The Ethics of Geometry: A Genealogy of Modernity

Lachterman, D. The Ethics of Geometry: A Genealogy of Modernity. New York: Routledge, 1989.

Publisher’s Review: “The Ethics of Geometry is a study of the relationship between philosophy and mathematics. Essential differences in the ethos of mathematics, for example, the customary ways of undertaking and understanding mathematical procedures and their objects, provide insight into the fundamental issues in the quarrel of moderns with ancients. Two signal features of the modern ethos are the priority of problem-solving over theorem-proving, and the claim that constructability by human minds or instruments establishes the existence of relevant entities. These figures are combined in the emblematic statement of Salomon Maimon, “In mathematical construction we are, as it were, gods.” Construction is the mark of modernity. The disciplines of classical philology, literary interpretation and the history of philosophy and of mathematics are woven together in this volume.”