The Devious Roads of Science
edited by: John R. Gregg, F. T. C. Harris
A mathematician of ancient Greece is credited with the saying “There are no Royal Roads in mathematics”. This is usually understood as meaning that it is impossible to understand the proof of a complicated theorem without having first understood the proofs of all preliminary theorems and lemmas that precede it. To put it differently, a person unfamiliar with geometry, cannot open a book on geometry in the middle and read with understanding, whatever is printed there. He has to read all the preliminaries.