Robert Goulding In 1713, Pierre Remond de Montmort wrote to the mathematician Nicolas ´ Bernoulli: It would be desirable if someone wanted to take the trouble to instruct how and in what order the discoveries in mathematics have come about. . . . The histories of painting, of music, of medicine have been written. A good history of mathematics, especially of geometry, would be a much more interesting and useful work. . . . Such a work, if done well, could be regarded to some extent as a history of the human mind, since it is in this science, more than in anything else, that man makes known that gift of intelligence that God has given him to rise above all other creatures.1 Such a history of mathematics was attempted by Jean-Etienne Montucla in his Histoire des mathematiques (first printed in 1758, and reissued in a ´ I am grateful to Lauren Kassell for comments and substantial advice on this introduction; to Nicholas Popper and James Byrne, who organized a panel at the 2004 History of Science Society annual meeting at which these papers were first presented; and to Anthony Grafton, who encouraged their publication and offered extensive
Journal of the History of Ideas – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Sep 3, 2006
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