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ORIGINS OF MODERNITY

mathematics

The science of mathematics underwent dramatic changes during the early modern period. Not only did the intellectual status of the mathematician increase relative to its competitors, but there were momentous developments within the discipline itself. Descartes' development of algebra, Napier's development of logarithms and Newton's and Leibniz's invention of the calculus are some of the better-known advances. Other important mathematicians from the period include Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat of ‘Fermat's last theoremÂ’ fame. The geometrical method of Greek mathematics, exemplified above all in Euclid, still provided inspiration, but it was ultimately not adequate for the new applications to which mathematics was being put. Thus we can see a marked difference in the type of mathematics used by Galileo to that used later by Newton.


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