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Squaring the Circle : The War Between Hobbes and Wallis - Douglas M. Jesseph

Squaring the Circle

The War Between Hobbes and Wallis

Paperback Published: 1st January 1999
ISBN: 9780226399003
Number Of Pages: 424

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In 1655, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes claimed he had solved the centuries-old problem of "squaring of the circle" (constructing a square equal in area to a given circle). With a scathing rebuttal to Hobbes's claims, the mathematician John Wallis began one of the longest and most intense intellectual disputes of all time. "Squaring the Circle" is a detailed account of this controversy, from the core mathematics to the broader philosophical, political, and religious issues at stake.
Hobbes believed that by recasting geometry in a materialist mold, he could solve any geometric problem and thereby demonstrate the power of his materialist metaphysics. Wallis, a prominent Presbyterian divine as well as an eminent mathematician, refuted Hobbes's geometry as a means of discrediting his philosophy, which Wallis saw as a dangerous mix of atheism and pernicious political theory.
Hobbes and Wallis's "battle of the books" illuminates the intimate relationship between science and crucial seventeenth-century debates over the limits of sovereign power and the existence of God.

Preface
List of Abbreviations
The Mathematical Career of the Monster of Malmesbury
The Reform of Mathematics and of the Universities Ideological Origins of the Dispute
De Corpore and the Mathematics of Materialism
Disputed Foundations Hobbes vs. Wallis on the Philosophy of Mathematics
The "Modern Analytics" and the Nature of Demonstration
The Demise of Hobbesian Geometry
The Religion, Rhetoric, and Politics of Mr. Hobbes and Dr. Wallis
Persistence in Error Why Was Hobbes So Resolutely Wrong?
Appendix: Selections from Hobbes's Mathematical Writings
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226399003
ISBN-10: 0226399001
Series: Science & Its Conceptual Foundations S.
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 424
Published: 1st January 1999
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.5  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.6