[FOM] Archimedes's "Method"

S. S. Kutateladze sskut at math.nsc.ru
Tue Nov 20 11:54:28 EST 2007

Alasdair Urquhart> I've read the book by Netz and Noel, "The Archimedes Codex."
Alasdair Urquhart> It's an entertaining piece of popular history/science,
Alasdair Urquhart> but it is full of tasteless and foolish exaggeration,
Alasdair Urquhart> as well as silly bragging.
Alasdair Urquhart> All of this has been known since 1907, and Netz and Noel have added nothing to all
Alasdair Urquhart> of this.
Alasdair Urquhart> But now they make the claim that Archimedes anticipated Cantor,
Alasdair Urquhart> and this is their "great discovery."

This is  an instance of timely and much appreciated analysis.  The reading of the palimpsest  is
a triumph of modern technology, while the indecent speculations of the two philosophers
reflect the tragedy of prevalence of pseudoscientific junk in the modern era.

Sobolev Institute of Mathematics
Novosibirsk State University
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