Project 1585

History and Philosophy of Mathematics

Leader: dr Milan Božić


Exploration of historical and philosophical aspects of the national mathematics and mechanics and selected topics in mathematics in general. Development of standards in mathematical education, computer assisted mathematical modeling and visualization. Electronic presentation and protection of Serbian mathematicians' works.

Subject of research

Topics in History and Philosophy of Mathematics in which exists a contribution of our greatest scientists in the fields closest to Mathematics. In the History of Mathematics, main topics shall consist in editing, in the electronic form, of the masterpieces of our relevant scientists who worked in Mathematics and close to it Sciences and whose careers are situated in the period before the World War II. In Philosophy and Foundations of Mathematics, we are preparing to work in topics in Philosophy of mathematics in Ancient Greece, Byzantine mathematics and main topics of the contemporary Foundations of Mathematics.

Description of the work

History and Philosophy of Mathematics are huge disciplines and resources in Serbia don't allow research in all topics. Consequently, we choused two groups of topics which are also a priority of the national programme of research.

First group is the national History of Mathematics.

We are going to select and conserve the most important mathematical works of the Serbian mathematicians, which have been published until the World War II. Conservation shall be made in electronicaly-phototypical form, convenient for the presentation via electronic or optical media or via Internet.

Scientific contribution in these topics shall consist in comments of these works with biographies of authors and analysis of the context, either temporal or scientific, within which they originated.

This work we regard as a way of preserving a national cultural and scientific heritage and national identity but also as affirmation of our science and culture.

Second group of topics is the research of our scientists which is already underway and where we can expect a relevant scientific contribution. These topics are the Foundations of Mathematics, Philosophy and History of Mathematics in Antique and Byzantine Mathematics.

In the Foundations, the main research shall be about the concepts of infinity, continuum and continuity. This research is multidisciplinary as also Mechanics, Philosophy, Physics, Astronomy and History of Sciences are related to it.

Particular attention will be devoted to the contribution of our scientists in these topics (R. Boskovic, M. Petrovic, B. Petronijevic, D. Nesic, B. Gavrilovic etc.)

In Philosophy and History of Mathematics in Antique research shall focus on modern trends which are situating the emergence of mathematics as deductive and axiomatic science in the Athens of 4th century BC, i.e. in Plato's Academy. In nowadays the attitude that Mathematics has emerged as a product of philosophical requests of Platonic philosophy is prevailing.

Last but not least, international scientific community if poorly informed about Byzantine Mathematics in spite of the fact that the Byzant has played an important role in preservation and transfer of the Greek mathematical knowledge to the Renaissance Europe. The goal the topic is research in Byzantine Mathematics and its influence on the Mathematics of the relevant periods.

We expect the widening of the scope of our research but we think that we should not undertake efforts which can't be realized because of lack of resources.