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Ludic Proof
Greek Mathematics and the Alexandrian Aesthetic

$26.00 ( ) USD

  • Date Published: July 2009
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511537042

$ 26.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • This book represents a new departure in science studies: an analysis of a scientific style of writing, situating it within the context of the contemporary style of literature. Its philosophical significance is that it provides a novel way of making sense of the notion of a scientific style. For the first time, the Hellenistic mathematical corpus - one of the most substantial extant for the period - is placed centre-stage in the discussion of Hellenistic culture as a whole. Professor Netz argues that Hellenistic mathematical writings adopt a narrative strategy based on surprise, a compositional form based on a mosaic of apparently unrelated elements, and a carnivalesque profusion of detail. He further investigates how such stylistic preferences derive from, and throw light on, the style of Hellenistic poetry. This important book will be welcomed by all scholars of Hellenistic civilization as well as historians of ancient science and Western mathematics.

    • First book to understand scientific writing in a literary context
    • First book to introduce the mathematical corpus into discussions of Hellenistic culture
    • Offers a new understanding of the development of Greek mathematics
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    " is a beautiful, creative study... ." --BMCR

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2009
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511537042
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. The carnival of calculation
    2. The telling of mathematics
    3. Hybrids and mosaics
    4. The poetic interface
    Conclusions and qualifications.

  • Author

    Reviel Netz, Stanford University, California
    Reviel Netz is Professor of Classics at Stanford University, California. He has written many books on mathematics, history and poetry, including, most recently, The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World (2004) and (with William Noel) The Archimedes Codex (2007). The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics (1999) has been variously acclaimed as 'a masterpiece' (David Sedley, Classical Review), and 'The most important work in Science Studies since Leviathan and the Air-Pump' (Bruno Latour, Social Studies of Science). Together with Nigel Wilson, he is currently editing the Archimedes Palimpsest, and he is also producing a three-volume complete translation of and commentary on the works of Archimedes.

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