Article ID: CBB044626758

Changing conceptions of mathematics and infinity in Giordano Bruno’s vernacular and Latin works (2020)


The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of Giordano Bruno’s conception of mathematics. Specifically, it intends to highlight two aspects of this conception that have been neglected in previous studies. First, Bruno’s conception of mathematics changed over time and in parallel with another concept that was central to his thought: the concept of infinity. Specifically, Bruno undertook a reform of mathematics in order to accommodate the concept of the infinitely small or “minimum,” which was introduced at a later stage. Second, contrary to what Héléne Védrine claimed, Bruno believed that mathematical objects were mind-dependent. To chart the parallel development of the conceptions of mathematics and infinity, a seven-year time span is considered, from the publication of Bruno’s first Italian dialogue (La cena de le ceneri, 1584) to the publication of one of his last Latin works (De minimo, 1591).

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Authors & Contributors
Kaplan, Robert B.
Kaplan, Ellen
Cooke, Martin C.
Wallace, David Foster
Seidengart, Jean
Bacchelli, Franco
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
European Legacy
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Quaderns d'Història de l'Enginyeria
Oxford University Press
Atlas Books
Fabrizio Serra
Cambridge University Press
Franco Cesati Editore
Philosophy of mathematics
Bruno, Giordano
Palingenio Stellato, Marcello
Kepler, Johannes
Euler, Leonhard
Spinoza, Baruch
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Time Periods
16th century
17th century
18th century

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