Was Babylonian Mathematics Algorithmic?

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In the wake of the discoveries of Otto Neugebauer and François ThureauDangin it became customary to speak of “Babylonian algebra”, and even of the
generally algebraic character of Mesopotamian mathematics – not least because
mathematics going beyond the most elementary level was supposed to be either
geometric (in Greek style, which Mesopotamian mathematics was not) or algebraic. This, we may say, portrays the 18th-century understanding of mathematics, where d’Alembert – a master of the symbol-carried analysis that had
been constructed in the previous century but only unfolded after 1700 –
belonged to the class of géomètres because his kind of mathematics was based
on proofs, and proofs belonged with geometry.
The youngest generation of mathematicians has
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGrenzüberschreitungen, Studien zur Kulturgeschichte des Alten Orients : Festschrift für Hans Neumann zum 65. Geburtstag am 9. Mai 2018
EditorsKristin Kleber, Georg Neumann, Susanne Paulus
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationMünster
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-3-96327-010-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-96327-011-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesAltorientalistische Publikationen

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