Videnskabshistorisk Selskab

Indbydelse til foredrag ved:

José Ferreirós
la Universidad de Sevilla, Spanien

Gauss, arithmetic, and pure mathematics

Onsdag, den 21. maj 2003, kl. ca. 20
i auditorium 10 på H. C. Ørsted Instituttet,
Universitetsparken 5, København


The work of Gauss offers some central keys to a better understanding of the emergence of pure mathematics in 19th century Germany. Deep mathematical contributions were joined, in his public and private writings, by philosophical and methodological reflections that contributed to the emergence of what is sometimes called "modern" or "classical" mathematics. The demise of geometry as the paradigmatic mathematical discipline, the rise of arithmetic in its place, and concomitant changes

in the cartography of mathematical knowledge - the trend toward arithmetization viz. to reorganizing pure mathematics "under the sign of number" -; the turn to a more conceptual, relational understanding of mathematics; and, not least, the pursuit of mathematics as a purely intellectual activity, as "science for its own sake", in the wake of novel cultural tendencies; all of these features combined into a new constellation of values and ideas that would have a lasting influence on the development of the discipline. The talk shall explore the above-mentioned tendencies, analyzing their impact on "classical" mathematics

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