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"Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"

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Author Topic: "Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"  (Read 381 times)
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2008, 10:45:26 pm »

Despite Bacon's claims, there was a healthy history of science in the sixteenth century. Scholars, admittedly, drew up a history of mathematics quite at odds with a progressive history of science. Their history of science was a degeneration narrative, a problem of recovery instead of invention, of cleansing rather than expansion, with a Golden Age behind rather than ahead. But it was a history, nevertheless, and one that fits neatly with the claims of Vesalius, Scaliger, and others who depicted their innovations as reformations of ancient disciplines. These scholars conjured an ancient world teeming with mathematical practice, directing them towards various forms of lost or obscured expertise.51 The narrative of their history of science may not have resembled Kepler's, but by directing attention to the ancient authorization for mathematics, they contributed to the process of legitimizing mathematical knowledge.
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