Monday, 7 December 2009

The whole of western science is based on financial maths

A historian Joel Kaye has written widely on the development of science in medieval Europe. In Economy and Nature in the Fourteenth Century he presents a thesis that

In broad terms, the conceptual landscape that emerged in the fourteenth century resulted from a striking shift in the models derived to represent order and activity in the natural world: from a static world of numbered points and perfections to a dynamic world of ever-changing values conceived as continua in expansion and contraction; from a mathematics of arithmetical addition to a mathematics of geometrical multiplication, newly accepting of the approximate and the probable; from a world of fixed and absolute values to a shifting, relational world in which values were understood to be determined relative to changing perspectives and conditions; and from a philosophy focused on essences and perfections to one dominated by questions of quantification and measurement in respect to motion and change. Each of these new directions proved to be of great importance to the future of scientific thought.

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