Opinionated History of Mathematics

Cracking tales of historical mathematics and its interplay with science, philosophy, and culture. Revisionist history galore. Contrarian takes on received wisdom. Implications for teaching. Informed by current scholarship. By Dr Viktor Blåsjö.


Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 35m. Bisher sind 36 Folge(n) erschienen. .

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 22 hours 1 minute


Why Galileo is like Nostradamus

Galileo committed scores of errors in his physics. These are bad in themselves and also undermine Galileo’s claim to credit for the things he did get right. Transcript Nostradamus published a famous book of prophesies in 1555.


 2018-12-27  28m

Galileo’s errors on projectile motion and inertia

Galileo gets credit he does not deserve for the parabolic nature of projectile motion, the law of inertia, and the “Galilean” principle of relativity. In reality, his treatments of all of these matters were riddled with errors and fundamental misunders...


 2018-12-10  26m

The case against Galileo on the law of fall

Galileo is praised for his work on falling bodies, but his arguments were dishonest and his trifling discoveries were not new.


 2018-11-29  21m

Galilean science in antiquity?

Ancient Greek scientists studied the dynamics of falling bodies. Were “Galileo’s” discoveries anticipated in these treatises that have since been lost? This question leads to a bigger one regarding relativism versus universalism in the history of thought.


 2018-11-21  23m

Mathematics versus philosophy, then and now

Divergent interpretations of Galileo’s alleged greatness cut across disciplinary divides: mathematics versus philosophy, science versus humanities. Understanding Galileo means dealing with these fundamental tensions.


 2018-11-21  19m

Galileo bad, Archimedes good

Galileo's bumbling attempts at determining the area of the cycloid suggests a radical new interpretation of his scientific opus. Archimedes's work on floating bodies is an example of excellent Greek science that has not been sufficiently appreciated.


 2018-11-21  16m