Richard Oosterhoff - Measure and Mathematics in Renaissance Philosophy
A webinar lecture with Richard Oosterhoff (University of Edinburgh). Part of our summer webinar series on "Reason and Beauty in Renaissance Christian Thought and Culture," presented in collaboration with the American Cusanus Society --- Perspective drawing, map-making, musical harmonics, astronomy, and number theory—these were all mathematical disciplines in the Renaissance. We tend to link measuring sounds, sights, and sensations with outstanding philosophers, from Nicholas of Cusa to Galileo and Descartes. But every university student met these topics, in their first textbooks. This webinar will focus on the hugely popular Paris master and humanist Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples (c. 1455–1536), who wove a programme of university reform out of authorities from Church Fathers and mystics, the Victorines, Ramon Llull, and Cusanus. Out of such sources, Lefèvre bequeathed European universities a shared philosophical culture in which mathematics offered an archetype of reason and beauty.