# It’s not that they couldn’t

Revue d'histoire des mathématiques (2002)

- Volume: 8, Issue: 2, page 263-290
- ISSN: 1262-022X

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topNetz, Reviel. "It’s not that they couldn’t." Revue d'histoire des mathématiques 8.2 (2002): 263-290. <http://eudml.org/doc/252033>.

@article{Netz2002,

abstract = {The article offers a critique of the notion of ‘concepts’ in the history of mathematics. Authors in the field sometimes assume an argument from conceptual impossibility: that certain authors could not do X because they did not have concept Y. The case of the divide between Greek and modern mathematics is discussed in detail, showing that the argument from conceptual impossibility is empirically as well as theoretically flawed. An alternative account of historical diversity is offered, based on self-sustaining practices, as well as on divergence being understood not in terms of intellectual values themselves (which may well be universal) but in terms of their rankings within different cultures and epochs.},

author = {Netz, Reviel},

journal = {Revue d'histoire des mathématiques},

keywords = {ancient greek mathematics; methodology; Euclid; Archimedes; Hipparchus; Diophantus; Hero; Ancient Greek mathematics; conceptual impossibility methodology},

language = {eng},

number = {2},

pages = {263-290},

publisher = {Société mathématique de France},

title = {It’s not that they couldn’t},

url = {http://eudml.org/doc/252033},

volume = {8},

year = {2002},

}

TY - JOUR

AU - Netz, Reviel

TI - It’s not that they couldn’t

JO - Revue d'histoire des mathématiques

PY - 2002

PB - Société mathématique de France

VL - 8

IS - 2

SP - 263

EP - 290

AB - The article offers a critique of the notion of ‘concepts’ in the history of mathematics. Authors in the field sometimes assume an argument from conceptual impossibility: that certain authors could not do X because they did not have concept Y. The case of the divide between Greek and modern mathematics is discussed in detail, showing that the argument from conceptual impossibility is empirically as well as theoretically flawed. An alternative account of historical diversity is offered, based on self-sustaining practices, as well as on divergence being understood not in terms of intellectual values themselves (which may well be universal) but in terms of their rankings within different cultures and epochs.

LA - eng

KW - ancient greek mathematics; methodology; Euclid; Archimedes; Hipparchus; Diophantus; Hero; Ancient Greek mathematics; conceptual impossibility methodology

UR - http://eudml.org/doc/252033

ER -

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