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Anachronism(s) in the History of Mathematics: The Seventh Biennial Bacon Conference

Friday, April 13, 2018
Saturday, April 14, 2018
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Anachronism is often declared the greatest failure, almost a moral sin, a historian can commit. Yet, some have spoken in favor of anachronism, considering it either as an inevitable, or even as a desirable feature of an historical work. The purpose of this two-day international conference is to reflect on the uses and abuses of anachronism in the historical study of the mathematical sciences.

Registration is required and free. Please click here to complete the registration form.

Click here to view the 2018 conference poster. For an overview of the Francis Bacon Award and information about previous awardees click here.


Friday April 13, EPP

09:15-09:30 am          Welcome and Introduction. Niccolò Guicciardini

09:30-10:30 am          Karine Chemla
Senior Researcher, CNRS University Paris Diderot, University Paris Panthéon Sorbonne
"Reading Problems as Problems, Books as Books, and the Like: Discussing a Widespread and yet Little-discussed Form of Anachronism in the History of Mathematics and Beyond"

10:45-11:45 am          Jacqueline Feke
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Waterloo
"Re-examining the Distinction between Philosophy and the Mathematical Sciences in Greek Antiquity"

12:30- 02:00 pm          Lunch at the EPP

02:00 -3:00 pm          Martina Schneider
Lecturer in the History of Mathematics and Science, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
"On Mathematical Reconstruction as a Historiographical Method"

03:15-04:15 pm          Kim Plofker
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Union College
"Anachronism/Anachorism in the Study of Infinitesimal Mathematics in India"

05:00-06:00 pm Keynote talk by Niccolò Guicciardini
Professor of History of Science and Mathematics, University of Bergamo
"Un Altro Presente: on the Historical Interpretation of Mathematical Texts"
(Spalding Laboratory Auditorium, Building 41, Room 106)

06:00-07:00 pm          Reception, Spalding Laboratory Auditorium

07:00 pm                     Dinner at the EPP

Saturday, April 14,  EPP

09:15-10:15 am          Joe Dauben
Distinguished Professor of History, The Graduate Center, Lehman College, City University of New York
"Anachronism and Incommensurability:  Words, Concepts, Contexts, and Intentions"

10:30-11:30 am          George Smith
Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University
"Reading the Principia? Anachronistic Renderings of Newton's Mathematics"

11:45-12:45 pm          Craig Fraser
Professor of History of Mathematics, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto
"Historiographical Issues in the Interpretation of Euler's Work on Divergent Series"

01:00-02:15 pm          Lunch at the EPP

02:15-03:15 pm          Jemma Lorenat
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Pitzer College
"Portraying Projective Geometry: The Presence and Absence of Measurement in Nineteenth Century Pure Geometry"

03:30-04:30 pm          Jeremy Gray
Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, The Open University
"Anachronism: The Case of Non-Euclidean Geometry"

04:30-05:30 pm          General discussion

For more information, please contact Sini Elvington by phone at 626-395-3243 or by email at [email protected].