Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences (Int Arch Hist Sci )

Publisher: Académie internationale d'histoire des sciences; International Union of the History of Science; International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science. Division of History of Science; Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana

Description

Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences is a bi-annual journal concerned with studies devoted to topics ranging from the earliest times to the present, and covering extremely varied fields: astronomy, biology, physics, and philosophy with a markedly interdisciplinary approach. The contributions of scholars from all over the world are published in English, Italian, French, and German, thus promoting exchange between those from a variety of cultural backgrounds. It is in fact its international nature that makes the Archives so different from other publications in the field; it neither depends upon, nor is influenced by any particular local school of thought or historiographic methodology.

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  • Other titles
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences
  • ISSN
    0003-9810
  • OCLC
    1482110
  • Material type
    Periodical
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2010; 60(164):79.
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    ABSTRACT: The subject of this paper is the analysis of and the relationship between what the author sees as four different facets of Descartes’ mathematics: (i) the philosophical geometry, as in the Géométrie of 1637, where Descartes tries to produce a philosophical mathematics that cannot be touched by any critique, that is sheltered from the destruction time visits upon other forms of knowledge; (ii) a less certain geometry, which depends on infinitesimal considerations, such as the ones required for the quadrature of the cycloid (in a letter to Mersenne) or the solution of Debeaune’s problem; (iii) the geometry of some problems posed by nature, in which Descartes participates in the grand project of mathematization of phenomena that is the hallmark of the 17th century, notably through his research on free fall, on simple machines, on mechanical shock, and his proof of the law of refraction; (iv) the spontaneous geometry of phenomena, such as his study of salty water at low temperatures or of the rainbow.
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2009; 59(163).
  • Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2009; 59(162):255.
  • Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 07/2007; 57(158):157-73.
  • Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2006; 56(1-2):179-183.
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    ABSTRACT: "The ‚National Feeling’ in Science!“ Bohemian Professors at the University of Vienna Medical Faculty: Mediators in National and International Networking in the Habsburg Empire The Medical Faculty of the University of Prague, "stepping-stone to Vienna", as the Irish ophthalmologist William Robert Wilde formulated in 1843, was for the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna its main partner for scientific cooperation in the Habsburg Empire and at the same time its greatest rival. Medical professors who were trained in Vienna taught at the University of Prague and Prague sent its outstanding medical professors to Vienna. For medical students in Prague – according to the Habsburg historian Jean Bérenger – to pursue a career in Vienna was regarded as the ultimate recognition at this time. After 1830 the Bohemians Count Anton Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky, cabinet-minister of the Habsburg Monarchy and Baron Ludwig von Türkheim, Court Commissioner for Medical Studies, began in Vienna to promote particularly talented young men from Bohemia such as Joseph Škoda, Ferdinand Hebra and Carl Rokitansky. In his study “Austria: Its literary, scientific and medical institutions. With notes upon the present state of science” Wilde confirmed the dominance of Bohemian medical students and young doctors in Vienna. However, it has not yet been fully researched how much the Habsburg Monarchy valued this intellectual potential or whether they regarded it as a future threat. According to their autobiographies these young Bohemian doctors were indeed confronted with considerable resistance. Precisely because of this, Rokitanky, meanwhile the leading liberal pathologist in Vienna, not only succeeded in establishing a scientific and political network in Vienna but also in creating an expansion of medical knowledge to all universities of the Empire, of Europe and America which led to international recognition of the Vienna Medical School. Because of his international approach, seldom for the time, and his leading positions in academic institutions, Rokitansky, living in the multicultural city of Vienna, defined his own nationality neutrally as "Austrian". At the beginning of the rise of national conflicts in the Monarchy he could therefore not be captured either by the intellectual nationalism of the Germans or the Czechs at the Universities of Vienna and Prague. He realised that the international reputation of the sciences, particularly medicine, could by threatened by the rise of nationalism. In 1862 Rokitanky already warned in his brochure "Contemporary Questions relevant to the University" of any national consolidation of studies which would result in a division of the "solidarity of science". "The more intensive national feelings are", he added, "the less success an academic institution will have". The Sciences as an "international undertaking" should preserve the consciousness of unity in the "academic world" confirmed the historian, Friedrich Paulsen fourty years later, when academic nationalism had reached already its first peak. In the midst of progress – despite escalating conflicts – Czechs as well as German scientists still believed that the preservation of humanity was the most important goal in medicine.
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2006; 56(156-157):265-78.
  • Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2006; 56(156-157):309-23.
  • Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2006; 56(156-157):185-97.
  • Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2006; 55(155):357-66.
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    ABSTRACT: Bernard Lamy is one of the names of the scientific community of the 17th century, almost wholly forgotten – unfortunately! – today. He taught the rhetoric of teaching mathematics. His most important work remains Le Rhétorique ou l’Art de parler, in which he supports the idea of speaking for persuading/convincing. He succeeded in achieving an epistemological unit between the science of mathematics and the science of rhetoric. Following the ideas of Descartes, B. Lamy considers that the scientific contribution of the ancient world are too long – which makes them very difficult to follow – while the demonstrations they propose are confuse and, to some extent, confusing. Another interesting idee put forward by Lamy is that pure mathematics might assure the basis of rhetoric – the art of speaking. In this way, the ideas of the speaker become more clear – even for himself – imagination gets moderated, and the abstract representations of mathematics may be therefore more easily conceived. He knows that, more than even truth, people are attracted by appearance, a situation in which Lamy recommends the discipline of logic and of rhetoric as possible ways for reaching truth.
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2005; 55(154).
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    ABSTRACT: The paper discusses in detail the meaning and function of ‘fable’ and ‘hypothesis’ in René Descartes’ writings, considerably changing between 1630 and 1640 under the impression of Galilei’s process. While in Le Monde fables were presented to avoid boring arguments, thus only for the convenience of the readers, in the Principia Philosophiae it is claimed that one has to assume certain principles whithout being absolutely certain about their truth. We thus find a transition from Descartes’ “use of the fable as an element in his rhetoric of persuasion to a necessary component of a deep rhetoric of scientific method” (p. 138).
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2005; 55(154).
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    ABSTRACT: The author reflects on the interplay between science and literature and the influence of the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century on the language and on the traditional system of literary forms and textual strategies. The purpose of the paper is to “assess the role of description as a rhetorical procedure and to investigate the transformation of status and functions it undergoes in both literary and scientific texts when, with Galileo, a new way of seeing the world leads to the emergence of a new language to represent it.”
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2005; 55(154).
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    ABSTRACT: The author notes that Descartes’s Géométrie not only was revolutionary in its mathematics but also in its way of writing mathematics. He proceeds to point out the many differences in style which differentiate his French text from the Latin of his precedessors (and the Greek Antiquity) but also the differences in mathematical exposition; this is elucidated by many references to Descartes’s letters which show that the deviations from accepted practices were intentional.
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2005; 55(154).
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    ABSTRACT: The author argues that the dialogue form in Galilei’s “Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems” is the literary representation of a dialectical argument designed to demonstrate dialectically that the Copernican thesis is true. The rethoric of the dialogue is much more than merely form: it is a means to convince the reader.
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2005; 55(154).
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    ABSTRACT: The article is meant to present an aspect of Ramus’s attitude to mathematics in the context of his general encyclopedic programme and his concepts of method and intuition. At first it offers an overview of Ramus’s mathematical activities, from his first publication of a Euclid deprived of diagrams and demonstrations in 1545 to the publication of the Scholae mathematicae and the Arithmeticae libri duo: geometriae septem et viginti in 1569. Three facets of these activities are described: his early teaching of mathematics; his “academic engagement”, encompassing his efforts to enforce mathematics teaching at the Collège Royal according to his own programme (with mixed success), his correspondences with various European scholars in order to convince them to implement his ideas about educational reform, and his propagandistic and pedagogical writings; and his publication of a number of textbooks for the quadrivium between 1545 and 1569. The Prooemium (belonging with the second aspect) was published in 1567 and integrated with minor changes in the Scholae as their initial three books in 1569. Its first book contains a history of mathematics, mainly built on the Bible and Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities (for Chaldaea and Egypt) and on Proclus for the Greeks. Inventing a first-century date for Proclos, Ramus finds that the original proofs of the Elements (as he extracts them from Proclus) must have been very primitive, and that the ones we know must come from Theon. Having thus reduced the importance of Euclid, Ramus can attack him in book III, claiming that there is a “royal road” to geometry which Euclid missed, filling his work with redundancies like Elements X and matters really belonging to logic (Elements V), and omitting, e.g., the matters dealt with in Apollonius’s Conica (which Ramus knew about from Proclus). In the books of the Scholae which were glued to the Prooemium in 1569, Ramus presents the Elements in Euclidean order. It is in the Geometriae [libri] septem et viginti that he offers his own version. Having no constraints from demonstrations he can order propositions according to their object, insert commentaries, omit definitions, postulates and axioms, omit books V and X (obviously without treating conics). Taking up the recent discussion about horn angles initiated by Le Peletier Ramus shows himself to have a partial understanding of the problem but no more. In conclusion, Loget sees Ramus as the best expression of the limitations of the mathematical enterprise of French Humanists; he argued for a need to reform the Elements but had no idea of going beyond them (algebra he found superfluous). One might even say (Loget does not) that Ramus understood the Elements as part of the quadrivial canon, not as mathematics. That understanding (here Loget is back) was left to the following translators – Billingsley (1569), Commandino (1572) and Clavius (1574). None the less, in Loget’s opinion, Ramus’s attack on Euclid opened the way for those who were able to go beyond him.
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2004; 54(153).
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    ABSTRACT: The author deals with two subjects. First he describes Verbiest’s mathematical formation. He makes evident that Andreas Tacquet’s role in this respect has to be relativized and that Verbiest’s private studies have been underestimated up to now. Secondly he sheds new light on post-Clavian Jesuit mathematics in mid-17th century Europe. This applies to Coimbra, Sevilla, Rome, and to the ‘provincia Flandro-Belgica’. Eventually, Verbiest became Adam Schall von Bell’s assistant and successor.
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2004; 54(153).
  • Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2003; 53(150-151):157-183.
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    ABSTRACT: Berkeley is known as the keenest critic of newtonian differential calculus, basically of the very idea of infinitesimal. This paper analyzes the grounding ideas of such criticism concerning the nature of the mathematical concepts. The central theme is singled out in the hypothetical nature of the mathematical structure of physics, a thesis that can be recognized since Ockham and the late Middle Ages but very important also in Newton. The question seems to be: can different mathematical hypotheses be decided from their physical consequences? Berkeley’s criticism seems founded on a negative, sceptic answer to this question. This way, if we accept as ‘newtonian’ that old ‘save the phenomena’ methodology, the antinewtonianism of Berkeley was, according to the author, a sort of “ultranewtonianism”.
    Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences 01/2003; 53(150).