The Mathematical Shape of Modernity

The Mathematical Shape of Modernity 1

Stuart Bradford for The Chronicle Review

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Stuart Bradford for The Chronicle Review

On August 10, 1632, only 10 months before the Roman Inquisition condemned Galileo Galilei for his advocacy of Copernican astronomy, five Jesuits met in Rome to discuss a seemingly arcane point: Is a mathematical continuum composed of indivisibles? That was not the first time that the Jesuit revisors, an august group empowered to ensure the orthodoxy of the Society of Jesus’ curriculum and publications, debated the problem.

The learned black robes