In this Book

The Language of Nature
summary

Galileo’s dictum that the book of nature “is written in the language of mathematics” is emblematic of the accepted view that the scientific revolution hinged on the conceptual and methodological integration of mathematics and natural philosophy. Although the mathematization of nature is a distinctive and crucial feature of the emergence of modern science in the seventeenth century, this volume shows that it was a far more complex, contested, and context-dependent phenomenon than the received historiography has indicated, and that philosophical controversies about the implications of mathematization cannot be understood in isolation from broader social developments related to the status and practice of mathematics in various commercial, political, and academic institutions.

Contributors: Roger Ariew, U of South Florida; Richard T. W. Arthur, McMaster U; Lesley B. Cormack, U of Alberta; Daniel Garber, Princeton U; Ursula Goldenbaum, Emory U; Dana Jalobeanu, U of Bucharest; Douglas Jesseph, U of South Florida; Carla Rita Palmerino, Radboud U, Nijmegen and Open U of the Netherlands; Eileen Reeves, Princeton U; Christopher Smeenk, Western U; Justin E. H. Smith, U of Paris 7; Kurt Smith, Bloomsburg U of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Introduction
  2. Geoffrey Gorham, Benjamin Hill, and Edward Slowik
  3. pp. 1-28
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  1. 1. Reading the Book of Nature: The Ontological and Epistemological Underpinnings of Galileo’s Mathematical Realism
  2. Carla Rita Palmerino
  3. pp. 29-50
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  1. 2. “The Marriage of Physics with Mathematics”: Francis Bacon on Measurement, Mathematics, and the Construction of a Mathematical Physics
  2. Dana Jalobeanu
  3. pp. 51-80
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  1. 3. On the Mathematization of Free Fall: Galileo, Descartes, and a History of Misconstrual
  2. Richard T. W. Arthur
  3. pp. 81-111
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  1. 4. The Mathematization of Nature in Descartes and the First Cartesians
  2. Roger Ariew
  3. pp. 112-133
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  1. 5. Laws of Nature and the Mathematics of Motion
  2. Daniel Garber
  3. pp. 134-159
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  1. 6. Ratios, Quotients, and the Language of Nature
  2. Douglas Jesseph
  3. pp. 160-177
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  1. 7. Color by Numbers: The Harmonious Palette in Early Modern Painting
  2. Eileen Reeves
  3. pp. 178-204
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  1. 8. The Role of Mathematical Practitioners and Mathematical Practice in Developing Mathematics as the Language of Nature
  2. Lesley B. Cormack
  3. pp. 205-228
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  1. 9. Leibniz on Order, Harmony, and the Notion of Substance: Mathematizing the Sciences of Metaphysics and Physics
  2. Kurt Smith
  3. pp. 229-249
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  1. 10. Leibniz’s Harlequinade: Nature, Infinity, and the Limits of Mathematization
  2. Justin E. H. Smith
  3. pp. 250-273
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  1. 11. The Geometrical Method as a New Standard of Truth, Based on the Mathematization of Nature
  2. Ursula Goldenbaum
  3. pp. 274-307
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  1. 12. Philosophical Geometers and Geometrical Philosophers
  2. Christopher Smeenk
  3. pp. 308-338
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 339-342
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 343-354
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