Thesis ID: CBB001560809

Belief Without Proof from Ancient Geometry to Renaissance Algebra (2005)


La Nave, Federica (Author)

Harvard University
Murdoch, John Emery

Publication Date: 2005
Edition Details: Advisor: Murdoch, John E.
Physical Details: 168 pp.
Language: English

This dissertation focuses on what makes a mathematician believe provable an unproved proposition. My claim is that understanding this kind of belief requires the concepts of intuition and approximation. I define these two concepts, and then show their relation to the beliefs of mathematicians by studying two historical questions: the solutions or attempted solutions to the three famous problems of ancient Greek antiquity (squaring the circle, trisecting the angle, doubling the cube); and Rafael Bombelli, a Renaissance mathematician, and his coming to believe in a new kind of number.


Description Looks at problems and attempted solutions in mathematics in ancient Greece and in the work of the Renaissance mathematician Rafael Bombelli. Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 66/05 (2005): 1931. UMI pub. no. 3173957.

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Authors & Contributors
Giusti, Enrico
Confalonieri, Sara
Frank, Martin
Wagner, Donald B.
Wagner, Roy
Vitrac, Bernard
Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze Matematiche
Science in Context
Neusis: The Greek Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
History of Science
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
British Journal for the History of Science
University of Hawai'i Press
CSLI Publications
Equations and formulae
Linguistics; philology
Bombelli, Raffaele
Heiberg, Johan Ludvig
Viète, François de la Bigotière
Commandino, Federico
Time Periods
16th century
19th century
Early modern
Turin (Italy)

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