Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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New Research Project: Calculatores


„From a logic-mathematical standpoint: Richard Swineshead and the calculatores tradition"

This research project is funded by LMU Munich‘s Institutional Strategy LMUexcellent within the framework of the German Excellence Initiative.

calculatores_webThe present research project treats the tradition of the Calculatores, a current of thought from the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance that was still very influential during the time of Galileo and Leibniz. The special combination of logical, mathematical and philosophical elements in this tradition reveals a strong similarity with the modern analytical and mathematical philosophy. For the purposes of a reasonable limitation of scope, this research concentrates on some aspects of Richard Swineshead’s Liber calculationum and its later repercussions. It focuses on the development of various areas within which the typical "logical-mathematical" approach of the Calculatores is best expressed. These include, for instance, the analysis of maxima et minima, of the first and last instants of time (de primo et ultimo instanti), and of a series of Sophismata (logical-mathematical exercises), which are closely linked with the problem of the infinite and the continuum. This project involves fundamental research work in the field of the history of ideas and is therefore strictly oriented toward the analysis of original handwritten and old printed sources.

Research team:

  • Dr. Daniel A. Di Liscia
  • Brigitte Endres-Ludwig, B.A.