Abstract

This article chronicles the mathematical career of the publisher Charles-Joseph Panckoucke and contextualizes his only published work of non-commercial mathematics, a "Mémoire" proving the impossibility of squaring the circle, first published in 1765. Panckoucke's "Mémoire" illuminates several of the cultures he participated in—the minor eighteenth-century sub-cultures of popular mathematics and circle-squaring, as well as the more familiar ones of early modern patronage and the French Enlightenment. The "Mémoire" also points to ambivalence in two of the eighteenth century's defining intellectual struggles—the philosophes' campaign against superstition and ignorance, and the late-century skirmishes between the Académie Royale des Sciences and practitioners of unsanctioned sciences.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 215-236
Launched on MUSE
2004-01-05
Open Access
No
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