. SARDESAI

Los Angeles

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