Practitioners – School ‘Mathematicians’: The Divisions of Pre-Modern Mathematics and Its Actors

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Abstract

The paper starts by looking at how ‘practical’ and ‘theoretical’ mathematics and their relation
have been understood from the Greeks to Christian Wolff and by historians of mathematics
from Montucla to recent days. Drawing on earlier work of mine, and on the giants
on whose shoulders I (try to) stand, I then suggest a categorization of the mathematical knowledge types a historian has to deal with: the ‘sub-scientific’ type, carried by practitioners taught in an apprenticeship network; the ‘scholasticized’ type, taught supposedly for practice but in a ‘scribal’ school by masters whose own genuine practice is that of teaching; and the ‘scientific’ or theory-oriented type. In the end, the utility of this categorization is tried out on two specific cases.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelStudies on the Ancient Exact Sciences in Honour of Lis Brack-Bernsen
RedaktørerJohn M. Steele, Mathieu Ossendrijver
Udgivelses stedBerlin
ForlagEdition Topoi
Publikationsdato2017
Sider207-224
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-9816384-5-5
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017
NavnTopoi - Berlin Studies of the Ancient World
Vol/bind44
ISSN2191-5806

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