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Ancient and Medieval Traditions in the Exact
  Sciences cover

Ancient and Medieval Traditions in the Exact Sciences

Essays in Memory of Wilbur Knorr

edited by Patrick Suppes, Julius Moravcsik, and Henry Mendell

This volume of essays is dedicated to Wilbur Knorr (1945–1997), an outstanding historian of science whose career was cut short much too early. Inspired by Knorr's work, this volume concentrates on the history of ancient mathematics, the associated mathematical sciences, and their medieval and modern tradition.

This volume emulates the quality and diverse interests of Knorr's innovative, exact, and far-reaching research. Topics inspired by Knorr include a study of geometric analysis and synthesis in ancient Greece and medieval Islam; examination of Eudoxus as originator for the ideas of proportionality underlying Book V of “Euclid's Elements”; and the extent that Renaissance theorists of linear perspective had access to ancient sources. This book considers the status of Eudoxus's theory of homocentric spheres in Greek astronomy and the examination of the status of in Greek mathematics. A detailed discussion of the geometrical chemistry of Plato's “Timaeus” and its interpretation in antiquity stems from Knorr's work, and a study of Plato's concept of numbers and its relation to the Theory of Forms. Knorr's varied interests motivate investigation into the representation of numbers in the Latin middle ages, or why we read Arabic numbers backwards, and the history of science in a chronology of the three dynasties in ancient China.

Patrick Suppes(1922–2014) was Lucie Stern Professor Emeritus at CSLI, Stanford University. Julius Moravcsik (1931–2009) was professor of philosophy at Stanford University. Henry Mendell is professor of philosophy at California State University, Los Angeles.



  • Preface Patrick Suppes, Julius M. Moravcsik & Henry Mendell
  • The Role and Development of Geometric Analysis and Synthesis in Ancient Greece and Medieval Islam J. L. Berggren & Glen Van Brummelen
  • Eudoxus: Parapegmata and Proportionality David Fowler
  • Pappus' Notes to Euclid's Optics Alexander Jones
  • The Trouble with Eudoxus Henry Mendell
  • Why Did Greek Mathematicians Publish Their Analyses? Reviel Netz
  • Plato's Geometrical Chemistry and Its Exgesis in Antiquity Ian Mueller
  • Plato on Numbers and Mathematics Julius M. Moracsik
  • Why We Read Arabic Numerals Backwards Charles Burnett
  • The Chronology of the Three Dynasties David S. Nivison


ISBN (Paperback): 1575862743 (9781575862743)
ISBN (Cloth): 1575862735 (9781575862736)

Subject: Philosophy; Ancient Mathematics; Ancient Science

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