FemPhys presents the Steeped Thoughts Award Lecture: Ancient Greek Mathematicians, Intellectual Outliers by Dr. Jacqueline Feke
In the Greco-Roman world, the study of advanced mathematics was rare. At most a few dozen individuals studied it at any one time, and, perhaps because it was so rare, some mathematicians found it necessary to defend their choice of vocation. In this paper, I will present three case studies: the texts of Hero of Alexandria, Claudius Ptolemy, and Theon of Alexandria, from the first, second, and fourth century CE, respectively. They each defend mathematics by positioning it in opposition to philosophy, the dominant field of inquiry at the time. In order to bolster the value of mathematics, they appropriate the goals of philosophy but then criticize philosophers for being unable to achieve these goals. Where philosophers fail, mathematicians succeed.
Join us for an engaging lecture followed by lots of discussion and free food.
All are welcome!