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Mathematical Practitioners and the Transformation of Natural Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 13.04.2017
  • Verlag: Springer-Verlag
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Mathematical Practitioners and the Transformation of Natural Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

This book argues that we can only understand transformations of nature studies in the Scientific Revolution if we take seriously the interaction between practitioners (those who know by doing) and scholars (those who know by thinking). These are not in opposition, however. Theory and practice are end points on a continuum, with some participants interested only in the practical, others only in the theoretical, and most in the murky intellectual and material world in between. It is this borderland where influence, appropriation, and collaboration have the potential to lead to new methods, new subjects of enquiry, and new social structures of natural philosophy and science. The case for connection between theory and practice can be most persuasively drawn in the area of mathematics, which is the focus of this book. Practical mathematics was a growing field in early modern Europe and these essays are organised into three parts which contribute to the debate about the role of mathematical practice in the Scientific Revolution. First, they demonstrate the variability of the identity of practical mathematicians, and of the practices involved in their activities in early modern Europe. Second, readers are invited to consider what practical mathematics looked like and that although practical mathematical knowledge was transmitted and circulated in a wide variety of ways, participants were able to recognize them all as practical mathematics. Third, the authors show how differences and nuances in practical mathematics typically depended on the different contexts in which it was practiced: social, cultural, political, and economic particularities matter. Historians of science, especially those interested in the Scientific Revolution period and the history of mathematics will find this book and its ground-breaking approach of particular interest. Lesley B. Cormack is a historian of science and now Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta. She is the author of Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities 1580-1620 (Chicago, 1997), A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility with Andrew Ede (Broadview Press,2004, 3rd Edition University of Toronto Press, 2017) and editor of Making Contact: Maps, Identity, and Travel (University of Alberta Press, 2003) and A History of Science in Society: A Reader (Broadview Press, 2007) . She is now completing a book on the development and use of the Molyneux Globes in sixteenth century England. Steven A. Walton teaches history of science and technology, European history, and military history at Michigan Technological University, where is also actively involved with the graduate program in Industrial Archaeology. His primary scholarly writing is on the intersections between science, technology and the military, particularly in the early modern and antebellum American world. He has just published the travel diaries of Thomas Kelah Wharton, a nineteenth-century architect and artist, an article on U.S. Civil War artillery, and is working on a book on Transitions in Defense , on changed in fortification practice and rationale in sixteenth-century England. He has edited works on Fifty Years of Medieval Technology & Social Change (Ashgate, 2017); Wind & Water in the Middle Ages: Fluid Technologies from Antiquity to the Renaissance (ACMRS, 2006); and Instrumental in War: Science, Research, and Instruments Between Knowledge and the World (Brill, 2005). John A. Schuster is Honorary Research Fellow in the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science and Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, University of Sydney; and Honorary Fellow, Campion College, Sydney, the only private liberal arts college in Australia. He previously taught at Princeton, Leeds, Cambridge and the University of New South Wales. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has published on the historiography of the Scientific Revolution; the nature and dynamics of the field of early m


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 203
    Erscheinungsdatum: 13.04.2017
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783319494302
    Verlag: Springer-Verlag
    Größe: 2602 kBytes
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