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  • Cited by 2
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
July 2021
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Book description

The controversial matters surrounding the notion of anachronism are difficult ones: they have been broached by literary and art critics, by philosophers, as well as by historians of science. This book adopts a bottom-up approach to the many problems concerning anachronism in the history of mathematics. Some of the leading scholars in the field of history of mathematics reflect on the applicability of present-day mathematical language, concepts, standards, disciplinary boundaries, indeed notions of mathematics itself, to well-chosen historical case studies belonging to the mathematics of the past, in European and non-European cultures. A detailed introduction describes the key themes and binds the various chapters together. The interdisciplinary and transcultural approach adopted allows this volume to cover topics important for history of mathematics, history of the physical sciences, history of science, philosophy of mathematics, history of philosophy, methodology of history, non-European science, and the transmission of mathematical knowledge across cultures.


‘… scholarly work … Highly recommended.’

V. V. Raman Source: Choice Magazine

‘excellent examples of the diversity of types of anachronisms that can be found in the history of mathematics … The wide variety of case studies that form the chapters is remarkable.’

Nicolas Michel Source: Revue d'Histoire des Sciences

'The main contribution of the book lies in this rich meta-historical reflection. Apart from contributing to their specific historiographies, the essays of this book provide an important contribution to the methodology of the history of mathematics. As a consequence, the book has an appeal for any historian of mathematics, regardless of their period of specialisation.'

Raffaele Danna Source: Nuncius

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